By Gabe S.
It’s widely known nowadays that cannabis can help to inhibit cancer cell growth and even cure it in some cases, but is this true for all types and stages of cancer? Because there is no one type of cancer, as it is constantly mutating by nature, the effectiveness of CBD and THC varies based upon where in the body the cancer is, and what stage it’s in.
Studies have revealed that cannabinoid receptors are overexposed in tumors of breast cancer, among others, and cannabinoids from cannabis bind with these receptors and either switch off the cells ability to divide and replicate or simply kill it through apoptosis. THC and CBD simultaneously work together to help prevent healthy cells from being damaged by neighboring cancer cells, and deliver no major side effects, unlike most pharmaceutical therapies. CBD inhibits the ID-1 receptor, which is one of the major genes involved in breast cancer metastasis, but how much CBD and THC is appropriate? In regards to breast cancer, we must first take a look at the different types:
1) Hormone Receptor-Positive Cancer - About 80% of all breast cancers are ER-positive. This means that cancer cells grow in response to the estrogen hormone. About 65% of these are also PR-positive, meaning they grow in response to progesterone. Cannabis can be used to treat these cancer cells, but the ratio is important, as too much THC is bad for any estrogen-positive cancer. A CBD:THC ratio of at least 3:1 is recommended as to ensure that not too much THC is received by the body, otherwise the mutated cells may spread.
2) HER2-Positive Breast Cancer - About 20% of all breast cancers are classified as HER2 positive. HER2 is a protein that is produced in the breast tissue, and this cancer is cause by too much of the protein being produced and copied. These cancers tend to be aggressive and fast growing.
3) Triple-Negative Breast Cancer - The cause of between 10%-20% cases. These are referred to as triple negative because they don’t have estrogen and progesterone receptors, and aren’t a result of excess HER2 proteins. These tend to spread aggressively because they don’t respond to hormones or drugs that target HER2, however chemotherapy is an option. Cannabis is especially promising for patients with this kind of cancer because there is currently no standard therapy existing for this variant. A ratio of 4:1 THC:CBD is most beneficial for patients diagnosed with this kind of cancer.
4) Triple-Positive Breast Cancer - These types of cancers are ER and PR positive, as well as a result of too much HER2 production. Patients should still be cautious of having too much THC since the estrogen hormone is affected.
It is worth noting that this information is a result of doctor and patient experience, and not from clinical studies and verified evidence. Always ask your doctor before beginning a treatment to verify that you are taking the correct dose.