Cannabis & Cancer

Promising therapies for patients with cancer


Cancer is a collection of related diseases in which some of the body’s cells begin to divide without stopping and spread into surrounding tissues. In cancer, as cells become more abnormal, old or damaged cells survive when they should die, and new cells form when they are not needed. These extra cells can divide without stopping and may form growths called tumors. Cancer treatment is individualized to the patient and type of cancer.

Cannabis can help relieve symptoms of cancer and cancer treatments

The American Cancer Society has taken the position that some individuals may see a benefit from using medical cannabis to treat the side effects of cancer and cancer treatment. Alleviation of the side effects allows patients to continue to eat, remain stronger during the chemotherapy, and recover more rapidly from the treatments.

The National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine), an American non-profit, serves as an unbiased, evidence based advisor and knowledge base for the nation and its policy makers. 

“The Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) report suggests that there may be a benefit to cancer patients from the cannabinoids contained within marijuana. These studies appear to show that cannabinoids will help alleviate the nausea, vomiting, wasting, and muscle spasms caused by chemotherapy in some patients. The American Cancer Society is supportive of more research into the benefits of cannabinoids. Better and more effective treatments are needed to overcome the side effects of cancer and its treatment.”

Learn more about the clinical evidence supporting the efficacy of medical cannabis in alleviating the symptoms of cancer and cancer treatments, with the National Cancer Institute's latest information released on the subject. Links can be found to the left, or click here for Patients or Health Professionals.

Promising New Research

A growing body of research also supports that Cannabis can inhibit or stop the growth of cancer cells in many types of cancer.  This research involving medical cannabis includes breast cancer, some brain tumors, leukemia, liver cancer, colon cancer and other cancer types.  Early evidence suggests that the combination of THC and CBD may be effective in slowing the blood flow to the tumors, limiting their growth and even shrinking the tumors, and makes them more sensitive to radiation and chemotherapy which renders the traditional treatments more effective.