Credit: © Shadia / Fotolia

Credit: © Shadia / Fotolia

Can cannabis help treat cancer?

Can cannabis help treat cancer? Take a look at what the latest research from the University of Chicago found about this medicinal herb.

Medical marijuana is increasing in popularity as a treatment for many conditions, including eating disorders, cancers, and pain. It is becoming legal in more and more states.

With marijuana being more widely accepted in the U.S. for medical treatment, research has also gone up.

Earlier this year, a study from the St. George’s University of London found that chemotherapy when combined with cannabis was more effective for cancer treatment.

The new research from University of Chicago helps bolster these previous findings.

Cannabinoids, which are compounds found in marijuana are known to trigger cell death in tumor cells, producing an anti-cancer effect. However, these benefits have not been tested very often in human subjects.

The researchers reviewed the effects of cannabinoids on signaling pathways associated with tumor death. Their goal was to find if cannabinoids could be a possible treatment for cancer.

Although medical cannabis is well-supported in the literature for symptom reduction from cancer treatment or the disease itself, there are many claims that cannabis can treat cancer itself,” says Leslie Mendoza Temple, MD, ABOIM, University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine and Medical Director, Integrative Medicine Program. “So far, this is based on only a handful of small human studies, anecdote, or laboratory research. This article nicely summarizes some of the work done in the lab for an understanding of cannabis’ potential anti-cancer mechanisms, while pointing to the paucity of human trials.”

Dr. Temple adds, “Federal rescheduling of cannabis is critical so we can study its effects in humans and determine cannabis’ direct or indirect effects on cancer cells.”

The study was published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.

Note: None of the information in our website is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. The content on our website is for educational purposes only. 

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Cannabinoids combined with chemotherapy are more effective for cancer treatment.

1. “Can Cannabinoids Be Used to Treat Cancer?” Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. , Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. , 6 Nov. 2017,

2. “A Review of the Therapeutic Antitumor Potential of Cannabinoids.” The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 11 Aug. 2017,
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