Can cannabis really fight brain cancer?
Some would say it's too good to be true but researches conducted over the last two decades suggest that yes.
Does Cannabis Really Kill Brain Cancer Cells? Human clinical trials are pending, but recent research gives hope. Scientists have been testing THC as a natural tumor killer for almost 20 years and their findings are surprising. Here are some concrete cases that have successfully conquered the disease.
Cannabis and brain cancer
This case is reported to us by a group of Spanish researchers from the Complutense University of Madrid looking for 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, is testing the ability of cannabinoid therapy to kill glioma cells. Gliomas account for 80% of all malignant brain cancers. In fact, it is one of the most aggressive forms of cancer around. When a glioblastoma reaches stage 4, 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 bleak diagnoses, the development of effective therapeutic alternatives is an absolute necessity. Fortunately, the Madrid squad are enjoying success where few believed success was possible.
In the early 2000s, Dr. Velasco and his team made a breakthrough. They applied extracted THC to glioblastoma cells grown outside the body. THC is the main psychoactive compound in cannabis. What happened shocked researchers around the world. The tumor cells have stopped growing. Later, the tumor cells started to die.
But how ? It turns out that THC kills glioblastoma cells in several ways. THC and other cannabinoids cut off the tumor blood supply and cause 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 to tumors. This finding was truly revolutionary. Add to this the additional evidence that cannabis can slow tumor growth, the case for cannabinoid drugs continues to grow.
Another major finding is that cannabinoids can kill cancer cells. The compounds in the herb would prevent the growth of tumors, start to starve them by cutting off the blood supply, and eventually cause the cancer cells to self-destruct. 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, cancer cells do not self-destruct. Rather, they keep growing and growing, creating life-threatening tumors. In their research, the Spanish researchers found that THC caused autodigestion or autophagy cancer cells.
We've actually discovered a new mechanism by which cannabinoids activate a signaling pathway that invades what we call autophagy, which is said to be like the autodigestion of cells. So, in fact, when cannabinoids bind to cells, they trigger a cell signaling mechanism.
One of the things they activate is like the cell's self-digestion which leads to the death of cancer cells.
The funny thing is that this cell death only happens to cancer cells. The body's normal cells remain unharmed. This discovery is interesting because, in 1998, the same group of researchers discovered that THC also triggers apoptosis in glioma 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 trial. The trial will look at 30 to 40 patients with glioma in a handful of Spanish hospitals. The Complutense University of Madrid has partnered with these hospitals to administer cannabis treatments and test their effectiveness. This is the first time that such a measure will be taken on this scale in a hospital.
The funds for their research came mainly from crowdfunding efforts across Europe. Some of the biggest sums come from the Medical Cannabis Bike Tour. The annual tour is organized by Luc Krol of Paradise Seeds Amsterdam and has raised several thousand euros for Velasco's research.
In 2006, the Velasco team conducted a pilot study with just nine patients with glioblastoma. The study only looked at THC and was administered intracranially. Which means it was given directly to their brain. In the future, cannabinoids will be given in other forms.
The results of the pilot study are interesting. The study involved patients who were unresponsive to conventional treatments and who had previously had surgery to remove the tumors. After the operation, most patients lived an average of 24 weeks, even with THC administration. Yet two of the patients went on 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 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 trials of the effectiveness of cannabis-based drugs as a sole treatment for cancer have been performed. This creates some problems. Doctors still don't know how much cannabis should be consumed, or what the best types of cannabis are. Dr Cristina Sanchez explains:
We don't know if cannabinoids cure cancer because we don't have controlled clinical studies saying we know they work on clinical models of cancer and we have a lot of anecdotal reports from people who say they have cured them. cancer with cannabinoids. But, from the point of view of the medical community, we do not yet have this proof.
When asked what the specific ratio of THC to CBD is that a person needs to fight cancer, Mr Sanchez continues:
I wouldn't say thata report from 1: 1 is needed. I would say that each individual, each patient, needs a specific ratio of cannabioids. Or, at least, that's what we've seen in our clinical models of cancer. Not only us, but also other research groups working in this area. What we are seeing is that in some types of tumors eg glioblastoma, brain tumors, in those cases more THC works better than a 1: 1 ratio.
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 every day may not reduce the size or severity of a brain tumor. On the one hand, cannabis can be an extremely effective treatment for cancer. On the other hand, there is currently no way to know how effective will be for 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 specialist in "cannabis juice '''or in other words "raw cannabis". A strong advocate, she has helped patients overcome lupus, endometriosis, arthritis and many other illnesses through cannabis diets. Yet the case of her 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 child are unnamed for their privacy, brain scans show that a high content of high CBD cannabis oil has been able to make the brain tumor disappear of this child.
They were putting cannabinoid oil on the baby's pacifier twice a day, which increased the dose… And in two months, there was a reduction big enough for the pediatric oncologist to keep them going. 'before with the traditional treatment.
Courtney calls this baby a “miracle baby”. Cannabis was so successful that the baby didn't have 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 passed out. He had a stroke. He woke up a little later in 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 from Rick Simpson Oil with me. I took half a gram for three weeks. During those three weeks, I started to get rid of a lot of my other pills that I was taking. I stopped taking narcotics, I didn't feel the need to. I no longer felt like I needed antidepressants, I felt my body was taking the medications I needed, but I was still able to function. -Kigar
After starting cannabis treatment, his tumor grew from grade 4 to grade 2. He increased his dose to one gram per day, in 90-day cycles. He eventually stopped taking his oral chemotherapy and now uses cannabis as his main treatment. Her tumor slowly shrank with the use of CBD-rich cannabis oil.
Kelly Hauf's story is simply amazing. Kelly is in her 38s and credits cannabis for curing her brain cancer. She was diagnosed when she was only 19 years old. Eventually, Hauf underwent surgery and celebrated her XNUMXth wedding anniversary in the hospital. The surgery was effective for a while, but the tumor came back a few years later.
This time, Hauf was faced with chemotherapy and radiation therapy. After going through the side effects, she decided to try something different: cannabis oil. She slowly worked up to one gram per day in 90 day cycles. Hauf opted for a high THC strain 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 starting the cannabis treatment, my MRI was examined by a distinguished radiologist, my world-renowned neuro-oncologist and my 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 fibromyalgia-related pain she had felt for years was gone. Best of all, she avoided the compromising immune side effects of chemotherapy.
Not everyone can expect the same results from cannabis treatment. Yet anecdotal and clinical data 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 finish their research. Hope for positive results.
Do you know who has been successful with cannabis treatment? Leave us an email: email@example.com
There are still many cases to be studied, the subject of cancer is delicate, especially in countries without a natural solution, this article is not a miracle cure but a hope for a cure. In any case, be followed by a doctor.