Friday, January 21, 2022
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The Pros And Cons Of Using Medical Marijuana To Treat Oral Cancer

The validity of medical marijuana as a legitimate medicine is a highly contested topic—this notion is explicit in oral cancer research. A root cause of these dichotomies in beliefs in both personal opinions as well as scientific findings has to do with how CBD and THC are consumed by users. To illustrate, in the case of oral cancer, the difference between smoking cannabis and applying it through a salve or oil can mean drastically different consequences for patients. This is largely because, there are a number of people in the medical community who feel that smoking marijuana can lead to similar manifestations of oral cancer as those seen with smoking cigarettes or using chewing tobacco. However, on the opposite side of the spectrum, there are oral cancer patients who have utilized CBD and THC oils for throat cancer with beneficial results.

Smoking Cannabis And Oral Cancer

The debate as to whether or not smoking marijuana can cause oral cancer is divided into two parties: pro-cannabis and anti-cannabis. As seen with a majority of debates surrounding the contemporary cannabis space, both of these parties back their beliefs with scientific and sociological “facts.” However, with an overall lack of legitimate medical research into cannabis usage (both medicinal and recreational) these “facts” are often times just beliefs wrapped up in easy to skew findings and figures. For example, the Mouth Cancer Foundation reports that smoking marijuana encourages the growth of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). Furthermore, they also report that those who have contracted HPV are 32 times more prone to oral cancer than those without—a number that puts marijuana users at far higher risk for cancer than both tobacco users and drinkers.

On the other side of the coin, NORML (a pro-legalization lobbying group) as well as a number of accomplished dentists, doctors, and scientists report no link between oral cancer and smoking marijuana. This notion coincides with the fact that there are zero known deaths that can be directly attributed to cannabis use. With all things considered, one should weigh the pros and cons of marijuana smoking before deciding to smoke it on a regular basis—whether it be for recreational or medical purposes.

Cannabis As Cancer Medicine And Topical Salves

A vast majority of legitimate cancer research into the benefits of medical marijuana has been done on laboratory animals. To this end, the scientific journal Nature Reviews Center reports the following laboratory findings of cannabis compound and cancer cell reactions:

  • Stopping cells from dividing
  • Preventing new blood vessels from growing into tumors
  • Reducing the chances of cancer cells spreading through the body, by stopping cells from moving or invading neighboring tissue

It goes without saying that these findings of medical marijuana in relation to cancer cells are intriguing, yet they warrant far more research. This is largely because, opposing factions of the scientific community are reporting completely opposite findings.

Intellectual and medical debates aside, perhaps the best source of information concerning the validity of cannabis as a treatment for cancer comes from the patients themselves. That being said, throat cancer patients report that the topical use of cannabis oil not only reduces the size of their tumors, it also helps with appetite and pain issues. Moreover, many of these patients would rather take their chances with cannabis oil than with either radiation or chemo.

Kent Gruetzmacher M.F.A. is a Colorado based freelance writer and the Director of Business Development at Mac & Fulton Talent Partners (, a recruiting firm dedicated to the indoor gardening and cannabis space. He is interested in utilizing his M.A. in the Humanities to critically explore the many cultural and business facets of this youthful, emergent industry by way of his entrepreneurial projects.


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