Cannabis has been used medicinally and recreationally for hundreds of years.
There are trials looking at whether Sativex can help with cancer pain that has not responded to other painkillers.
Why people with cancer use it
There has been a lot of interest into whether cannabinoids might be useful as a cancer treatment. The scientific research done so far has been laboratory research, with mixed results, so we do not know if cannabinoids can treat cancer in people.
Nabilone is a drug developed from cannabis. It is licensed for treating severe sickness from chemotherapy that is not controlled by other anti sickness drugs. It is a capsule that you swallow whole.
CBD is a cannabinoid that may relieve pain, lower inflammation and decrease anxiety without the psychoactive ‘high’ effect of THC.
There is no evidence that CBD oil can be used to treat cancer in people. CBD does show promise for the management of some cancer related symptoms, including pain and anxiety, however, more research into appropriate amounts of CBD and its effects on humans is necessary.
This is difficult to answer, as research into cannabis and the chemicals in cannabis is still in its infancy. Most of the research so far has involved work in cells and mice. THC and CBD are two of the main cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant.
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The problem with these stories is that it’s difficult to know whether you have all of the facts. It’s impossible to make any kind of judgement without knowing about the type of cancer, other treatment and the person’s medical history.
There is some evidence that CBD oil could be effective against some rare childhood epilepsies. But again, more data is needed before we can draw any firm conclusions. Studies also show that CBD oil could be beneficial for managing anxiety and insomnia in some people, and early research also suggests a possible use of CBD for the treatment of certain types of pain.
Walking along your local high street, you’ve probably noticed shops selling CBD oil, along with all sorts of health claims – including the possibility that it could even be used to combat cancer. But could this be true? Could cannabis really cure cancer? We asked our experts to delve into the research.