May 28, 2016 11:35 AM

Can Cannabis Treat Melanoma?

Melanoma is one of the most severe types of skin cancer. It is a quite aggressive illness that can metastasize to different parts of the human body. Usually, it appears in the areas exposed to UV rays, but it can also emerge on the feet or other "hidden" places of the body. Melanoma is a dark, unusually shaped mark on the skin that sometimes looks like a simple mole. However, melanoma has some peculiarities, such as non-uniform color, constant size growth, asymmetrical shape, and uneven borders.

According to the recent studies published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, cannabis possesses cancer-fighting characteristics. The research looked into the influence of the THC and CBD compounds on the melanoma cells of mice. As a result, scientists found a special combination of these substances that caused the death of melanoma cells. The cannabinoids were able to facilitate two processes known as apoptosis and autophagy during tests on the animal models. Autophagy means the destruction of any damaged parts inside the cell. During apoptosis, the cell breaks itself into several parts, which are consequently cleaned up by the immune system. Cannabinoids are able to stimulate both of these processes.

Many patients suffering from skin cancer who tried cannabis oil have seen great progress in their state of health, and the recent research showed that cannabis was a possible anti-cancer treatment for the animal models. But, as long as we still do not have clinical trials of marijuana-based medicines, patients have few options. Self-treating with marijuana oil can be very complicated. Thus, many questions remain to be answered: What dose of cannabis should you take? How long should you use it? What is the quality of the product you are going to take?

Since cannabis oil has not been tested in any clinical trials, patients interested in medical marijuana have to make tough decisions for themselves. Until we see some major breakthroughs in the marijuana policy, we cannot be sure of the effectiveness of cannabis on humans.

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