Can cannabis really fight brain cancer?
Some will say it's too good to be true but researches conducted over the last two decades suggest that yes.
Can cannabis really kill cancer cells in the brain? Clinical trials on humans are waiting for results, but recent research gives hope. Scientists have been testing THC as a natural tumor killer for nearly 20 years and their discoveries are startling. Here are some concrete cases that have successfully conquered the disease.
Cannabis and brain cancer
This case is reported by a group of Spanish researchers from the Complutense University of Madrid in search of cannabis-based cancer treatments. So far, some of their experiences have been nothing short of miraculous.
The team, led by professors Guillermo Velasco and Manuel Guzman, tests the ability of cannabinoid treatment to kill glioma cells. Gliomas represent 80% of all malignant cancers of the brain. In fact, it is one of the most aggressive forms of cancer. When glioblastoma reaches the 4 stage, the average life expectancy is less than two years. It is with surgery and traditional treatments such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy that medicine has recourse.
With such dark diagnoses, the development of effective therapeutic alternatives is an absolute necessity. Fortunately, the Madrid team is successful where few people thought that success was possible.
In the early 2000 years, Dr. Velasco and his team made a breakthrough. They applied THC extract to glioblastoma cells grown outside the body. THC is the main psychoactive compound of cannabis. What happened shocked researchers around the world. The tumor cells stopped growing. Later, the tumor cells began to die.
But how ? It turns out that THC kills glioblastoma cells in a number of ways. THC and other cannabinoids cut off the blood supply to the tumor and cause the suicide of cancer cells.
Death by famine
En 2004, researchers have discovered that cannabis modifies the genes that produce a compound called VEGF that stands for Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor. This compound helps the growth of new blood vessels. When cancer cells start to grow, they must start creating their own blood vessels.
Spanish researchers treated mice and two human brain cancer patients with cannabinoid drugs. In both models, VEGF was reduced, which limited the blood supply of the tumors. This finding was truly revolutionary. Add to this the additional evidence that cannabis can slow the growth of tumors, the case for cannabinoid drugs continues to assert itself.
Another major finding is that cannabinoids can kill cancer cells. The compounds contained in the grass prevented the growth of the tumors, began to starve them by cutting the blood supply, and ended up causing self-destruction of the cancerous cells. This self-destruction is a form of what scientists call "programmed cell death".
Programmed cell death occurs in two ways: apoptosis and autophagy. Apoptosis and autophagy are normal for cells. When a cell becomes too old or damaged, the body uses these mechanisms to eliminate the rogue cell.
For some reason, the cancer cells do not self-destruct. On the contrary, they continue to grow and grow, creating life-threatening tumors. In their research, Spanish researchers discovered that THC caused autodigestion or autophagy cancer cells.
We have actually discovered a new mechanism by which cannabinoids activate a signaling pathway that invades what we call autophagy, which would be like self-digestion of cells. So, in fact, when cannabinoids bind to cells, they trigger a cellular signaling mechanism.
One of the things they activate is a self-digestion of the cell that leads to the death of the cancer cells.
The funny thing is that this cell death only happens to the cancer cells. The normal cells of the body remain unharmed. This discovery is interesting because, in 1998, the same group of researchers has discovered that THC also triggers apoptosis in gliomatous cells. Thus, cannabinoids kill cancer cells using both mechanisms of programmed cell death.
With all this potential, it is high time to do clinical trials on real cancer patients. Fortunately, some are already about to start.
Beginning of clinical trials
Velasco and his team are working on a larger test. The trial will focus on 30 at 40 glioma patients in a handful of Spanish hospitals. The Complutense University of Madrid has partnered with these hospitals to administer cannabis treatments and test their efficacy. This is the first time such a measure will be taken on this scale in a hospital.
The funds for their research came mainly from crowdfunding efforts throughout Europe. Some of the most important sums come from the Medical Cannabis Bike Tour. The annual tour is organized by Luc Krol of Amsterdam's Paradise Seeds and has raised several thousand euros for Velasco's research.
In 2006, the Velasco team conducted a pilot study with only nine patients with glioblastoma. The study focused only on THC and was administered intracranially. Which means that it has been given directly to their brains. In the future, cannabinoids will be administered in other forms.
The results of the pilot study are interesting. The study involved patients who did not respond to conventional treatments and who had previously undergone surgery to remove tumors. After the operation, most patients experienced an average of 24 weeks, even with THC administration. Yet two of the patients continued to live another year. In these patients, THC treatment appeared to temporarily slow the progression of tumor cells.
Eight of the nine patients showed a positive response to THC treatment, which gives hope for the larger scale clinical trial.
How to use cannabis as a treatment for brain cancer?
There are more than a few stories circulating of people who have healed their cancer with cannabis. However, no clinical trial of the efficacy of cannabis-based drugs as a sole cancer treatment has been performed. This creates some problems. Doctors still do not know how much cannabis should be consumed, or what are the best types of cannabis. Dr. Cristina Sanchez explains:
We do not know if cannabinoids cure cancer because we do not have controlled clinical studies saying we know they are acting on clinical models of cancer and we have a lot of anecdotal reports of people who say they have healed their cancer. cancer with cannabinoids. But from the point of view of the medical community, we do not have that proof yet.
When asked what the specific ratio of THC to CBD a person needs to fight cancer, Sanchez continues:
I would not say thata report from 1: 1 is needed. I would say that every individual, every patient, needs a special relationship of cannabioids. Or, at least, that's what we saw in our clinical models of cancer. Not only us, but also other research groups working in this area. What we find is that in some types of tumors, for example, glioblastoma, brain tumors, in these cases more THC works better than a ratio of 1: 1.
For the record, cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive compound in the cannabis plant.
There is no simple answer when it comes to cannabis treatment. Just taking a little cannabis oil each day may not reduce the size or severity of a brain tumor. On the one hand, cannabis can be an extremely effective treatment against cancer. On the other hand, there is currently no way of knowing how effective will be in each individual case.
To clarify the issue, here are some examples of success stories from people who have shrunk their brain tumors using cannabis.
Stories of Success in Brain Cancer
Dr. William Courtney has made a name for himself as a medical specialistcannabis juice 'or otherwise says "raw cannabis". A strong advocate, she has helped patients overcome lupus, endometriosis, arthritis and many other diseases through cannabis regimens. Yet the case of his youngest patient is the most miraculous of all.
Dr. Courtney oversaw the recovery of an eight-month-old baby with brain cancer. While parents and children do not have a name for their intimacy, brain scans show that a high content of cannabis with a high content of CBD has been able to make the brain tumor disappear of this child.
They put cannabinoid oil on the baby's pacifier twice a day, which increased the dose ... And in two months, there was a significant enough reduction for the pediatric oncologist to allow them to before with traditional treatment.
Courtney calls this baby a "baby miracle". Cannabis has been so successful that the baby has not had to undergo chemotherapy and radiation therapy, which have horrible long-term side effects.
As a dietitian, Jermy Kigar spent a lot of time in hospitals. Yet, one day, he was surprised to find that he had become a patient in his own workplace. Kigar had entered a patient's room and fainted. He had an attack. He woke up a little later to the emergency room.
The diagnosis ? An astrocytoma of grade 4 in the cerebellum. Kigar had a very serious brain tumor. He almost immediately started chemotherapy and radiation therapy. They caused hair loss and Kigar quickly began to develop serious side effects of drugs, including Chron's Disease. Cannabis helped Kigar overcome these symptoms.
I took Rick Simpson oil with me. I took half a gram for three weeks. During those three weeks, I started getting rid of a lot of my other pills I was taking. I stopped taking narcotics, I did not feel the need. I no longer felt like I needed antidepressants, I felt like my body was taking the medications I needed, but I was still able to function. -Kigar
After starting cannabis treatment, his tumor went from 4 grade to 2 grade. He increased his dose to one gram per day, in cycles of 90 days. He has finally stopped taking oral chemotherapy and is now using cannabis as the main treatment. His tumor has slowly decreased with the use of CBD-rich cannabis oil.
The story of Kelly Hauf is simply amazing. Kelly is in her fifties and credits cannabis for healing her brain cancer. She was diagnosed while she was only 38 years old. Finally, Hauf underwent surgery and celebrated her 19th wedding anniversary at the hospital. The surgery was effective for a while, but the tumor reappeared a few years later.
This time, Hauf was confronted with chemotherapy and radiation therapy. After reviewing the side effects, she decided to try something different: cannabis oil. She worked slowly up to one gram per day in cycles of 90 days. Hauf opted for a variety with a high THC content since THC is considered to be the most effective for brain tumors.
And guess what? It worked ! Hauf writes in blog :
In August, eight months after the start of cannabis treatment, my MRI was examined by a prominent radiologist, my neuro-oncologist and my world-renowned brain neurosurgeon, and it was concluded that only scar tissue remained. of the tumor. - Hauf
Tumor reduction was not the only benefit of cannabis treatment. His headaches were gone. The pain associated with fibromyalgia that she felt for years have disappeared. Better yet, she avoided the compromising immune side effects of chemotherapy.
Not everyone can expect the same results with cannabis treatment. Yet anecdotal and clinical evidence suggests that cannabis-based drugs are about to arrive. For now, we can only use the resources we have and wait for Velasco and his team to complete their research. Let's hope for positive results.
Do you know who has been successful with cannabis treatment? Leave us an email: [Email protected]
There are still many cases to study, the subject of cancer is difficult especially in countries without natural solution, this article is not a miracle cure but a hope of healing. In any case be followed by a doctor.