Prior to the 21st century a diagnosis of cancer was considered an automatic death sentence. And it still is a very serious disease with grave consequences if left untreated. However, treatments have continued to evolve and have become quite effective, especially when the disease is detected in its early stages. There is hope, and the hope is growing with every scientific study that is completed.
And there is one treatment that is showing huge gains and deserves to be studied much more than it has been: cannabis.
Cannabis is a weed, literally, that has been used by man for fiber, food, and medicine for almost 10,000 years. Until recently (within the past 100 years or so), the plant was not regulated by any authority. Then the pendulum swung far off balance in favor of governmental oppression, racism, and prohibition. And now, the pendulum is swinging back in the right direction. Humans are growing tired of the side effects and inefficacy of the synthetic and unnatural medicines the pharmaceutical industry has been pushing. They want and deserve viable alternative therapies.
Cannabinoids have recently been acknowledged by the National Cancer Institute as having tumor-killing properties in colon, liver, and breast cancer, and in other types. The familiar compounds THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) in particular are very promising.
It’s important to note that cannabis is not a cure-all or “cannacea” for all cases or all types of cancer; we can’t yet confidently say even “most”. But, with this being the second leading cause of death in the U.S., even “some” cure is highly significant. Studies conducted on mice and rats have demonstrated that cannabinoids can inhibit tumor growth by causing malignant cells to die, blocking cell growth, and also blocking the development of blood vessels that feed those tumors. And, shockingly, this has been known for DECADES.
The 40-year sick secret
Other studies have found that cannabinoids can reduce the risk of colon cancer; it has been known since 1974 that THC can damage or even kill liver cancer cells as well as having anti-tumor effects in other organ cancers. The “miracle molecule” CBD can kill breast cancer cells while having little to no effect on healthy cells. It can also make chemotherapy more effective, boosting the treatment’s ability to seek and destroy cancer cells while sparing healthy cells.
At the very least, cannabis can help cancer patients by alleviating some of the side effects of radiation and chemotherapy, such as pain, nausea, vomiting, and anxiety. It also famously helps to restore and sharpen appetite and to induce restful sleep. The latter effect is especially pronounced when cannabis is eaten rather than inhaled. This can easily be done by extracting the essential compounds from the herb into butter, oil, or alcohol and then using that in a recipe.
So, why are state governments still debating the wisdom of passing medical cannabis laws? Why is the federal government moving so slowly with regard to either rescheduling or de-scheduling it? What a rising number of civic leaders, government and law enforcement officials, medical professionals, and the general public feel DEA ought to do is remove the herb from the narcotics list altogether and regulate it just like wine or tobacco.
Freedom: the American way
It’s called personal freedom of choice for free adults in a free society. And, it’s the American way. For some reason that’s supposed to sound corny or old-fashioned in modern times, but it’s true. And freedom is never free. We have to work for it. Some have died for it. We honored their sacrifice on Memorial Day. As we anticipate our nationwide celebrations of Independence Day, that’s a good thing to keep in mind.
Too many have died of cancer when a natural herbal remedy might have saved them. The not knowing is the most wrenching part. There is a critically urgent need for more research, more clinical trials, more knowledge and wisdom. And, it’s time for the medical industry and the federal agencies governing them to open their eyes and their hearts and make it possible.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Amber Boone considers writing the cornerstone of communication. She interviews MMA (mixed martial arts) athletes for CombatPress.com and opines on MMA at FightItOut.com. She’s passionate about helping folks tell their stories and making the world a better place, which includes working to win the freedom of Americans to partake of the herb. When not writing or playing beach volleyball, she can be found at her day job—for now. Follow Amber on Twitter @thruthetrees11.
Do you believe cannabis should be legal in all 50 states for cancer treatment? Tell us your views in the comments below!