10/18/2017 | Cannabis + Cancer, Health + Wellness

Cannabis Breast Cancer

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month! Cancer is one of the approved conditions in the State of Illinois for medical cannabis. Many cancer patients turn to medical cannabis for nausea, pain relief, appetite stimulation, and more. Additionally, there are studies that show that medical cannabis may be able to inhibit tumor growth and even shrink them in some cases. In regards to breast cancer, it is important to note that this is not just one disease; one specific study looked at medical cannabis and its affect on HER2-positive breast cancer, one of the most aggressive forms. HER2-positive breast cancer is particularly difficult to beat as it grows rapidly, is diagnosed late, and has a high recurrence rate; therefore, anything that can potentially help should be researched!

Cannabinoids To Fight Tumors

The initial study looked at the anti-tumor potential of cannabinoids, and looked at both THC and CBD as separate entities. Through both mouse trials and testing on human breast tumors, the researchers discovered that both THC and CBD had anti-cancer benefits. Whether using CBD or THC, the cannabinoids inhibited cancer growth, reduced the number of tumors, and reduced the number/severity of secondary tumors in the lungs.

An extremely important finding in this study was that “91% of HER2-positive tumors actively express CB2 receptors.” This is important because these CB2 receptors will easily interact with both THC and CBD, which is known from other studies.

Current Treatment

As of right now, medical cannabis is seen as a way to help the side effects of chemotherapy, such as nausea and pain. Many breast cancer patients must undergo surgery, followed by chemotherapy. While medical cannabis could not take the place of surgery, it may be able to reduce the amount of chemotherapy one needs. More research must be completed before we are able to confirm that breast cancer and medical cannabis are as intertwined as the original study states. Additionally, it is important to remember that breast cancer is many diseases; however, there are positive signs that aggressive breast cancer can be stopped with the help of medical cannabis!

Courtesy of: Medical Jane