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What You Need to Know About Medicinal Marijuana and Cancer Treatment

Medical marijuana is a hot topic these days -- and for good reason. There is some research pointing to its beneficial effects for cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, and other conditions. But there are drawbacks, too, and it's only legal in a couple of states. Read on to learn about why it's difficult to standardize the effects of marijuana, existing barriers to its use, and more.

 

Can You Treat Cancer With Medical Marijuana?

Can marijuana cure cancer? Well, the verdict is still out on that one, but some research has been done on using medicinal marijuana for cancer and other medical conditions. If this is something you are considering or want more information on, this article will help explain what you need to know about medicinal marijuana as a treatment for cancer or other diseases.
 
For starters, let's look at what marijuana is exactly. Also called Cannabis sativa, marijuana is a type of plant that grows in warm climates worldwide. Researchers have identified only some of the biologically active components (called cannabinoids) in marijuana -- there are more than 400 different identifiable chemical components in it. The most potent of these ingredients is one you might have heard of before -- it's called THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol). THC is one of the psychoactive chemicals in marijuana that causes the "high" feeling when someone smokes or consumes it.
 
The body produces its own natural versions of cannabinoids, which are called endocannabinoids. Studies indicate that the endocannabinoid system in the body helps regulate the body's responses to a number of different stimuli. This system plays a key role in many of the body's functions, such as the heart, nervous system, digestive system, and many others.
 
The body produces endocannabinoids when needed, but this effect can often be quite brief. While endocannabinoid receptors are found throughout the body, they are prominent in the brain.
 
Extensive research has discovered that the cannabinoids in marijuana could be targeted for specific medical conditions, which has opened up the door to a vast array of studies. For instance, certain cannabinoids in marijuana (such as THC) will bind to specific endocannabinoid receptors and produce several effects, some of which are medicinal -- like reducing pain or anxiety.
 
Some research has shown that cannabinoids may serve several purposes for cancer treatment, such as relieving side effects like nausea and vomiting, stimulating appetite, and possibly even slowing down the growth of certain cancers.
 
Sounds like a pretty good deal -- but there is more to the story. Let's take a closer look at the pros and cons of medicinal marijuana.
 
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