Harnessing the Potential of Medical Cannabis in Cancer Care

nurse janna
Janna’s focus is holistic health education with specialty focus of medical Cannabinoid science and herbalism. Additional roles; founder of 501c3 Autism Safe Haven, cannabis legislative advocate, university professor, Diplomate of medical Cannabinoid Sciences, and founding member/speakers bureau/educator for Cannabis Nurses Network.

Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice. We recommend consulting with a healthcare professional before incorporating cannabis into your cancer treatment plan.


As a cannabis specialty nurse, I’ve seen the transformative effects of personalized, science-backed medical cannabis therapy on cancer patients. Cannabis can significantly reduce harm during treatment when used correctly. In this article, we aim to shed light on the potential benefits of cannabis in cancer care, drawing from both professional experience and existing research.


At its core, cancer represents a breakdown in the body’s natural immune defense mechanisms. Every day, our bodies encounter and eliminate cancer cells; the difference between being cancer-free and receiving a cancer diagnosis often hinges on the immune response. Cannabis may contribute to this response through its evidence-based immune-balancing properties Additionally, cannabis can help mitigate the side effects of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and the cancer itself.


A Holistic Approach to Medical Cannabis

Cancer treatment involves more than just adding cannabis to the mix. It’s about choosing the right cannabis products and adopting a holistic strategy that encompasses improvements in diet, stress management, and addressing other contributory factors.


Cannabinoids in Focus: Their Role in Cancer Treatment


CBD (Cannabidiol)

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is perhaps the most well-known and readily accessible cannabinoid for targeting cancer. CBD is non-intoxicating and widely available over the counter in the US and many other countries. Research supports its potential as a powerful intervention for slowing cancer growth and spread by blocking the GPR55 pathway, which cancer cells rely upon to survive. Moreover, CBD can enhance baseline function, enabling patients to make the most of their waking hours.


In addition to CBD, other cannabinoids may also be useful. However, it’s crucial to emphasize that all cannabinoids should be used under the guidance of a knowledgeable medical professional to ensure they are suitable for an individual’s specific situation, considering factors such as the type of cancer and concurrent use of pharmaceuticals.


THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol)

THC, though notorious for its intoxicating effects, may offer substantial benefits against cancer, particularly in legal states. Studies dating back to 1972 have shown that THC can trigger apoptosis, or “natural cell death,” in cancer cells. This process essentially activates the “suicide switch” within cancer cells, which is normally “on” in healthy cells but switches off when they mutate into cancer. THC is renowned for its safety profile, thereby promoting homeostasis with minimal side effects.


However, when dealing with hormone-driven cancers, such as ER+/PR+ breast cancer, caution is essential, and THC intake should be limited or avoided altogether. Some patient case studies suggest that THC may increase hormone levels, potentially accelerating growth in these cancers that feed on hormones.


Exploring Other Cannabinoids

Other cannabinoids, like the non-intoxicating raw or acid forms containing an “a” in their names offer immune support through potent anti-inflammatory benefits. 

CBDa has shown promise in research for managing nausea and supporting breast cancer patients.   

Aside from the raw forms, the non-intoxicating CBG (Cannabigerol) and CBD provide additional benefits for targeting cancer.


Guidance on Cannabis Selection and Expert Consultations

For those considering medical cannabis as part of their cancer care regimen, we recommend Unity Formulas for their targeted CBD Hemp tinctures. Many of these products can also provide relief from common symptoms associated with cancer, including pain, anxiety, depression, and sleep disturbances.


Navigating the world of cannabis for cancer treatment can be overwhelming. That’s why Heal Navigator offers Integrative Oncology Consultations with cancer and cannabis-specialty nurses. The nurses can evaluate yourunique situation and provide specific guidance, ensuring that you receive the best possible chance of achieving optimal outcomes.


In conclusion, while cannabis remains a subject of ongoing research in the context of cancer care, it offers considerable promise in bolstering the immune response, alleviating the side effects of conventional treatments, and potentially slowing cancer growth.  However, it is essential to consult with healthcare professionals to make informed decisions tailored to your individual circumstances. With the right approach, medical cannabis can become a valuable ally in the journey towards better cancer care and improved quality of life.

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