In our hospital’s daily observe we tend to notice the popular use of cannabis oil in glandular carcinoma (PCa) patients. As a nursing specialist for urology, I have even met patients who are so convinced of the therapeutic benefits of cannabis oil in treating prostate cancer that they replace standard treatment with the use of cannabis oil.
These patients embody those that have localised glandular carcinoma wherever active surveillance is followed, those with biochemical recurrence after treatment, and patients with metastatic PCa. I have always wondered whether cannabis oil could indeed be a cure for prostate cancer. Unfortunately, I do not see in practice the desired beneficial effect and the PSA values continue to rise. To find some answers, I did a search in the scientific literature.
Cannabis, a really straightforward plant to grow, has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties. The oldest noted document concerning cannabis use originates from the Chinese emperor Shen Nung in 2727 B.C. It recommended that cannabis has a neuroprotective effect. The Egyptians used cannabis oil to treat glaucoma and as an anti-inflammatory agent (inflammation of the eyes, fever). Cannabis oil was even used in obstetrics (mixed with honey) and the mixture was applied in the vagina to “cool” the uterus. In the testament, there is also an account of God instructing Moses to make a holy anointing olive oil-based “Kaneh Bosm.”
Cannabis contains more than 400 chemical components 80 of which contain cannabinoid components and 200 non-cannabinoids components. For medical purposes, cannabinoid substances such as THC (Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD (cannabidiol) and non-cannabinoid substances such as terpenoids and flavonoids are relevant.
Rick Simpsons Oil must be specified from recreational cannabis which is used to achieve a psychotomimetic state of ‘high’. Cannabis strains used for recreational purposes contain a higher THC and lower CBD ratio than cannabis oil for medicinal use. Usually, 2 cannabis plants area unit used: cannabis sativa that features a higher THC concentration and cannabis indica that features a higher CBD Concentrate. The flavonoids are known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. The terpenoids area unit resins (oil) with a robust odour.
In the 1990s, the endocannabinoid system (ESC) of the body was discovered by Raphael Mechoulam, an Israeli professor of medical chemistry. The endocannabinoid system, a central regulatory system, is the body’s largest receptor system and is important to maintain the homeostasis of the body.
Human beings produce their own cannabinoids (endocannabinoids) according to need and are not stored in the body. Like endorphins, the human body generates endocannabinoids in response to activities such as physical exercise (the high of runners might be due to endocannabinoids, not endorphins!).
Cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) is mainly found in the brain, and also in the lungs, the reproductive organs, etc. Cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2) is usually located in the immune system and in the bones. THC chiefly works on CB1 receptors, CBD on CB2 receptors.
In vitro studies with THC have shown that cannabinoids affect migration, angiogenesis and apoptosis (programmed cell death) of cancer cells, but each type of cancer appears to respond differently to the effect of exogenous cannabinoids. Many types of cancer cells have a higher concentration of CB1 and CB2 receptors.
Use of cannabis oil in cancer
– Pain: Cannabinoids are used for hundreds of years to minimize pain. Historical texts and old pharmacopoeia noted the use of cannabis oil for menstrual cramps, pain during childbirth, and headaches. Researches have shown that cannabinoids have no effect on acute pain and postoperative pain. Two placebo-controlled studies with a cannabis extract showed modest benefits when using cannabinoids in addition to opioids and other adjuvant pain-killers in cancer patients with chronic pain. Though, the effect of cannabinoids in chronic neuropathic pain was clearly demonstrated in 29 randomized studies.
– Nausea and vomiting: An initial study in 1975 showed a beneficial effect of THC on nausea induced by chemotherapy. Afterwards, two systematic reviews showed benefits of cannabinoids in nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy, but most investigations were observational or uncontrolled.
– Stimulation of appetite: Cannabinoids appear to own solely a modest result in cancer patients with cachexy. More promising results were seen in studies within the population without cancer.
Disclaimer: the principles contained here is not designed nor meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice, it is only achieved for educational confidences only. You should recognise full responsibility for the way you decide on to use this info.