The National Cancer Institute has confirmed marijuana kills cancer cells. However, the FDA has not approved marijuana as a means to treat cancer.
Marijuana can kill cancer cells.
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The National Cancer Institute (via India.com) revealed this finding on Aug. 23. It wrote on its FAQ page that "cannabis and cannabinoids may have benefits in treating the symptoms of cancer or the side effects of cancer therapies."
The institute also confirms "cannabis has been shown to kill cancer cells in the laboratory." Plus, it says "cannabis and cannabinoids have been studied in the laboratory and the clinic for relief of pain, nausea and vomiting, anxiety and loss of appetite."
The National Cancer Institute's official website is Cancer.gov. It conducted several studies with mice and rats as the test subjects. The test findings reveal marijuana can prevent cancer by killing and blocking cancerous cells.
Marijuana may protect against inflammation of the colon. Thus, it can help prevent colon cancer. Mice were the main test subjects, per Cancer.gov.
The website also says cannabidiol can effectively treat breast cancer. Marijuana "caused cancer cell death while having little effect on normal breast cells." Again, the test subjects were mice.
Marijuana use can help make chemotherapy more potent, per Cancer.gov. The statement says cannabidiol "may make chemotherapy more effective and increase cancer cell death without harming normal cells." The institute derived this finding when it used mice as test subjects.
NCI has not conducted clinical trials of marijuana as cancer treatment in humans.
Nonetheless, the institute cites a finding from the California Health Men's Study. This particular study involved 84,000 men. It also covered a 16-year span.
Among those 84,000 males, bladder cancer rates were 45 percent lower in cannabis users.
There are two cannabinoid drugs the Food and Drug Administration has approved. These are dronabinol and nabilone. The FDA approved these drugs to help treat chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting, per Cancer.gov.
Dronabinol and nabilone are effective in doing this, per The National Cancer Institute
There have been no studies confirming marijuana's effect on cancer patients' appetite. Healthy people who inhaled marijuana increased theirs. They ate more high-fat food and sweets, per Cancer.gov.
Marijuana can also help individuals increase their pain threshold. Cannabis combined with morphine relieved pain better than the latter alone. The institute conducted a study involving 21 people with chronic pain.
The National Cancer Institute says cannabis can also help treat anxiety. Its website says people who inhale marijuana "had improved mood, improved sense of well-being and less anxiety."
The institute also lists the adverse side effects of marijuana use:
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- Rapid heart rate
- low blood pressure
- muscle relaxation
- bloodshot eyes
- slower digestion