Cannabis & the American Cancer SocietySource: cancer.org
The American Cancer Society supports the need for more scientific research on cannabinoids for cancer patients, and recognizes the need for better and more effective therapies that can overcome the often debilitating side effects of cancer and its treatment. The Society also believes that the classification of marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance by the US Drug Enforcement Administration imposes numerous conditions on researchers and deters scientific study of cannabinoids. Federal officials should examine options consistent with federal law for enabling more scientific study on marijuana.
• A number of small studies of smoked marijuana found that it can be helpful in treating nausea and vomiting from cancer chemotherapy.
• A few studies have found that inhaled (smoked or vaporized) marijuana can be helpful treatment of neuropathic pain (pain caused by damaged nerves).
• Smoked marijuana has also helped improve food intake in HIV patients in studies.
• There are no studies in people of the effects of marijuana oil or hemp oil.
• Studies have long shown that people who took marijuana extracts in clinical trials tended to need less pain medicine.
• More recently, scientists reported that THC and other cannabinoids such as CBD slow growth and/or cause death in certain types of cancer cells growing in lab dishes. Some animal studies also suggest certain cannabinoids may slow growth and reduce spread of some forms of cancer.
• There have been some early clinical trials of cannabinoids in treating cancer in humans and more studies are planned. While the studies so far have shown that cannabinoids can be safe in treating cancer, they do not show that they help control or cure the disease.
• Relying on marijuana alone as treatment while avoiding or delaying conventional medical care for cancer may have serious health consequences.
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