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Treating Other Disorders

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Cancer Care

Cannabis may be useful in treating the side effects of cancer and cancer treatment.

All cancer or anti-cancer treatment-related symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, mood disorders, fatigue, weight loss, anorexia, constipation, sexual function, sleep disorders, itching, and pain had significant improvement.

Evidence of the use of cannabis for medicinal and ceremonial purposes goes back 4000 years. In 1854, the plant appeared in the United States Dispensatory and was sold freely in pharmacies in Western countries. It also appeared in the British Pharmacopoeia as an extract and tincture for over 100 years. In 1942, cannabis was removed from the United States Pharmacopoeia, and, with that, its legal medicinal use was stopped.

Other Conditions Treated:

  • Migraine headaches
  • Chronic pain
  • Arthritis
  • Glaucoma
  • Chronic nausea
  • Crohn's disease
  • Hepatitis C
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Muscle spasms
  • Anorexia
  • Depression/Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Sports Injury
  • Auto Accident
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Agitation of Alzheimer's Disease

Additional Resources:

  1. Questions and Answers About Cannabis
  2. Pot Shrinks Tumors; Government Knew in '74
  3. The Medical Necessity for Medicinal Cannabis
  4. Marijuana Relieves Chronic Pain, Research Shows
  5. Exercise to Help Manage Chronic Pain and/or Fatigue
  6. Complementary and Integrative Medicine
  7. War Related Illness and Injury Study Center (WRIISC)

Cannabis Can Cure Cancer

Cannabis has been shown to possess antitumor properties. Brain Cancer, Mouth and Throat Cancer, Breast Cancer, Lung Cancer, Uterine, Testicular, and Pancreatic Cancers, Prostate Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Blood Cancer, Skin Cancer, Liver Cancer, Biliary Tract Cancer, and Bladder Cancer have been treated with cannabis medicines.

The therapeutic potential of cannabinoids, the active compounds of marijuana and their derivatives, has been known for centuries. There is increasing evidence supporting that they might be beneficial in various pathological contexts such as pain, inflammation, eating disorders, and brain damage.


Other possible effects of cannabis include:

  • Anti-inflammatory activity.
  • Blocking cell growth.
  • Preventing the growth of blood vessels that supply tumors.
  • Antiviral activity.

Since pain symptoms vary from person to person, pain management treatment strategies and treatments also need to be individualized. Medication alone is often not sufficient to treat pain and sometimes too many medications or taking them for prolonged periods of time can cause other problems. Additional treatments for you might include interventions for your specific type of pain or non-traditional treatments. As time passes, it is important for you and your doctor to reevaluate what's working for you and what can be done differently to accommodate any changes in your symptoms. Finding the right combination is the key.

Antitumor activity

  • Studies in mice and rats have shown that cannabis may inhibit tumor growth by causing cell death, blocking cell growth, and blocking the development of blood vessels needed by tumors to grow. Laboratory and animal studies have shown that cannabis may be able to kill cancer cells while protecting normal cells.
  • A study in mice showed that cannabis may protect against inflammation of the colon and may have potential in reducing the risk of colon cancer, and possibly in its treatment.
  • A laboratory study of delta-9-THC in hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer) cells showed that it damaged or killed the cancer cells. The same study of delta-9-THC in mouse models of liver cancer showed that it had antitumor effects. Delta-9-THC has been shown to cause these effects by acting on molecules that may also be found in non-small cell lung cancer cells and breast cancer cells.
  • A laboratory study of cannabidiol in estrogen receptor positive and estrogen receptor negative breast cancer cells showed that it caused cancer cell death while having little effect on normal breast cells.
  • A laboratory study of cannabidiol in human glioma cells showed that when given along with chemotherapy, cannabidiol may make chemotherapy more effective and increase cancer cell death without harming normal cells.

Other things you can do yourself are: therapies for the mind and body such as meditation and yoga (non-traditional treatments often referred to as Complementary and Integrative medicine practices). These may help reduce stress, improve mood, and make you less aware of pain which will help you feel better. Again, your doctor can help you decide which techniques may be beneficial for you. You can refer to the WRIISC fact sheet on Complementary and Integrative Medicine for more information on meditation and yoga and other non-traditional treatments that are helpful in managing pain.