A constant debate has circled around the effects of weed as a carcinogen and its role in cancer development as well as treatment. As studies are continuously published, research is often contradictory, so it can be hard to understand what is really happening in our bodies as a result.
Many publications have alluded to the fact that smoking weed can be of great detriment to the lungs and be a major factor in the existence of tumors. On the other hand, other research comes to the conclusion that THC is a safeguard against the development of cancer while also providing other inherent benefits simultaneously.
Here is an analysis of a few studies regarding the search to find the underlying answers to what sort of influences marijuana has on cancer. This is meant as inspiration for those who use marijuana to continue to look for emerging answers because ultimately it is the user who is responsible for the results.
THC Shown to Reduce Immune System Effectiveness
A study led by Dr. Prakash Nagarkatti from the University of South Carolina published last year (2010) in the European Journal of Immunology their team’s findings of the effects of THC on the immune system. They found that THC has a suppressive effect on the immune system and its ability to fight maladies in the body. In other words, using marijuana may have a negative effect on the fight against cancer by further hindering the body’s ability to target tumors and other cancerous cells.
Though this is a bit alarming to anyone suffering from cancer or other serious infections, where the immune system is obviously of great importance, it may be great news for those suffering from an overactive immune system. For instance, this may show THC to be useful in treating autoimmune diseases where the body attacks its own cells or in cases where patients have received a transplanted organ and need to prevent rejection of the foreign organ.
THC Displayed as Catalyst for Cancer Cell and Tumor Deterioration
In stark contrast, there is a wealth of studies that suggest the positive effects of weed include benefits such as cancer risks and tumor growth being greatly reduced through the utilization of THC. A study in the American Association for Cancer Research, 2007, found that lung cancer tumors were reduced by as much as 50% in size and weight when THC was introduced to test subjects and lesions were reduced by as much as 60%. Though the study gave no clear reason why, they speculated THC was interfering with the tumors’ ability to sustain itself and grow.
Another study released by Guillermo Velasco of Complutense University in Spain stated in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2009, that THC creates an environment where tumors and cancerous cells have little chance in flourishing. The study found that brain cancer cells could be reduced or eliminated by the introduction of THC in the subject. However, unlike the aforementioned study, this particular research suggested the reason for the reduction had to do with cell autophagy. In other words, THC was coaxing the body to cannibalize the cancerous cells.
Understanding Marijuana is a Responsibility of the User
Though it is still very much controversial on whether the negative effects of weed outweigh the positive, and what the true net outcome will be, progress will continue to find new discoveries in the realm of marijuana use. The best action you can take is to stay vigilant and remain informed, so that you can protect not only yourself (if you are a user) but also potentially help others who may be suffering from misinformation.