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Cannabis Kills All Types of Cancer Cells That Science Has Tested so Far

Matt Weeks
cannabis, cancer, cannabinoids, CBD, THC, endocannabinoid system, chemotherapy, research, medical cannabis, legalization, USA

Standard cancer treatment must be adapted to the type and location of a tumor, whereas cannabis is an equal opportunity killer, destroying all types of cancer cells.

Curing cancer is the holy grail of medical research and it’s the most-coveted breakthrough of our time. If we could discover a way to prevent malignant cells from overrunning the human body, not only would we save millions of lives, we would end years of suffering. And, we could finally feel superior to sharks which, rumour has it, are cancer free (it turns out, they actually can be afflicted). Is cannabis the way? Studies, so far, show that cannabis kills all types of cancer cells.

cannabis, CBD, sharks, cancer, THC, cannabinoids, endocannabinoid system, chemotherapy, research, USA, legalization

Image credit: anas sodki

One Treatment Doesn’t Fit All

While chemotherapy and radiation have certainly helped humanity’s battle against cancer, research into the recently discovered (1990s) endocannabinoid system keeps providing new information about how tumors form, spread and turn deadly.

But cancer isn’t just one thing. It’s an umbrella term for a collection of related illnesses. What unites these is the method of mayhem: cancer divides and spreads like ants at a picnic. And since it’s not just one kind of ant, we’ve developed slightly different ways to deal with each species.

cannabis, cancer, cannabinoids, CBD, THC, endocannabinoid system, chemotherapy, research, medical cannabis, legalization, USA

Image credit: Juan Gaertner

Partially, that’s because when cancer infects the brain, we can’t necessarily handle it the way we would handle cancer in the foot. Even if the same treatments would be effective at stopping the cancer, the collateral damage to brain cells is just too risky.

But when cannabis treats cancer, it doesn’t cause the kind of negative side effects that chemotherapy, for instance, does. Although human trials and solid scientific research are still a ways off, early studies indicated that cannabis might be the one truly universal way to kill cancer cells.

cannabis, angionesis, cancer, cannabinoids, endocannabinoid system, CBD, THC, cancer treatment, research, legalization, medical cannabis, USA

Image credit: ellepigrafica

Cannabis Stops Blood Vessel Formation for all Types of Tumors

One of the key ways that cannabis combats cancer is through anti-angiogenic effects. That sounds like a mouthful, but the concept is straightforward. Angiogenesis is the process by which new blood vessels form from old ones — like a potato sprouting. New blood vessels are how wounds heal, people grow, and new and better pathways form for circulation. It’s a vital and healthy part of the body’s daily regimen. But it’s also how tumors transition from benign growths to malignant cancers.

Cancer creates cells that don’t have the ability to divide in a controlled fashion, leading to out-of-control growth. But what fuels that growth? For tumors to get larger and spread, they need a supply of essential nutrients and oxygen, which they get from the bloodstream. So when a cancer begins to grow, it has to do so at the same rate as the blood vessels which nourish it. Without new vessels, the tumor couldn’t expand. Thus one of the best ways to combat cancer growth is by limiting the ability of the body to generate new blood vessels. That’s anti-angiogenesis.

cannabis, blood vessels, CBD, THC, cannabinoids, endocannabinoid system, research, legalization, USA, angiogenesis, chemotherapy, medical cannabis

Image credit: Crevis

And cannabis happens to be particularly effective at that. The body’s endocannabinoid system partially regulates new blood vessel growth, so when cannabinoids enter the body and react with that system, it interferes with cancer’s ability to force new blood vessel growth. By taking up room in the protein receptors, cannabinoids prevent cancer from commandeering and directing the body’s new growth functionality — at least to a point. In this study, tumor growth was significantly slowed, although not completely stopped. And, amazingly, this happens to work against cancer cells, but not against normal new blood vessel growth.

Cannabis Stops Metastasis for All Tumor Types

As tumors grow, some cancer cells acquire the ability to escape the primary mass and proceed to invade surrounding tissues or migrate to distant sites, where they find new colonies. This is metastasis. It’s what responsible for most human deaths from cancer. These rogue cells invade healthy tissue, grow new tumors, and limit the body’s organs form fulfilling their life-preserving duties. So the best way to prolong cancer patients’ lives are to ensure that these cells don’t escape tumor masses and found new cancer sites.

cannabis, cancer, CBD, THC, cannabinoids, endocannabinoid system, research, chemotherapy, legalization, USA, glioma

Image credit: Carl Dupont

That’s where CBD comes in. Cannabinoids play a key role in cell migration, invasion and metastasis. Specifically, CBD has proven anti-proliferative effects on glioma cancer cells by inducing something called apoptosis. From the Greek for “falling off,” apoptosis is basically a cell’s self-destruct sequence. It’s how the body rids itself of bad or non-performing cells. Cancer can fool the body into thinking that tumorous cells aren’t bad and shouldn’t undergo apoptosis. However research suggests that CBD has been found to mess with cancer’s ability to do that which in turn allows the body to kill the cancerous cells.

CBD Can Lead to Tumor Shrinkage

Studies — like this one published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (2004) — have also shown that CBD aids tumor regression. One found that a seventy percent reduction of cancer in mice occurred eighteen days after treatment with CBD. Again, this was glioma (a particularly nasty type of cancer that starts in the brain and spine), but the researchers suggest that the anti-tumor activity associated with CBD could transfer to other cancers too.

cannabis, cancer, cancer treatment, research, CBD, THC, cannabinoids, endocannabinoid system, cancer cells, legalization, medical cannabis

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The way scientific research works means there is a whack-a-mole style approach when it comes to treating cancer — one at a time. For example, cannabis has to be proven to treat lung cancer and brain cancer individually. So the only way we’ll know if cancer is the panacea against cancer that we all hope it to be, is to find that out one disease at a time.


Matt Weeks

A writer living and working in Athens, GA, Matt's work has appeared in various newspapers, books, magazines and online publications over the last 15 years. When he's not writing, he hosts bar trivia, plays in local bands, and makes a mean guacamole. He holds an undergraduate degree in journalism and a master's degree in organizational theory. His favorite movie is "Fletch."

  • Avatar

    Can CBD cure lesions on the brain caused by Melanoma on the skin, in this particular case a Melanoma on the back ?? I am trying to persuade my friend to try CBD but yr previous notes on this website reckon that brain cancer is more difficult to treat with CBD ?? Have I got this right ??

    February 15, 2019 at 7:35 am Reply
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    s anne flynn

    i am a 75 year old woman woman with a dx of stage 4 endometrial cancer with mets to lungs, abdomen, and lymph system. I have had a total hysterectomy and completed the first round of standard chemo, taxol and carbitol and was cancer free at the end of treatment february 20th. throughout the time since i was diagnosed i have been takng cbd oil, rick simpson oil, and thc. i would like to find a medical professional to help me manage my ongoing trreatment. I live in western washington. i am being treated through providence cancer care out of centralia; i am being seen in their lacey office. they are supportive of my using cannabis.

    April 23, 2019 at 2:43 pm Reply
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      Kristine Brown

      I am in a very similar situation and I too, am wanting some medical guidance to help me with the right dosages etc. When you say you were cancer free after treatment is that including the traditional treatment in conjunction with the cbd, rick simpson oil and thc? I live in Cowlitz County and am being seen through Kaiser locally. My new Oncologist is in Portland at Sunnyside. I am waiting for the results of my most recent ct scan and very worried about my next step. I chose to take a break from treatment in May and can feel some pressure and pain in my abdomen, so I am sure the tumors have grown. I just don’t know that I want to do more chemo….especially if cbd, Rick Simpson oil and thc could possibly do a better job of killing my tumors. Did you get a response from this site? Thank you for any information that you can share.

      October 12, 2019 at 5:27 pm Reply
      • Jennifer Grant

        Hi Kristine – sorry to hear you are struggling with cancer. You need to work with a cannabis-friendly oncologist. Please remember that all of these stories from people are anecdotal. There is no information (yet) on dosing for any condition, let alone one that is life threatening. Cell studies have been very successful and some types of cancer have responded well to cannabis in the animal model. There are NO human trials that are complete.This particular article address cancer cells only – not tumors in the bodies of patients. It is very promising research and worthy of our attention, but we are a long way off from recommending cannabis kills cancerous tumors in the human body. There is, honestly, not enough data to rely solely on cannabis to treat your cancer. We recommend working with a cancer specialist who is literate in cannabis. That person will be able to advise you much better than anyone on the Internet. Stay well. Hope your scan comes up clean.

        October 12, 2019 at 9:24 pm Reply
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    John e may

    Does CBD or whole plant medicine help with prostate cancer?

    April 25, 2019 at 5:00 pm Reply
    • Jennifer Grant

      Most recommended is whole plant medicine, but the studies that you are reading about tend to be from extracts and are done on cell lines or animal models (so far). The human body and the way it metabolizes will affect cannabis medicine as well…but science hasn’t figured out the full logistics of that yet. You can try a CBD-rich oil that has the full complement of cannabis medicine.

      April 25, 2019 at 9:51 pm Reply
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    Carrie Ann Salvi

    Why the bald woman? Neither cancer nor cannabis cause baldness.

    April 27, 2019 at 2:46 pm Reply
    • Jennifer Grant

      Because many cancer patients rely on chemotherapy.

      April 28, 2019 at 8:36 am Reply
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    wayne lewis

    Need info on products

    May 10, 2019 at 11:38 am Reply
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    angelia garrison

    I’m on CBD now for DCIS which is the earliest form of breast cancer that is detectable. I will be getting another mammogram sometime in July. I hope this works! See me on FB for follow up.

    May 10, 2019 at 4:24 pm Reply
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    Jen Trego in remission of clear cell carcinoma. Apparently it has a reaccurance rate if 80%. Hiuw much CBD oil do you recommend yo aide in preventing reaaccurence??

    May 10, 2019 at 7:25 pm Reply
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    Wendie Gates

    I have Stage 3c ovarian have run out of FDA chemo therapies and currently in clinical trials but have had to take a break because my body has turned against itself in my urinary tract system. I’ve been told I have to be on treatment the rest of my life. The type of Ovarian cancer I have is more like a jelly and not a tumor. Can’t remember the exact name right at this moment. My question is. Do you think that CBD can kill my type of cancer?

    May 10, 2019 at 11:16 pm Reply
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    Jeffrey DeFlurin

    So how do you get “whole plant medicine”? Does it come from extracts or do you consume the actual plant? Where can I get information on this?

    May 11, 2019 at 2:21 pm Reply
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    Tammy A Sampson

    I have a friend that is fighting cancer all through his body. They are using the highest form of kemo and radiation therapy. He is using phenix tears for pain. I asked him to try cbd oil. Will the kemo and radiation kill the cbd in his body. Or should he wait till kemo and radiation is over. And how much cbd should he take to kill the cancer through his body.

    May 11, 2019 at 4:59 pm Reply
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    shaun linyamba

    This article is helping please keep on. Thank you

    May 11, 2019 at 9:00 pm Reply
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    Brian Watkins

    Where can I get CDB rich oil?

    June 9, 2019 at 9:25 am Reply
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    Mary Gallegos

    Want 2 learn more, need to get off opiates for pain. Have 4 herniated discs, sciatica, scoliosis, degenerative disc disease, and neuropathy. Will this oil help me with pain and the withdrawal symptoms of getting myself off opiates?

    June 10, 2019 at 6:56 pm Reply

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