New Study Adds to Research Showing Marijuana Could Stop Cancer

Breast cancer kills. Even mentioning the term can be a little creepy. However, thanks to slow but steady scientific progress, it’s not the killer it once was. We’re starting to understand that genetics plays a role in a minority of cases. We’ve found clear links to obesity, high-fat diets, and cigarette smoking. Lack of exercise probably plays a role, too. Regular screening seems like a good idea, but, like many ideas in science, it has some controversy. Treatments are markedly better than they once were, but they can be tough.

The cannabis plant could help. We all know that THC improves appetite and nausea for anyone enduring chemotherapy. This relief is quite the feat. I don’t want to upset anyone’s stomach with a description, but nausea is no treat. We’re not talking about the average queasiness here. Chemotherapy often creates the kind of nausea that prevents any kind of concentrated effort, any movement, and just about any pleasant thought. Never mind eating enough to stay strong and healthy during a challenging time. Unfortunately, nausea drugs can be pricey. Most require that a patient swallow them — hardly a delightful thought under the circumstances. The lucky few who can get a pill down still have to wait for digestion before they feel better. Inhaled cannabis can do all that in seconds for a fraction of the cost. Which would you choose for yourself or your loved ones?

But new evidence suggests that cannabis has the potential to combat breast cancer itself, not just battle the side effects of chemotherapy. A few years ago, we saw that THC, one of the 60+ chemicals unique to the cannabis plant, keeps human breast cancer cells from spreading. Last year, researchers at Harvard showed that CBD, another treasure from the plant, essentially makes breast cancer cells kill themselves. Now researchers in Japan have focused on CBDA, CBD’s precursor. They showed that it also keeps breast cancer cells from spreading.

What does this mean for use of the plant in treating breast cancer patients or preventing breast cancer in the first place? Alas, we have no idea. That, in some ways, is the saddest part. Wouldn’t it be great to know if the whole plant, with all these helpful substances combined into one source, could ward off breast cancer in an actual human being? It’s going to be hard to find out given our current laws. Prohibition has made research with the whole plant an unparalleled hassle. Most researchers are stuck trying to use one cannabinoid at a time. They often get synthesized chemicals from labs rather than extracts from the plant. They study cell lines in petri dishes instead of breast cancer in real people.

Are those who use cannabis regularly less likely to get breast cancer? It’d be great to know. Currently though, there’s little research funding for any study that might prove that cannabis is not evil. In addition, under prohibition, those who use cannabis are often frightened to tell doctors or researchers that they do. Any study of this type would need money to be done right. And there’s just not much money out there for this kind of work. A cure for breast cancer might rest in a simple green plant that’s been around for millennia. Why don’t we try to find it?

It looks like the U.S. would rather let people die than admit we made a mistake prohibiting marijuana.


Dr. Mitch Earleywine is Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University at Albany, State University of New York, where he teaches drugs and human behavior, substance abuse treatment and clinical research methods. He is the author of more than 100 publications on drug use and abuse, including “Understanding Marijuana” and “The Parents’ Guide to Marijuana.” He is the only person to publish with both Oxford University and High Times.

18 thoughts on “New Study Adds to Research Showing Marijuana Could Stop Cancer”

  1. Off the subject a little but still kind of on. Back in 2007, I had a CT scan that revealed that after smoking marijuana for then 8 years, my brain did not have the same characteristics that it does now. I had a MRI in 2010 that showed “spots” on my brain and brainstem.a neurologist later verified that I had multiple sclerosis. The intrestint thing is that the only difference between the 2 scans is That I had quit smoking marijuana in 2008 so maybe it was preventing it. Another reason that this shouldn’t have been stopped in the first place!

  2. Im so happy to hear what it does on that end, but what it has done for me is just as life changing I feel. I used to get overwhelmed. I didn’t feel like I could work enough or do enough fast enough to ever be happy and stress free. Added to the way the economy is today, just the world in general it was very crushing- After 25 years of abstaining from the use of pot, I at wits end decided to give it a shot- anything that might calm the war inside my head.

    Not only did it totally take care of the anger and anxiety, I am more active, enjoy things more, have become a better professional, a better parent, a better husband. Full support here. Really-

  3. Hey,

    It’s great that you are showing research about cannabis and discussing its promising anti-cancer effects. The rigorous science shaping this research is paramount to reliable information. So it is to remain consistent with this approach of discussing complex science rigorously that I feel I should remark on a serious oversight in your article; you state that concerning cancer “We’ve found links to […] high-fat diets”. To be blunt, there is very little reliable evidence to suggest this. As it turns out, adequately calibrated high-fat/low-carbohydrate diet have a lot of evidence suggesting they are very healhty. Please refer to these scientists/journalist for an excellent explanation of why our excessively high consumption of carbohydrates, starches and most of all sugars are important factors in the onset of a various cancers, obesity, CVD, neurodegenerative diseases and the whole host of symptoms clustering around Metabolic Syndrome: Gary Taubes, Peter Attia, Phinney, Volek, Sir Banting, the Vilhjalmur Stefansson experiment…

    If you won’t retract it, please at least put a noticeable asterisk for ‘high-fat diets’ explaining the opposing view and maybe one link to a decent source for counter arguments.

    In the spirit of marijuana research and the adversity it has faced I hope you do make this small but meaningful change.



  4. This is great news! My mother had breast cancer and I have always been worried about getting it. It now seems that my marijuana consumption may keep me healthy. ;-) My best friend had only 27 feet of small intestine after cervical cancer radiation treatment, resulting in huge scar tissue in her intestine. She couldn’t digest enough calories to exist, so she was fed thru a central line and developed Metabolic Syndrome. Obviously, she couldn’t absorb enough from any pain pill to make any difference. Her only relief was from smoking marijuana. It’s stupid to keep wonderful plants that have myriad benefits to mankind illegal and out of reach, while pushing manufactured drugs and manufactured foods that can make people ill… (read: Monsanto!)

  5. It would be great if we had some data. About ten years ago I read about Jamaican women that drank cannabis tea and having a much lower incidence of ________? I can’t remember? haha I think maybe heart desease? Anyway, my question is whether or not we can get some numbers and feed our speculation?

  6. When i was in Viet Nam i was sprayed with agent orange.For the last year i have been doing one dose a day of cannabis extract.I know in my heart that this one treatment has kept me out of the doctors office.I’m not a pot smoker,but i have friends that do enjoy it and tell me all the time that i am missing out.I would not recomend using chemo and cannabis extact together.Chemo is not needed.There are other countries that have been using this stuff for health purpose’s for decades.Don’t think for a minute that all the world is following the US with health treatments.There are countries that know about chemo being a warfair agent and good for population control.Cannabis extract kills cancer cells period.It’s a known fact.I have asked pot smokers that i’m not the best of friends with if they knew that this extract kills cancer cells and i have yet to hear one say they knew about it.I was in a lounge a month ago talking about this extract with people i had never met before and they were laughing at me.There happened to be four MD’s in there and they spoke up and told everyone that i was almost 100% telling the truth.The place lite up and everyone wanted to know more.As far as i’m concerned anyone who wants to use chemo,do it.I’m not.Cannabis extract doesn’t give you TB and Lukiemia.In fact all it does is helps your body heal itself with no side affects.Another thing.Hitlers death camp doctors told anybody who was listening that chemo was never to be used for human health.Yours and mine government has known about the cannabis oil or extract since the seventies and just swept it under the rug because they knew that people would use it to treat and heal themselves without a doctor.Can you imagine how any people are employed by the cancer drug industry and what an impact this would have on their jobs?What kind of gov would kill their own people for the sake of a few jobs.When you ask these drug sales people if they had any relatives that had cancer,they all will say yes my mom and dad had cancer and they died from it.For fifty and sixty plus years people have been dieing of cancer just because of a few cancer drug salespeople and that people will use it themselves instead of paying for a doctor.We could treat ourselves for free and cure ourselves at the same time.Cut a hole in your blindfolds and see what they are going to do to us next.Maybe the military will spray some more chromium on St Louis Mo like they did in 1955 and didn’t tell anyone about it.I bet they have a lot of cancers.

  7. Dr. Earlywine is on the right track. Two studies have been done, one at USC and one in England, which show that marijuana does indeed have the properties mentioned in this article. HINT: Pot smokers don’t get lung cancer…

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  10. It is worth to explore a more about the medicinal features of marijuana and how it can stop the spread of breast cancer. The experts have identified that CBD inhibits the activity of a gene named as Id-1. This gene is responsible for the aggressive enhancement of cancer cells throughout your body.

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