The multiple modalities of cannabis & cancer

The importance of modulating the endocannabinoid system for pain management is clearly made with cancer. The use of narcotics, aside from their impact on the quality of life, seems to enhance biological responses that actually promote tumor metastasis. In contrast, cannabinoids inhibit metastatic mediators like epithelial growth factor, adhesion and migration, while at the same time also having anti-nausea and anti-depressive activities, although there is also evidence to the contrary.


Additionally, the numerous benefits that cannabinoids can offer cancer patients are underscored by the direct cancer killing properties of cannabinoids. In the 1970’s it was already known that cannabinoids could kill Lewis lung carcinoma cells. We now know that cannabinoids (endo, phyto and synthetics) halt the growth or kill many different types of cancers including glioma, skin cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, lymphoma, melanoma. The eCB system also provides innate protection against tumor growth and/or metastasis.


Furthermore, manipulation of the CB1 receptors has been proven to be extremely effective for relieving nausea and emesis due to gastrointestinal issues - caused by AIDS or cancer chemotherapy and radiation. CBD and THC together have been shown to enhance the effects of radiation while also protecting non-cancerous cells.

How can cannabis be useful to me as a cancer patient?

Cannabis can assist the cancer patient with pain management, sleep issues, and the depression that half the time accompanies the cancer diagnosis. Cannabis also appears to enhance the effects of radiation and chemo without hurting noncancerous cells. Cannabis use may also enhance your natural endocannabinoid system - which is involved in your immune system which is fighting the cancer. Finally cannabis use may assist in tumor reduction or elimination.

How would I use cannabis for cancer issues?

Pain management issues in the daytime are best addressed by vaporizing a mixture of both THC and CBD rich sativa cannabis. There is a synergistic effect between the two cannabinoids. At night one would switch to indica which contained both THC and CBD. Additionally edibles can be useful at night. More extreme pain management can be addressed with concentrates. Cannabis caps could be consumed in the evening both for sleep and enhancing one's eCB system.

How about cannabis for tumor reduction or elimination?

OK here is where things are more tricky. Cannabinoids (phyto, endo and synthetic) have been found to be stastically significant in reducing tumors. But this is not the same as saying "cannabis cures cancer." But in experiments when cannabinoids are flooded over petri dishes filled with cancer cells, in a certain percentage of the time the cancer is eliminated. Green Buddha believes that there is little downside to flooding one's cancerous body with cannabinoids that are found in cannabis essential oils, outside of fiscal concerns.

What is cannabis essential oil?

Cannabis essential oil is merely the essential oils and active ingredients - the cannabinoids and terpenes found in cannabis rendered concentrated. Rick Simpson oil is a cannabis essential oil. Informally there is a growing body of cancer survivors who believe that their consumption of cannabis essential oil was involved in the curing of their cancer.

How to get started with cannabis oil?

Grow your own medicine. To buy commercial cannabis oil would be prohibitively expensive and the cost would restrict your ability to intake. The pesticides used in the production of commercial cannabis would also be concentrated in commercial cannabis oil. So your best option is to grow your own medicine to make your own oil. Furthermore, Green Buddha has consistently seen that when patients grow a plant and pro-actively engage themselves towards their own health issues - the results are consistently postive.

The Endocannabinoid System and Cancer

The endocannabinoid system also regulates endocrine function and fertility, as well as factors in cell cancer. Many forms of cancer are accompanied by increases of CB1 and/or CB2 expression, felt to be part of the body’s effort to combat the disorder. Interestingly, the phytocannabinoids demonstrate the potential to treat cancer in high doses without harming the normal cells of the body. Some of the mechanisms are mediated through CB1 and/or CB2, but others seem to work through independent, non-receptor means.


Cancer arises due to a loss of ability for malignant cells to undergo apoptosis, a normal process of programmed cell death whereby the body remolds and renews itself. Instead, cancer cells become immortalized, divide and grow in an uncontrolled fashion, invade surrounding tissues, stimulate their own blood supply, and even metastasize (spread remotely to distant sites).


The endocannabinoids and phytocannabinoids, particularly CBD, have the ability to reverse or prevent many of these effects, as demonstrated in experiments in many cancer cell types and even in a growing number of case reports in humans.


Beyond the issue of eliminating the malignancy itself, properly constituted cannabinoid treatment may hold the promise of additional “side benefits” by simultaneously addressing attendant symptoms of cancer: pain, nausea, sleep disturbance, depression and anxiety.

Dr. Ethan Russo


Alternative Therapies, Nutritional Healing & Enhancing Your eCB System

Evidence based research strongly suggests that a healthful diet — one rich in a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes (beans), and low in red and (especially) processed meat - can fight cancer. Researchers have known for some time that this general pattern of eating provides vitamins,
minerals, and protective and naturally-occurring plant substances known as phytochemicals and can help to defend the body against cancers.


Download a copy of "Heal Well : A Cancer Nutrition Guide" put out by the American Institute for Cancer Research, Meals to Heal and Livestrong Foundation.


Additionally enhacing your body's ability to fight cancer is helpful. So cancer patients want to enhance their endocannabinoid system (eCB System) so it can better fight the cancer.


There are two primary ways to strengthen your endocannabinoid system. The first is by avoiding stimuli that deplete endocannabinoid resources. For example, one of the functions the system mediates is the reduction of inflammation. Therefore, eating inflammatory foods like refined grains, sugar, and trans fats can eventually be overwhelming. Stress also recruits endocannabinoid resources, so poor nutrition combined with stress can be especially damaging. Eating an anti-inflammatory diet rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and healthy fat sources like olive oil, fish, and eggs is very helpful, as is engaging in stress-reducing activities like meditation and yoga.


The second pathway to empowerment is consuming things that up-regulate endocannabinoids or cannabinoid receptors. For example, probiotics increase CB2 receptors in intestinal cells and may even potentially reduce pain by acting through those receptors. Exercising, including running and biking, increases endocannabinoid levels. Olive oil, in addition to being anti-inflammatory, may help fight colon cancer by increasing CB1 receptors on the cancer cells. Researchers found that patients with naturally high expression levels of CB1 and CB2 receptors had significantly better disease-free survival than patients with low expression levels.


Read the complete Enhancing Your eCB by Kander


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