Cannabis For Treating Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is a medical condition wherein a malignant tumor is formed in the breast. If not treated soon enough, cancer cells can divide and spread to other parts of the body. Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of death in women. In recent years however, cases of the disease have significantly reduced. All the same, at least one in eight women worldwide get breast cancer. Men can also develop the disease. Close to a decade ago, the number of deaths across the world from breast cancer was 519,0002. In 2015, 40,000 people in the United States died from the disease.

Conventional treatment methods

Just like other types of cancer, breast cancer is treated using surgery, radiation or chemotherapy. In surgery, doctors perform an operation that could result in the removal of one or both breasts depending on the spread of the cancer cells. Chemotherapy and radiation treatment use chemical agents and high-energy radiation waves to remove cancer cells. Chemotherapy and radiation, however, have adverse effects such as nausea, drowsiness, vomiting, and fatigue.

How marijuana treats breast cancer

In the United States, the National Cancer Institute has already noted the beneficial properties that medical marijuana holds in the fighting of breast cancer. One of these benefits stems from the effect cannabis has on the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is a network of communication pathways through which balance is maintained in the body. Through this system, the brain can send signals to other body parts. These signals enable us to remain in optimum health at all times.

A study conducted in 2012 found CB2 receptors, part of the endocannabinoid system, are abnormally over-expressed in tumors. This is one of the body’s primary receptors, and its imbalance could cause the onset of a wide variety of diseases. One of these illnesses, as discovered by Israeli scientists, is cancer. The introduction of cannabinoids to our system may play a critical role in triggering CB2 receptors to initiate a balance in our bodies.

Researchers have found that cannabis can put a stop to the ‘immortality cycle’ of cancer cells. Unlike normal cells, cancer cells do not follow a normal life cycle. Instead, they continuously reproduce and develop into tumors. In 2011, a group of researchers from Israel discovered that CBD, one of the main components of cannabis, stopped breast cancer tumors from propagating. The compound also facilitated the onset of apoptosis and autophagy, two processes that result in the death of cancer cells. In 2007, researchers from California discovered that CBD inhibits the gene that mainly causes the metastasization of breast cancer. This stops the disease from proliferating and could aid in the better working of other treatment programs such as chemotherapy.

THC, another compound found in cannabis, also plays an active role in fighting breast cancer. A 2014 study conducted on mice found that high doses of THC reduced the size of breast cancer tumors significantly. THC has also been shown to cause cancer cells to self-destruct, as discovered by researchers in Spain. As a result of these successful trials, medical marijuana is now considered a viable treatment for breast cancer.

Always consult your doctor before beginning a medical marijuana treatment regime. Visit us at Island Cannabis for the finest selection of medical marijuana in Canada.