The cannabis plant isn’t only therapeutically and medically beneficial, it has recently been found that certain cannabinoids show promise in selectively killing cancer cells without destroying healthy cells. Does cannabis actually kill cancer though, and did the National Cancer Institute (NCI) officially admit this? According to a Politicus USA article released and published in 2015, a claim was made that isn’t entirely true. The claim stated that an update made to a National Institutes of Health (NIH) document included a ‘quiet’ admission that cannabis actually ‘kills cancer’. Read on to find out more about this claim, the truth behind cannabis’s role in helping treat cancer, and the work the National Cancer Institute and National Institutes of Health (NIH) perform related to cannabis.
False Claim Made By Politicus USA Article
As mentioned above, a 2015 Politcus USA article claimed that there was an update to a NIH document regarding cannabis and cancer. The claim stated that a subtle admission was made by the National Cancer Institute on the topic of cannabis killing cancer. However, no modifications/updates were made between 2014 and the middle of 2018 besides the addition of a clinical review, which was added into NCI’s physician database in 2017.
When Politicus USA published their article on the topic of cannabis killing cancer, it was before the NCI conducted and published their 2017 clinical review. Therefore, the assertion Politicus USA made in 2015 regarding the hush hush admission of cannabis killing cancer is false.
Role The NCI, NIH, And PDQ Play In Cannabis-Related Matters
Moreover, recently, there have been questions surrounding the National Cancer Institute and their physician data query on cannabis and cannabinoids. The NCI keeps a database of peer-reviewed cancer research and publishes frequent updates and brief summaries of cancer research in a product referred to as ‘PDQ’. PDQ is known as a service of the NCI, and the NCI is a part of the National Institute of Health (NIH).
Additionally, NIH is the U.S. federal government’s center for biomedical research. However, PDQ summaries and reports are based on independent reviews of medical literature rather than as policy statements of the NCI or NIH.
In addition, PDQ’s informative cancer summaries are evidence-based and comprehensive. They focus on topics that cover the following: supportive and palliative care, adult and pediatric cancer treatment, screenings, prevention, genetics, and alternative, integrative, and complementary therapies. The PDQ reference studies that indicate a potential medicinal role of cannabis in the treatment of cancer. Although the PDQ reference different studies that are mostly small-scale preclinical trials or reviews of these trials, they don’t entirely prove anything regarding cannabis’s efficacy in treating cancer in humans.
Even though different articles have made the claim that the NCI admitted that cannabis kills cancer, this isn’t entirely true. The information that’s used as support doesn’t truly prove that cannabis can act as a practical cancer treatment method. Despite different research findings, individuals aren’t given concrete evidence that cannabis could be used as a practical treatment for cancer.
Medicinal Value Of Cannabis For Cancer Treatment
Recently, the U.S. federal government and NIH have both confirmed that cannabis has the ability to effectively kill cancer cells without destroying healthy cells unlike radiation and chemotherapy. On NIH’s website, information was published regarding the truth of cannabis and its efficacy in fighting cancer. This published information contradicts the propaganda-driven statements that were spread about cannabis over many decades. The following statement was found in a NIH cannabis PDQ from 2014, “Cannabis has been shown to kill cancer cells in the laboratory.” Over time, different preclinical trials found promise in killing cancerous cells. Specifically, studies on rats, mice, and cell lines have suggested that certain cannabinoids might be able to selectively kill cancerous cells. The cancerous cells that could be selectively killed include those found in the liver, colon, and breasts.
Additionally, pre and post-updated versions of the PDQ stated that animal and laboratory studies suggest cannabis’s potential anti-tumoral effects. Fortunately, the anti-tumoral cannabis studies that have been published and cited by the NCI’s PDQ could possibly help remove cannabis from its Schedule I classification.
Cannabis Research Hurdles
Due to cannabis’s Schedule I classification under the U.S. Controlled Substance Act, research opportunities are limited regarding the exploration of the medicinal value of cannabis. Conducting human research on the topic of cannabis is an even larger hurdle. However, the studies that have been released show the potential of this plant and its many cannabinoids.
Related Story: Cancer-Fighting Potential Hiding In Medical Marijuana Hype
Despite PDQ reports being periodically released, they don’t have any influence on the U.S. federal government’s stance towards cannabis. Also, information pulled from different PDQ documents don’t have any legal influence on the U.S. federal drug policy.
Overall, various studies that have been conducted on cannabis and the role it plays in treating cancer show significant promise. However, additional studies and human trials must be conducted to gather more data. Before people start using cannabis as a practical cancer treatment method, more concrete evidence must arise to confirm cannabis’s medical efficacy in fighting cancer.