According to a 2012 study, an estimated number of about 14.1 million people were newly diagnosed with cancer worldwide. By the year 2030, about 23.6 million new cases of cancer will be diagnosed worldwide. Now, these are scary numbers!
Cancer is considered as one of the top killer diseases that has already claimed the lives of millions of individuals. While drugs help to control its growth and ability to spread, they also have adverse side effects that can make the patient feel sicker.
Cancer is an abnormal growth of cells. The abnormal cells grow rapidly and form lumps of tissues which then develop into a tumor. The tumor increases in size that it begins to negatively impact the surrounding tissues and affect the way they normally function.
While tumor growths are typically limited and only affect one location, some tumors though continue to increase in size and invade the healthier tissues. They also grow blood vessels which feed them the nutrients and oxygenated blood they need to continue growing and developing. These new blood vessels also allow them to travel to another location where they spread and invade other regions of the body. If metastasis occurs, it will not only be harder to control and treat, but it will also increase the mortality risk.
Cancer and Cannabis
The effects of cannabis on cancer are very interesting. Not only can it address all the issues that make this disease deadly, but it’s also safer than chemotherapy with fewer side effects. Below are the ways that cannabis can help beat this disease.
- It kills cancer cells. Cannabinoids have the ability to kill the abnormal cells and prevent their growth. They are known to induce their death through a process called apoptosis. Of note, cannabinoids only induce cell death of the cancer cells and don’t affect the healthy ones. Chemotherapy, while it can destroy the abnormal cells, also kills healthy cells.
- It prevents blood vessels from developing. This is yet another fascinating effect of cannabinoids. They can prevent the growth of blood vessels that supply the tumor. Without their nutrient and oxygen supply, cancer cell growth is inhibited.
- It prevents metastasis. Metastasis can be prevented if their means to travel is inhibited. So without the blood vessels, the cancer cells won’t be able to travel, migrate, and invade other healthy tissues.
- It has fewer side effects and can even control the adverse side effects associated with chemotherapy. Some of the side effects of chemotherapy include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and pain. Now, cannabinoids have the ability to control chemotherapy side effects. They have anti-emetic and analgesic effects. They are also known to stimulate appetite.
Cannabis and Other Side Effects of Cancer
Too much stress and anxiety about their condition can cause depression in patients. If these aren’t controlled, it can negatively impact their condition and affect their recovery. Now, cannabinoids are known to produce calming effects. They are also known to improve depression.
Numerous studies have already been done on cannabis’ effects on several types of cancers like leukemia as well as breast, brain, cervical, prostate, and lung cancers; and they have shown promising results. These studies show that cannabis can not only help treat cancer but can also be a good addition to chemotherapy.