The Susan G. Komen Foundation remains the go-to resource for all things about breast cancer. Perhaps surprisingly, they make several unequivocal remarks about cannabis.
They acknowledge that it is a recognized resource for pain relief. They note how cannabis-derived dronabinol (Marinol) if an FDA-approved treatment “for nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy.” And, they claim, “Cannabinoids are at least as effective as some conventional medications for nausea, including prochlorperazine (Compazine), metoclopramide (Reglan), chlorpromazine (Compazine), and thiethylperazine (Torecan).”
That’s authoritative and experienced formed from the contributions of breast cancer survivors.
How does cannabis treat breast cancer?
No one is prepared to say that cannabis will cure cancer. But, research is exploring some potential.
- A 2017 study in The International Journal of Oncology found, “Phytocannabinoids possess anticancer activity when used alone, and a number have also been shown to combine favorably with each other in vitro in leukemia cells to generate improved activity.”
- A 2018 press release from Cannabics® reported on findings that “cancer cells derived from patient blood samples are differentially sensitive to the main active compounds in cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA).” Cancer cells that had detached from a primary tumor were isolated from blood samples of breast cancer and prostate cancer patients and treated with either THC or THCA. “The results indicate that the cannabinoid compounds have different apoptotic - or cell-killing effects - depending on the dosage, type of cancer and the compound configuration.”
- The National Cancer Institute references “A laboratory study of cannabidiol (CBD) in estrogen receptor positive and estrogen receptor negative breast cancer cells showed that it caused cancer cell death while having little effect on normal breast cells. Studies in mouse models of metastatic breast cancer showed that cannabinoids may lessen the growth, number, and spread of tumors.”
Additional research projects indicate that cannabinoids reduce tumor growth and metastasis. Cannabis is known to have neurogenic properties that regenerate cells, and researchers believe it may just be a matter of finding the right combination and dosage to effectively manage some cancers.
So, what can cannabis do for breast cancer?
Of course, if research is limited to lab animals, we remain a long way from such optimistic outcomes. It will take a generation of research on humans before they can show results. In the meantime, breast cancer victims will continue to use cannabis to treat symptoms: anxiety, pain, nausea/vomiting, hot flashes, insomnia, loss of appetite, and more.
- Charlotte’s Web: Medical marijuana considers Charlotte’s Web the benchmark strain for many ailments. With less than 1% THC and a high 20% CBD, it is the perfect introduction to cannabis use. The combination produces no psychoactive effect but leaves a full brain and body peace and calm. It also reduces pain and inflammation, but it’s that calming effect the patients value.
- Chocolope Cannabis: This is the opposite of Charlotte’s Web. With 18-22% THC and a minuscule touch of CBD, Chocolope Cannabis is a super potent energizing sativa. For those suffering from full-body fatigue related to the cancer and/or its therapy, this offers a totally euphoric high that forgets the pain and suffering for a while.
- Verde Electric: A perfectly balanced hybrid, Verde Electric sports 15-18% THC for an energetic heady experience that melts into a mellow body high. Creative and invigorating, it’s a good strain for the morning and is favored by patients with pain, digestive problems, and muscle spasms.
- Granddaddy Purple: With 17-23% THC, Granddaddy Purple puts you to sleep after a case of the munchies. An end of the day option, it improves appetite and treats the nausea and extreme weight loss often attached to chemotherapy.
- ACDC: This is a hybrid with a whopping 15-25% CBD and a minimal 0.1-1.3% THC. That potent CBD numbs the pain that follows fatiguing chemotherapy therapy. ACDA users are more focused and comfortable socializing despite your anxiety, depression, and chemo after effects.
Many breast cancer patients are non-smokers or prefer the more discrete administration channel in edibles:
- TetraLabs offers an inventory of products including oils, oral sprays, soft gels, and capsules that help you discipline your dosage and quality.
- Baked Bros Pourable THC Syrup is fructose free, diabetic safe, gluten-free, and vegan-friendly highly concentrated syrup in grape, cherry, strawberry kiwi, watermelon, and mango flavors that you mix with tea or sports drinks.
- Keef Cola is a popular beverage flavored with cannabis strain names: Blue Dream, Cherry Bomb, Bubba Kush Root Beer, Lemonade Grenade, Orange Kush plus Flo Energy. Keef Cola differentiates the drinks by CBD, Sativa, Indica, and Hybrid options with most dosing at 100 mg.
- Premium Jane capsules are fast- and long-lasting CBD capsules. Users claim a 15-minute onset and up to 10-hour effect. The 25mg soft gel capsules can be mailed to all 50 states.
- Kiva Bar produces a variety of award-winning snack bars. The chocolate bar comes in six flavors in 60 mg and 180 mg dosages. It looks like any snack bar and can travel with you to school or work.
How cannabis treats breast cancer
Cannabis and cannabis-infused products treat breast cancer by reducing and minimizing symptoms like pain, nausea, anxiety, and depression. It may take some trial and error or research into what science and breast cancer forums say, but patients can find products and administrative channels that satisfy their individual needs.
Breast cancer survivors can also advocate for more research into cannabis’ clearly demonstrated properties that fight tumor growth and metastasis and for expansion of medical marijuana rights.