Many stories of cannabis oil curing cancer have arisen, but are they valid?
There have been many stories unfolding about people who have cured themselves of terminal cancers by using pure cannabis oil rather than going through chemotherapy. For instance, Michelle Aldrich was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer in January of 2012. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related mortality in the US. In 2015, there were 221,200 new cases of lung cancer diagnosed – of those, 158,040 have died. Aldrich was classified with stage three cancer, and rather than forgo chemotherapy, chose to use highly concentrated cannabis oil to help her cancer instead.
Within four months, her CT scans came back with her tumor massively reduced in size. She had what remained of the tumor surgically removed, and she is now cancer free.
There are stories like this out there that sensationalize cannabis oil – and it deserves that recognition -but let’s take a closer look.
FACTS ABOUT CANNABINOIDS
In the lab, cannabinoid cells have been found to trigger cell death through apoptosis, they stop cells from dividing, they reduce the chances of cancer cells spreading through the body and they speed of the cell’s autophagy – which leads to cell death.
But there are many studies that show conflicting results. Some research has also shown that cannabinoids actually encourage cancer cells to grow and could harm crucial blood vessel cells.
The evidence is conflicting, though the case for cannabinoids is growing stronger with different trials. The process of using cannabis oil is still in its early stages of development, and have not had enough consistent success trials to be considered safe.
CHEMOTHERAPY MAY NOT BE VERY EFFECTIVE
While there are many valid arguments for chemotherapy – chemically based medicine of all forms – there is also an ever-increasing rise of holistic medicine. In a highly controversial interview by Dr. Peter Glidden in 2011, he states that chemotherapy has an incredibly low success rate. He and a minority of doctors have come out to say that chemo is actually unsuccessful over 90% of the time.
It might not help the case of chemotherapy that doctors have reported saying that there are certain forms of chemotherapy that they themselves would opt not to take if the situation was reversed. A study in 2000 polled 79 doctors at the McGill Cancer center. “64 of them said that they would not consent to undergo any treatment containing cis-platinum – one of the common chemotherapy drugs they used – while 58 out of 79 believed that all the experimental therapies above were not accepted because of the ineffectiveness and the elevated level of toxicity of chemotherapy.”
DIFFERENT CANNABINOIDS IN MARIJUANA
This infographic from Alchimiaweb breaks down the different molecular strains in marijuana that have different effects. Many of these strains have very important medical properties, and are found in varying levels depending on the plant. (If you’re interested in further information, the linked article breaks down the chemical compounds in further depth)
THE CASE FOR NATUROPATHY
It must be said that just because something is natural, that does not make it safe. Poisonous berries are natural, but if you eat them you will absolutely perish. Nature has a way of creating its own safeguards against predators.
However, a field tested, holistic approach makes a very good case for naturopathy. Even with the contradicting evidence against cannabinoids, cannabis oil at the very least will alleviate pain, vomiting and discomfort while going through chemotherapy.