Breast Cancer - How The ECS Destroys Cancer | cannabisMD

Breast Cancer – How Our Endocannabinoid System Destroys It

Endocannabinoid System Breast Cancer

Image Credit: By Elena Sherengovskaya on Shutterstock

There’s more research claiming cannabis kills cancer. Here’s the latest research on our endocannabinoid system and why it kills breast cancer cells.

As more research and medical studies are being done about the benefits of cannabis, the more scientists and doctors are realizing how cannabis and the endocannabinoid system helps fight diseases like cancer.

With more and more proof surfacing by the hour, it’s important to sift through the information to better understand why and how this happens.

When you’re facing a debilitating and life-threatening disease like breast cancer, or any other form of cancer, a feeling of helplessness can wash over you. You may have sought out traditional treatments and found no relief or results, or you’re just beginning your battle and looking for the best option to treat your disease.

Or maybe you’re looking into options for a loved one who’s suffering from the disease. Whatever the case may be, cannabis just might be the answer you’re searching for.

An Unsuspected Cure?

When it was first observed that the use of medicinal cannabis was able to cure cases of cancer, medical doctors and researchers were unsure as to why this was happening. Because of this, massive scale case studies were launched in hopes of finally finding a true cure for cancer and the results have been unprecedented.

Researchers are beginning to find the connection between our body’s endocannabinoid systems and cannabis use for treating chronic and debilitating illnesses. While there’s still much to learn about the subject, we will dive into some recent studies and discuss how and why triggering the endocannabinoid system kills cancer.

Read on to learn more.

What is Cannabis and What Does it Have to Do With Cancer?

Cannabis, otherwise referred to as marijuana, weed, grass, etc, is a natural plant that produces both psychoactive and medicinal effects when ingested into the human body. While most of us have been led to believe that cannabis is a horrible and life-ruining drug, many are starting to find groundbreaking scientific evidence that the drug has more positive effects on our body than negative.

Cannabis is full of what we call cannabinoids, which are the chemical compounds that react with our bodies. There are several types of cannabinoids found in marijuana, and each of them has a slightly different effect on our body and brain. Some of those cannabinoids include:

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)

Most commonly referred to as THC, this cannabinoid is the property that is responsible for making people “high” when consuming marijuana. THC typically isn’t associated with the medicinal benefits of cannabis. However, it does provide some relief for regaining appetite, as well as suppressing anxiety.

Cannabidiol (CBD)

Cannabidiol, otherwise known as CBD, is the largest cannabinoid found in marijuana and is the chemical responsible for almost all of the medicinal effects of cannabis. CBD offers no psychoactive properties, which is a good thing for those who seek only the medical benefits of weed, and none of the high.

Cannabichromene (CBC)

A lesser talked about cannabinoid, CBC is a property of cannabis that, like CBD, is non-psychoactive. While most have never heard of CBC, researchers have begun focusing more on the compound, as it is said to also provide medicinal qualities. The reason for this has to do with how CBC reacts with our body’s natural endocannabinoid system.

Cannabigerol (CBG)

Another less talked about cannabinoid that works with our endocannabinoid system is CBG. While CBG is typically found in really low quantities within most strains of marijuana, it does show some promise as a fighter of pain, inflammation, cancer, chronic disease, and more. Researchers are beginning to focus more on this cannabinoid.

These are just four out of the 100+ cannabinoids that can be traced within marijuana. However, these four are the most prominent.

While most people are only familiar with THC, and only recently have begun hearing about CBD, researchers have known about these other properties for as many as 50 years.

While these names are confusing and hard to understand, it’s important to familiarize yourself with these important qualities of cannabis. These chemical compounds are responsible for helping our endocannabinoid system kill cancer, fight pain, and facilitate healing.

Understanding Our Endocannabinoid System

In order to understand how these cannabinoids found in marijuana help our bodies heal, we need to understand the part of our body that they impact – our endocannabinoid system. Right away, I’m sure you can see the connection. “Cannabinoid” is right there in the name.

Initially, cannabis was given to willing cancer patients to provide some relief from pain and sickness associated with chemotherapy. It was never originally intended nor expected to provide any healing properties.

So, when several patients who frequently used marijuana to seek relief had begun beating their disease, doctors, scientists, and researchers alike began seeking an answer to this phenomenon.

A New Discovery

What they found was a system that had not yet been known, and was then respectively named after the plant that was responsible for its discovery.

See, what our endocannabinoid system does for us is facilitate homeostasis, a process our body goes through to regulate and maintain health and wellness. Endocannabinoids are found all throughout our bodies, from our tissues to our organs, in our brain and in our immune system.

Wherever problems may arise, endocannabinoid receptors are lying dormant – waiting to be activated by cannabinoids. Homeostasis not only keeps normal and good cells alive, it subsequently kills and regulates harmful cells, like cancer cells and tumors, by inducing what is called “cell suicide,” otherwise referred to as apoptosis. Simply put, our endocannabinoid system is used to adapt our bodies to changing environments on all levels.

A Deeper Look Into Apoptosis

One of the biggest reasons that cannabis, along with our natural endocannabinoid system, is able to target and kill cancer cells is because of a process known as apoptosis. What is apoptosis? It’s the process at the end of cell life, where healthy (and bad) cells naturally die.

Apoptosis is one of two ways that cells die – the other is called necrosis, which is when the cell gets killed by external force. This occurs either by injury, poisoning, infection, or a sudden cutting off of blood supply. Necrosis is a process that is much more harmful to the body and can often lead to inflammation and strain.

Apoptosis, on the other hand, is completely natural and harmless to our bodies and is actually a good thing. Cancer cells, however, are typically immune to apoptosis, which is why they often stick around and spread.

That’s where cannabis comes in. Cannabinoids like CBD, CBG, and CBC (and sometimes even THC) will actually kickstart apoptosis in cancer cells, causing them to essentially “commit suicide.”

Endocannabinoids Inhibit Tumor Growth

A scientific study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information detailed how endocannabinoids actually inhibit tumor growth. This is a huge deal, as many doctors and professionals up until now have only found invasive practices like chemo and radiation therapy to help diminish tumors. Using a natural and healthier method of irradicating tumors like cannabis could be a huge game-changer in the world of cancer treatment.

This method has been proven true in several different forms of cancer like breast cancer, glioblastoma, prostate cancer, leukemia, thyroid cancer, and colon cancer. While our body produces its own endocannabinoids, it often isn’t enough to facilitate this kind of effect.

That’s why we introduce cannabinoids into the equation. Cannabinoids work alongside our endocannabinoid system to produce even more endocannabinoids within the body, which in turn contributes to the natural cell death of dangerous and deadly cells residing inside us.

For patients with cancer, tumors are their worst enemy and are often the leading cause of cancer death. A patient is considered cancer-free when their body has gone an extended period of time without any trace of new or returning tumors. That means that anything that can kill tumors and prevent them from returning essentially kills cancer.

How Do I Become a Cannabis Patient?

If you’re suffering from breast cancer, you’re probably wondering what your next step should be in becoming a cannabis patient. With this kind of groundbreaking research flooding the United States, more than half of our country has passed laws allowing for either medical or recreational marijuana use.

If you live in a state that allows the use of medical marijuana, you’re going to have to go through a few extra steps, but you’re still in luck. Instead of simply locating a store, you’ll have to go to your doctor and make sure that you’re qualified to receive your “green card,” or your medical marijuana prescription. If you’re a cancer patient, this will be a no-brainer for your doctor.

If you live in a state that doesn’t allow medical or recreational marijuana use, it’s going to be much more difficult for you. However, there are still options available.

If you can’t move to a state that allows marijuana use, you can often find CBD capsules and tinctures online. These are completely legal, as they have absolutely no THC in them, which is what makes cannabis illegal.

Taking Action

Regardless of what your state’s laws are, it’s important that you speak with your doctor about your decision to use cannabis as a form of treatment. Make sure that you know exactly what you’re getting into, and do as much research as you can about finding the right kind of cannabis products to suit your specific needs and desires.

Cancer is tremendously scary and an encompassing disease, but there’s hope. As more and more research continues to hit scientific journals everywhere, more is being done about using cannabis to treat and cure cancer.

Don’t wait, start taking action now. To learn more about cannabis and how it pertains to cancer, check out our blog and use the resources to your advantage!

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
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