woman smelling cannabis plant

Cannabinoids (Cannabis) for cancer

How can cannabinoids (cannabis) help cancer patients?

Cannabinoids (chemicals in Cannabis) may cause antitumor effects by various mechanisms, including induction of cell death, inhibition of cell growth, and inhibition of tumor angiogenesis invasion and metastasis.

Cannabis as medicine

The following is published by the US National Cancer Institute

What are cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids, also known as phytocannabinoids, are chemicals in Cannabis that cause drug-like effects in the body, including the central nervous system and the immune system. The main psychoactive cannabinoid in Cannabis is delta-9-THC. Another active cannabinoid is cannabidiol (CBD), which may relieve pain and lower inflammation without causing the high of delta-9-THC. Cannabinoids may help treat the side effects of cancer and cancer treatment.

Antitumor Effects
Cannabinoids may cause antitumor effects by various mechanisms, including induction of cell death, inhibition of cell growth, and inhibition of tumor angiogenesis invasion and metastasis. Two reviews summarize the molecular mechanisms of action of cannabinoids as antitumor agents. Cannabinoids appear to kill tumor cells but do not affect their non-transformed counterparts and may even protect them from cell death.
Cannabinoids may be useful in treating the side effects of cancer and cancer treatment.

Other possible effects of cannabinoids include:
Blocking cell growth.
Preventing the growth of blood vessels that supply tumors.

Potential side-effects include:

Both Cannabis and cannabinoids may be addictive. Symptoms of withdrawal from cannabinoids include:

These symptoms are mild compared with symptoms of withdrawal from opiates and usually go away after a few days.

Scientific evidence supporting the use of cannabinoids in the treatment of cancer.

Study: Nausea, appetite loss, pain, and anxiety are all afflictions of wasting, and all can be mitigated by marijuana.

This study, published in Current Oncology in 2016 states:
For the cancer patient, cannabis has a number of potential benefits, especially in the management of symptoms. Cannabis is useful in combatting anorexia, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, pain, insomnia, and depression. Cannabis might be less potent than other available antiemetics, but for some patients, it is the only agent that works, and it is the only antiemetic that also increases appetite.

Studies on various cancers are featured further down this page.

Cannabis prevents nausea and vomiting in children undergoing cancer treatment.

A study An efficient new cannabinoid antiemetic in pediatric oncology (Life Sciences, May 1995 ) found:
…the prevention of vomiting was complete, regardless of the antineoplastic protocol followed . We observed no delayed nausea or vomiting. Although the number of pediatric cancer patients treated so far is small, the total number of treatments is considerable (480 times) as most patients underwent several treatment cycles. Without the cannabinoid therapy we would have expected the patients to vomit in most treatments.
In summary, the complete success in preventing vomiting due to antineoplastic treatment in children, and the essential lack of side effects, leads us to believe that delta-8-THC at a dose considerably higher than the doses of delta-9-THC usually administered to adults, can serve as a new, inexpensive antiemetic agent in pediatric cancer chemotherapy.
You can read the full text here

This safe, effective method of preventing nausea and vomiting in children has been known for twenty three years, yet oncologists still prescribe dangerous pharmaceutical drugs instead of delta-9-THC. Why?

Note: Forward to 9:40 for shocking revelation.

For more on Childhood Cancer and Cannabis Oil: See YouTube Videos

Cannabis for Pain

According to the National Cancer Institute, when cancer pain is severe and persistent, it is often resistant to treatment with opioids.Two studies examined the effects of oral delta-9-THC on cancer pain. The first, a double-blind, placebo-controlled study involving ten patients, measured both pain intensity and pain relief. It was reported that 15 mg and 20 mg doses of the cannabinoid delta-9-THC were associated with substantial analgesic effects, with antiemetic effects and appetite stimulation.

In a follow-up, single-dose study involving 36 patients, it was reported that 10 mg doses of delta-9-THC produced analgesic effects during a 7-hour observation period that were comparable to 60 mg doses of codeine, and 20 mg doses of delta-9-THC induced effects equivalent to 120 mg doses of codeine. Higher doses of THC were found to be more sedating than codeine.

This study says: In conclusion, THC:CBD extract, a nonopioid analgesic, endocannabinoid system modulator, has been shown to be a useful adjunctive treatment for relief of pain in patients with advanced cancer who experience inadequate analgesia despite chronic opioid therapy. The reductions in pain scores were neither because of a change in opioid background medications nor because of an increase in use of breakthrough medication. Therefore, we can conclude that the observed reduction in pain scores is attributable to the positive analgesic effects of THC:CBD extract.

This study says:  In total, 177 patients with cancer pain, who experienced inadequate analgesia despite chronic opioid dosing, entered a two-week, multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel-group trial.

In conclusion, our data indicate that cannabidiol, and possibly Cannabis extracts enriched in this natural cannabinoid, represent a promising non-psychoactive antineoplastic strategy. In particular, for a highly malignant human breast carcinoma cell line, we have shown here that cannabidiol and a cannabidiol-rich extract counteract cell growth both in vivo and in vitro as well as tumor metastasis in vivo.

This study says: In conclusion, THC:CBD extract, a nonopioid analgesic, endocannabinoid system modulator, has been shown to be a useful adjunctive treatment for relief of pain in patients with advanced cancer who experience inadequate analgesia despite chronic opioid therapy. The reductions in pain scores were neither because of a change in opioid background medications nor because of an increase in use of breakthrough medication. Therefore, we can conclude that the observed reduction in pain scores is attributable to the positive analgesic effects of THC:CBD extract.

This Review Article A selective review of medical cannabis in cancer pain management says: Overall, four out of the five studies found that cannabis was significantly associated with a decrease in cancer-associated pain.

Caution: Before having surgery, all cannabis use, including CBD and medical cannabis, should be disclosed to the surgeon or anaesthesiologist.

“Marijuana is an herb and a flower. God put it here. If He put it here and He wants  it  to grow, what gives the government the right to say that God is wrong?”Willie Nelson

Rick Simpson Oil for cancer

Rick Simpson Oil and Cancer

RSO is a concentrated form of cannabis oil known to have medical benefits, particularly for cancer. RSO differs from a lot of other cannabis oils because it contains higher levels of THC.

A complete course of RSO to treat cancer is 60 grams and then 1-2 grams/month maintenance dose.

The supplement piperine has been shown to increase the bioavailability of cannabinoids over 200%. 

Other therapeutic cannabis oils tend to contain a cannabinoid called cannabidiol (CBD) and little or no THC.
You can find full information about RSO on Rick Simpson’s

Treatment side effects
With medicinal cannabis oil, you may experience drowsiness, unsteadiness, paranoia, anxiety, depression, hallucinations and poor concentration, in addition to getting high. Some of these effects only last for hours and all of them tend to go away in less than a month as you develop tolerance to the oil.

Cannabis should not be taken alongside Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors. 

Anecdotal evidence – patient testimonials

Rick Simpson

In 2003, he discovered three suspicious spots on his face and neck and was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma skin cancer. He says the doctors had given up on him because he had more than one unsuccessful operation on the three pigmented lesions on the skin of his face. As soon as these were removed, they would reappear even more infected! Rick’s decision was to apply cannabis oil to his skin cancer. He applied his cannabis oil to some bandages and put them on the skin cancer. After 4 days of waiting he decided it was time to see if anything had happened under the bandages. To Ricks surprise the cancer was gone. His cannabis oil had cured his cancer. He went on to educate the world about the benefits of cannabis oil and actually gave away oil to those who were ill – until the Canadian authorities stopped him doing so.

In 2008, filmmaker Christian Laurette released the first free documentary on YouTube sharing Rick’s story titled “Run From the Cure”.

How Cannabis Oil Helped Cure This Young Girl’s Leukemia

Source: Spiritscience
7-year-old Mykayla Comstock was diagnosed with intermediate risk T-Cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia in the summer of 2012. Her mother, Erin Purchase, wasted no time and enrolled her daughter in the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program.

Much to everyone’s surprise, just one week after beginning the cannabis oil therapy, scans of Mykayla’s bone marrow and blood showed no signs of leukemia. She was in remission!

Mykayla’s mother Erin posted the following on Mykayla’s Facebook page:

September is childhood cancer awareness month. I definitely agree that these children need a cure, but I don’t believe the researchers are looking at all the options that are out there.

Cannabis provided my daughter a quality of life that other children fighting leukemia without cannabis do not get. She never took a pain killer, she never lost a single pound, and she only used a handful of anti-nausea meds. She wasn’t anxiety ridden, she had a smile on her face, and she wasn’t in a wheelchair like so many of the kids that take chemotherapy.

Mykayla was ordered to have brain radiation, as her leukemia had spread into her brain. We said no, replacing it with cannabis oil in combination with other holistic herbs, vitamins, and a plant based diet.

Mykayla’s Facebook page

David Triplett

David Triplett had skin cancer on his nose that was treated and then came back. His doctor recommended chemotherapy cream, but he decided to give cannabis oil a try and record what happened. The pictures he took over the course of his treatment show small dark spots on his nose growing and then disappearing.

He recorded his journey in a short documentary called Cured: A Cancer Story.

Incurable brain tumour claims cannabis oil ‘saved her life’

A cancer patient who was given just months to live made an incredible recovery, which she credits to using cannabis oil, according to independent.co.uk

Lynn Cameron was given 6 to 18 months to live after being diagnosed with an incurable brain tumour in December 2013.

But, despite several sessions of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, scans were showing no change to the mass so she opted to try cannabis oil in a desperate bid to save her life.

“Each scan I received after that was showing an improvement. I had been told that chemotherapy and radiotherapy doesn’t make much difference, so I knew it must be the cannabis doing it.

“By the sixth MRI, the cancer had gone.”

Lynn’s Facebook page

A doctor’s view

The following excerpts are from an article published in US News

Medical Marijuana Is Safe for Children
Numerous cases show clinical cannabis is an effective treatment for illnesses in children.

By William Courtney, M.D., Contributor

Medical Marijuana Is Safe for Children
The courage and fortitude of parents who have chosen cannabis compounds to treat their children facing life-threatening illness have raised eyebrows. Some live in terror that their government will take their child away, since medical marijuana is only legal in some states. However, there are numerous cases demonstrating the benefits of clinical cannabis, which happen to threaten a very profitable healthcare industry that relies on conventional drugs, as well as political agendas.

The cannabinoid acids in cannabis have been found to have anti-proliferative, anti-neoplastic, anti-inflammatory, anti-epileptic, anti-ischemic, anti-diabetic, anti-psychotic, anti-nausea, anti-spasmodic, antibiotic, anti-anxiety, and anti-depressant functions. The anti-neoplastic action of cannabis—inhibiting development of malignant cells—was recognized in the 1970s and patented by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2003.

Out of 7,000 patients, my youngest, an 8-month-old, was diagnosed with a massive midbrain tumor. Pediatric oncologists recommended chemotherapy and radiation. Instead, the parents applied a cannabinoid concentrate to their son’s pacifier twice a day, which resulted in a significant reduction in the size of the tumor in 30 days. The response prevented a million-dollar chemo-radiation hospitalization. The child’s oncologist calls the infant a ‘miracle baby,’ but most medical experts would discount the case as anecdotal, unacceptable in a peer-reviewed journal. But the real peers are other parents reluctant to consent to the devastation of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation—not those benefiting from the $2.6 trillion healthcare industry.

A 2-year-old spent a year in a pediatric oncology ward, endured 39 hours of brain surgery, received chemotherapy, a bone marrow transplant, and radiation under general anesthesia for 42 days, only to be discharged home on hospice and morphine. The child’s local pediatrician started to treat her with juiced raw cannabis leaf. Two years later, she is still alive, now free of cancer and scar tissue.

Several years ago, I proposed that cannabis be recognized as an essential nutrient in the diet of individuals in their 30s and older. Children were excluded out of fear of backlash but it is now my incontrovertible opinion that the immune system of the 8-month-old would never have allowed the tumor to gain a foothold if supported with dietary cannabis, or Vitamin F.

Read the full story

See Dr Courtney’s website cannabisinternational.org

See the latest studies and news at Granny Storm Crows List
You can find more studies on PubMed

I use use cannabis a lot in my cancer population, with very positive results.Mark S. Wallace, MD, professor of clinical anaesthesiology at the University of California, San Diego

Cannabis in Ireland

Medical Cannabis is legally available through physicians in a number of countries around the world, including Croatia, the US and Canada.

Treatment in Ireland

Products containing more than 0.03% THC remain illegal in Ireland due to ignorance and the power of vested interests.

While the use of natural cannabis is illegal in Ireland, Irish-based medical practitioners who wish to prescribe synthetic (ie pharmaceutical) cannabis products containing THC may apply to the Minister for Health for a licence under the Misuse of Drugs Acts. See Cannabis for Medical Use. Information for Patients and healthcare professionals.

Note: No recorded cases of death from cannabis overdose have ever been found, even after extensive literature review.

Constance Finlay – the woman who oncologists turn to!

After nearly dying from the pharmaceuticals prescribed to help alleviate pain and inflammation caused by a rare autoimmune disease, Constance Finlay found relief in the form of medicinal cannabis.

Based on her research, Finley became determined to make standardized, whole plant cannabis extracts that incorporate all the naturally occurring cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids in cannabis, and are safe for those with compromised immune systems. She is doing that through the company she formed – Constance Therapeutics.
“The first oncologist that referred people to me referred 28 stage-4, second-occurrence patients back in 2012,” Constance Finley says.

“He only sent me the people that were really hopeless and that he didn’t think he had any way to help. And 26 of those people, he says, went into remission. So that’s a 96 percent rate.”

“Generally, we see about 70-80 percent positive results from the people that report back,” she continues. “Now, that isn’t everyone, so we can’t make very definitive statements, but what it leads us to be is very, very hopeful for serious applications being developed.”

Tips for a Positive Experience With Cannabis Oil

Source: Constance Therapeutics

1. When it Comes to Using Cannabis Oil, Start Slow and Small

If you’ve never used cannabis oil before, I recommend starting with a small dose. Everyone experiences it differently, and different strains of cannabis and cannabinoid ratios in oil elicit different effects. So it’s best to learn how your body reacts and consume accordingly.

First-time cannabis oil users should start with a rice grain-size drop at first. It’s entirely possible to build your tolerance, but it takes time, so start small and increase your cannabis oil intake slowly.

2. Select Your Environment Carefully When Consuming Cannabis Oil

Take cannabis oil in a comfortable, familiar environment around someone you know and trust. I recommend that anyone who’s trying cannabis oil for the first time do so in an environment that’s safe to them. I find that home is always best. Also, it can be good to have someone nearby that you’re comfortable with just in case you begin to feel anxious. That can really make the difference in your experience.

3. Take the Cannabis Oil With Some Food in Your Stomach

Few things are best done on an empty stomach, and cannabis oil is no exception. It helps to avoid any potential nausea that can result.

4. Don’t Take Cannabis Oil With Other Intoxicating Substances

You should have something in your stomach when you’re ingesting cannabis oil, but that something shouldn’t be alcohol. This is because alcohol can increase levels of THC in the blood, thereby intensifying marijuana’s effects.

5. Drink Ginger Tea If You’re Feeling Unsettled From the Cannabis Oil

If you feel nauseated at all from consuming cannabis oil (or any time, really), try drinking some ginger tea. Ginger is a natural nausea suppressor, and it works wonders for settling an upset stomach. The process of making and drinking tea can also be quite soothing and grounding on its own, should you experience any anxiety when having cannabis oil.

6. Remain Calm If You’ve Had too Much Cannabis Oil

If you feel as though you’ve taken too much cannabis oil, always do your best to remain calm. Lie down in a comfortable area, dim the lights, and remember that the uncomfortable feeling will eventually subside.

7. Remember Your Goal for Using Cannabis Oil

Every treatment has its side effects, but it’s important to keep the goal of your treatment in mind. If you’re taking medicinal cannabis oil and find that you’re having a hard time adjusting to some of THC’s side effects—dry mouth, fatigue, paranoia, anxiety, know that these aren’t permanent. Think about the potential benefits from the treatment, how it will help your overall health, and why you’re using cannabis oil in the first place. Reminding yourself of potential positives can help to keep yourself focused.

More scientific evidence – anti-cancer benefits of cannabinoids for various cancers

Source: Collective Evolution

Brain Cancer

1. A study published in the British Journal of Cancer, conducted by the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Complutense University in Madrid, this study determined that Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other cannabinoids inhibit tumour growth. They were responsible for the first clinical study aimed at assessing cannabinoid antitumoral action. Cannabinoid delivery was safe and was achieved with zero psychoactive effects. THC was found to decrease tumour cells in two out of the nine patients.

2. A study published in The Journal of Neuroscienceexamined the biochemical events in both acute neuronal damage and in slowly progressive, neurodegenerative diseases. They conducted a magnetic resonance imaging study that looked at THC (the main active compound in marijuana) and found that it reduced neuronal injury in rats. The results of this study provide evidence that the cannabinoid system can serve to protect the brain against neurodegeneration.

3. A study published in The Journal of Pharmacology And Experimental Therapeutics already acknowledged the fact that cannabinoids have been shown to possess antitumor properties. This study examined the effect of cannabidiol (CBD, non psychoactive cannabinoid compound) on human glioma cell lines. The addition of cannabidiol led to a dramatic drop in the viability of glioma cells. Glioma is the word used to describe brain tumour. The study concluded that cannabidiol was able to produce a significant antitumor activity.

4. A study published in the journal Molecular Cancer Therapeuticsoutlines how brain tumours are highly resistant to current anticancer treatments, which makes it crucial to find new therapeutic strategies aimed at improving the poor prognosis of patients suffering from this disease. This study also demonstrated the reversal of tumour activity in Glioblastoma multiforme.

Breast Cancer

5. A study published in the US National Library of Medicine, conducted by the California Pacific Medical Centre determined that cannabidiol (CBD) inhibits human breast cancer cell proliferation and invasion. They also demonstrated that CBD significantly reduces tumour mass.

6. A study published in The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeuticsdetermined that THC as well as cannabidiol dramatically reduced breast cancer cell growth. They confirmed the potency and effectiveness of these compounds.

7. A study published in the Journal Molecular Cancershowed that THC reduced tumour growth and tumour numbers. They determined that cannabinoids inhibit cancer cell proliferation, induce cancer cell apoptosis and impair tumour angiogenesis (all good things). This study provides strong evidence for the use of cannabinoid based therapies for the management of breast cancer.

8. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) determined that cannabinoids inhibit human breast cancer cell proliferation.

Lung Cancer

9. A study published in the journal Oncogene, by Harvard Medical Schools Experimental Medicine Department determined that THC inhibits epithelial growth factor induced lung cancer cell migration and more. They go on to state that THC should be explored as novel therapeutic molecules in controlling the growth and metastasis of certain lung cancers.

10. A study published by the US National Library of Medicine by the Institute of Toxicology and Pharmacology, from the Department of General Surgery in Germany determined that cannabinoids inhibit cancer cell invasion. Effects were confirmed in primary tumour cells from a lung cancer patient. Overall, data indicated that cannabinoids decrease cancer cell invasiveness.

11. A study published by the US National Library of Medicine, conducted by Harvard Medical School investigated the role of cannabinoid receptors in lung cancer cells. They determined its effectiveness and suggested that it should be used for treatment against lung cancer cells.

Prostate Cancer

12. A study published in the US National Library of Medicine illustrates a decrease in prostatic cancer cells by acting through cannabinoid receptors.

13. A study published in the US National Library of Medicine outlined multiple studies proving the effectiveness of cannabis on prostate cancer.

14. Another study published by the US National Library of Medicine determined that clinical testing of CBD against prostate carcinoma is a must. That cannabinoid receptor activation induces prostate carcinoma cell apoptosis. They determined that cannabidiol significantly inhibited cell viability.

Blood Cancer

15. A study published in the journal Molecular Pharmacologyrecently showed that cannabinoids induce growth inhibition and apoptosis in matle cell lymphoma. The study was supported by grants from the Swedish Cancer Society, The Swedish Research Council and the Cancer Society in Stockholm.

16. A study published in the International Journal of Cancer also determined and illustrated that cannabinoids exert antiproliferative and proapoptotic effects in various types of cancer and in mantle cell lymphoma.

17. A study published in the US National Library of Medicine conducted by the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology by Virginia Commonwealth University determined that cannabinoids induce apoptosis in leukemia cells.

Oral Cancer

18. A study published by the US National Library of Medicine results show cannabinoids are potent inhibitors of cellular respiration and are toxic to highly malignant oral Tumours.

Liver Cancer

19. A study published by the US National Library of Medicine determined that that THC reduces the viability of human HCC cell lines (Human hepatocellular liver carcinoma cell line) and reduced the growth.

Pancreatic Cancer

20. A study published in The American Journal of Cancer determined that cannabinoid receptors are expressed in human pancreatic tumor cell lines and tumour biopsies at much higher levels than in normal pancreatic tissue. Results showed that cannabinoid administration induced apoptosis. They also reduced the growth of tumour cells, and inhibited the spreading of pancreatic tumour cells.

Here are links to other studies (published on Higher Perspective)

Uterine, testicular, and pancreatic cancers

Brain cancer

Mouth and throat cancer

Breast cancer

Lung cancer

Prostate cancer

Blood cancer

Skin cancer

Liver cancer

Cancers of the head and neck

Cholangiocarcinoma cancer


Translocation-positive rhabdomyosarcoma



Thyroid carcinoma

Colon cancer

Intestinal inflammation and cancer

Cannabinoids in health and disease

Cannabis inhibits cancer cell invasion

1. Some cancer therapies can conflict with others. Do not start ANY therapy without consulting your doctor to ensure it’s safe and beneficial to do so.
2. Just because any given therapy worked for someone else does not necessarily mean it will work for you.
3. Although there are many viable alternative cancer treatments, there isn’t a “best” treatment for a certain type or stage of cancer.

Page updated 2023


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