Cannabis for Prostate Cancer
Few terms can strike fear in the heart of men more than “prostate cancer”. This dreaded disease is so common that it’s estimated 1 man in ever 39 will die of it. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2017 alone there will be 161,360 new cases of prostate cancer while 26,730 men will die from it. Prostate cancer is the 3rd leading cause of death for American males, after lung and colorectal cancer. If it’s detected early, the prognosis for prostate cancer is very good; however symptoms can be very difficult to identify.
Prostate cancer shows no warning signs. It will only begin to manifest once the tumor already causes the prostate glad to swell, or if the cancer already spreads in other body parts. By this time, symptoms will occur: frequent need to urinate, interrupted urinary stream, inability to urinate, leaking of urine when coughing or laughing, painful or burning sensation during ejaculation or urination, or blood in the urine.
Symptoms of advanced prostate cancer include a deep pain in the pelvis or lower back, weight loss, fatigue, vomiting, nausea, swelling of lower extremities, constipation, and paralysis of the lower limbs.
As is the nature of the big C, prostate cancer cannot be cured by these conventional therapies. We can only hope that these treatments can do their job to shrink tumor cells, but it greatly depends on the size of the tumor and how aggressive it is as well as the patient’s age and health. Surveillance, surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, hormone therapy and biologic therapy are some of the options that patients can consider.
How Can Cannabis Help?
Cannabis is already widely accepted as a treatment for some cancers, while it has helped make the side effects of treatment needed for aggressive forms more bearable. This also holds true for prostate cancer, giving hope to the many men who suffer from this dreaded disease.
A 2009 study published in the British Journal of Cancer revealed that cannabinoids in cannabis were effective in slowing down the growth of prostate cancer cells. The study was conducted by scientists from the University of Alcala in Madrid. It was the first time that scientists saw how cannabinoids “park” themselves on CB2 receptors which stops the cancer cells from multiplying.
According to Professor Ines Diaz-Laviada, one of the study’s authors: “"Our research shows that there are areas on prostate cancer cells which can recognise and talk to chemicals found in cannabis called cannabinoids. These chemicals can stop the division and growth of prostate cancer cells and could become a target for new research into potential drugs to treat prostate cancer."
Another 2013 study in Italy led by Dr. L De Petrocellis and his team analyzed the effect of cannabidiol (CBD) on prostate carcinoma growth in vitro and in vivo. The researchers found that CBD was effective in inhibiting the prostate carcinoma cell viability. The study also supports the “entourage effect” wherein several cannabinoids work together synergistically in order to enhance each other’s cancer-killing properties.
Despite the lack of human studies on the efficacy of cannabis in treating prostate cancer, there are several stories found online about how some people have been able to successfully use cannabis or hemp oil to manage their prostate cancer.
One patient, by the name of Paul Morrissey from St. John, said that hemp oil helped him. The cancer metastasized and it “makes me feel 20 years younger”. He was even strong enough to shovel snow for three hours during a blizzard, according to an interview with the Telegram. Morrissey experienced a regression in the lymph nodes and abdomen, while his prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood levels significantly improved since he began taking hemp oil.
Another case is that of Dennis Hill, a PhD biochemist. He worked at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston as a Cancer Researcher. He was surprised to have been diagnosed with advanced stage 3 prostate cancer, so he turned to cannabis oil; particularly Rick Simpson oil. He discusses his initial experements with cannabutter, and says:
There was no dispensary in the area, but a friend made me cannabis butter, so I took that, up to tolerance. In three months the primary cancer was gone, only minor metastatic [stage III local invasion, not true metastatic disease which is stage IV]lesions were left. At that point I found a supplier for Rick Simpson oil and killed off the metastases in the next three months. Now I just take a maintenance dose of locally produced hash oil that is 1:1 THC:CBD with about a 30% potency. This will certainly keep me clear of cancer, anywhere, for ever.
My point in telling this story is the fact that in the face of advanced aggressive cancer, all I had was very weak cannabutter, but it was enough to eliminate the primary tumor. Now there are strains of 95% THC. But is this necessary? If you have cancer and want to pursue the cannabis treatment, any at all will be good. More important than extreme potency, is balance between THC and CBD. If you can get high potency, great. If not, common potencies will work perfectly.
Because cannabis remains a schedule 1 drug, the number of studies on the impact of cannabis for prostate cancer is extremely limited. However this hasn’t stopped men around the world from resorting to cannabis, and they’ve found relief with it.
Have you used cannabis oil for prostate cancer? Share your story with us in the comments below.
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