It is a sad fact of life that most people will find the ‘The Big C’ impacting on their world at some point.
Whether it is you, a member of your family or someone within your circle of friends that has to fight for their survival, there are very few people who will be fortunate enough to never suffer the consequences of this malicious and relentless monster.
In the past few years, the battle against cancer has gone from strength to strength (thanks in no small part to the ever increasing education of the masses which has allowed for early detection to swing the fight in the patient’s favor) and we are always hearing about the latest advancements which bring us ever closer to a bonafide cure. But is there something that they’re not telling us on the news?
Clinical studies into cannabis and its various components have been going on for some time and the results have been universally encouraging. There is a keen focus on developing our understanding of how cannabinoids work, so that they can be utilized for the treatment of various ailments, and various research teams from around the globe have found that THC and CBD are vital if we are to turn the tide against cancer. Studies have shown that there is a very real possibility of cannabis actually being a preventative substance which reduces the chances of developing particular types of tumors. The National Toxicology Program (NTP) carried out a 2-year study on mice and rats which found that the decrease in tumors and carcinoma were directly linked to the increasing doses of THC which they administered to the test subjects. It is believed that these effects can come from several mechanisms which are induced by cannabis including the inhibition of cancer cell growth and inducing the death of cancerous cells. Cannabinoids appear to focus their effects on the tumor cells whilst having no adverse effects on the surrounding cellular matter; it’s almost as though cannabis is a custom-made medicine for this use.
It seems that there is strong evidence to support the idea that cannabis could prove to be one of the most significant breakthroughs in cancer treatment yet. There is an incredible array of cancer types which have proved to be responsive to different cannabis compounds and everything from brain to breast and lung to liver cancers are possible targets for treatment. All studies show that there is a reduction in the rate of cancer cells multiplying, but the majority are showing that activation of the body’s cannabinoid receptors essentially ‘flicks a switch’ which tells the body to fight the cancer by activating a process known as carcinoma cell apoptosis. This is basically a time bomb for cells and programs them to self-destruct after a certain period. Cancer is caused by unnecessary levels of cells which do not have the ability to shut down being produced by the body; as the cell numbers increase they congregate to form tumors. If cannabis compounds attach to specific cannabinoid receptors, they cause a chain reaction which reprograms the cancer cells and causes them to die instead of multiplying. Think of it as putting cancer in reverse and watching it shrink instead of grow. By using the body’s natural abilities to defeat cancer, cannabis could prove to be a far safer, healthier and more effective method than current treatments that use targeted radiation.
While we wait for cannabis to get the green light in hospitals across the globe, it can still be beneficial to people who are diagnosed and treated by the more aggressive traditional methods. Chemotherapy is not a pleasant experience and the radiation leaves patients feeling weak and exhausted for extensive periods in the weeks after each session. Many patients report that their appetites are suppressed due to excessive sickness and this just compounds the issues and can slow down recovery as they lose weight and lack in essential energy. Numerous studies have proved that THC has a stimulatory effect on appetite and the capacity to increase the levels of food intake and there have been many positive reports from recovering patients that the consumption of cannabis has worked wonders in allowing them to not only eat but also enjoy food on a regular basis. In my eyes, anything which makes life a little easier for people recovering from any kind of illness can only be a good thing and as long as people are prepared to spread the word then I can only hope that more people find ways to self-medicate.
In the interests of keeping us safe from all manner of dangerous drugs, it is the media’s responsibility to keep us informed of all the things which could be causing us harm. Barely a day passes without there being some kind of horror story involving illicit substances and it never ceases to amaze me that the organizations who report on the supposed ill effects of cannabis are far less candid with their investigations into anything positive. It’s a terrifying idea that the truth is still being kept under wraps, yet mainstream media won’t hesitate to print something based in half-assed assumptions when it comes to the negative psychological effects (while sidestepping actual scientific fact which points to the contrary). Every time there are any minor steps forward taken in the legalization process, you can guarantee that countless uninformed voices will come forth to push the process back 3 steps and the loudest voices always come from those with other investments to protect.
Official cancer charities, however, are optimistic for the future but want people to understand that it is still early days. What they are keen to stress is that they believe cannabis will prove to be an invaluable resource, but at this time they don’t want to give people ‘false hope’. I can understand their position entirely as they are the people who have day-to-day experience of working with those who are most affected by cancer; if they were to state that cannabis is a miracle cure which people were not allowed to use (due to government regulations), can you imagine how the patients would feel? All we can do is keep hope alive and just be thankful that there are people out there dedicated to finding the answer to humanity’s biggest question. If you haven’t made any resolutions for 2014 yet then perhaps you could try fundraising for cancer research, that’s what I’m going to do.
Published by: PSY-23