Home News Feds Looking for More Insight into Cannabis Efficacy for Cancer Patients

Feds Looking for More Insight into Cannabis Efficacy for Cancer Patients

Even though cannabis is still not federally legal, dozens of studies are available showcasing the cannabinoids that can assist in combatting cancer.

However, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) claims there still isn’t enough data. Thus, they plan to begin subsidizing studies to offer insight into the benefits and issues of applying cannabis as a cancer treatment.

The NIH recently released a notice outlining how 1 in 4 cancer patients admit they’re using cannabis to manage their cancer symptoms. These symptoms include the inability to eat, nausea, and pain.

According to Marijuana Moment, the primary reason the NIH demanding more studies is to encourage an increase in research to understand how cannabis and cannabinoids impact cancer biology, cancer interception, cancer treatment and resistance, and cancer symptom management.

At this point, there are 8 areas of interest the NIH wants to have investigated. The NIH states that, “studies of other cancer types have shown no or inconsistent association with cannabis use, but these data are limited.”

“Cancer cell line experiments show that THC and CBD can mediate many anti-tumor effects, including inducing apoptosis and inhibiting cell proliferation, invasion, and angiogenesis,” the federal entity added. “These anti-tumor activities have led to early clinical testing of THC and CBD for glioblastoma and prostate cancers.”

This is a key reason why the NIH needs to better understand how effective cannabis can be against cancer, and what side effects patients may experience during treatment.

The bottom line is that the government still doesn’t know if cannabis is an effective cancer treatment, but it wants to find out. The NIH is asking for research grants to study the plant’s efficacy.

This would be a huge step forward to federally legalizing cannabis, as well as provide much-needed insight into how the plant can be used to treat cancer. But will these federally sanctioned studies get the recognition they deserve?

And should we expect that these studies will fairly outline the pros and cons of cannabis for cancer?

At this point, even with the research into cannabis for cancer growing, there hasn’t been much that’s been sanctioned by the federal government. With this being the case, the federal government does not accept the studies that it hasn’t sanctioned. At least not fully, anyway.

Cannabis has been shown to have numerous benefits for cancer patients, through mechanisms such as apoptosis and inflammation inhibition. However, there is still much to learn about how cannabis affects cancer cells.

Studies show that cannabinoids can cause cancer cells to kill themselves, stop the growth of new cancer cells, and prevent the spread of existing cancer cells. Even with this being the case, more research is needed to understand how these mechanisms work and whether they are effective in treating cancer.

Cannabis has more than 100 cannabinoids within the plant, making it difficult for doctors to rely on a one-size-fits-all solution for patients who have to go through cancer treatment. We still have a lot to learn about the various phenotypes and genetics of the cannabis plant in order to develop effective and safe cannabinoid dosage options, as well as their beneficial terpenes and flavonoids to focus on specific types of cancer.

With decades of prohibition standing in the way of oncologists interested in gathering scientific evidence from clinical trials, the need for more legitimate research is apparent. Thus, we like to believe that the NIH’s funding of more studies is a positive thing.

“Studies that integrate expertise from multiple disciplines, incorporate state-of-the-art, human-relevant models (e.g. organoid or patient-derived xenograft models) and utilize advanced technologies and methods are strongly encouraged,” the NIH explained. They also went on to say that researchers have been forced to jump through hoops to make any type of impact through their investigations.

“Conflicting federal and state cannabis regulations hinder research in several ways, including the inability of researchers to access products that are legal in their state, a lack of standardization and quality control of cannabis and cannabis-derived products within and across states, and no national oversight of this standardization and quality control or the industry,” the NIH wrote.

The bottom line is that the government still doesn’t know if cannabis is an effective cancer treatment, but it wants to find out. The NIH is asking for research grants to study the plant’s efficacy.

This would be a huge step forward to federally legalizing cannabis, as well as provide much-needed insight into how the plant can be used to treat cancer. But will these federally sanctioned studies get the recognition they deserve?

And should we expect that these studies will fairly outline the pros and cons of cannabis for cancer? Only time will tell.

Lesley Murr
Lesley R. Murr, American vegan activist and writer, travels throughout Southeast Asia exploring vegan cuisine and eco-friendly product producers. She blogs about vegan health, recipes, and products. Her passion for animals guides her writings, and she's currently based out of Belmont, California.