Does cannabis have value in the management of prostate cancer?


If you do a PubMed search for “cannabis + prostate + cancer” you will find remarkably few articles that deal specifically with the impact of cannabis use and its relationship to prostate cancer — either in a positive or a negative sense. Indeed, the most specific information we could find is the full text of a review article by Ramos and Bianco, published in the Indian Journal of Urology in 2012.

The idea that cannabis may have a palliative benefit for some men with bone pain consequent to onset of metastatic prostate cancer is certainly not unreasonable. However, whether cannabis actually has any true therapeutic benefit in the management of prostate cancer appears to be untested at this time.

We note this because, with expansion of legal access to cannabis in some states here in America, there is probably pent up interest in the potential value of this drug in the management of prostate cancer, and on April 15 at 6 p.m. Eastern there will be a Cure Panel Talk Show on “Cannabis for Cancer” featuring Dr. Donald I. Abrams (a specialist in cancer and integrative medicine at the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine). This may well be of interest to some readers of this blog.

Please note that this Cure Panel Talk Show is not focused exclusively on the role of cannabis in prostate cancer, but on its uses (appropriate and inappropriate) in cancers in general.

Of course by 6 p.m. Eastern on April 15, some may be more interested in the potential efficacy of cannabis in helping them to forget that they haven’t completed their tax returns for 2013. Unfortunately, we have to advise readers that there is no known drug therapy that is proven to be effective and safe for the long-term avoidance of taxation.

3 Responses

  1. Mike,

    I’ve seen a few presentations that show cannabinoids as useful against hot flashes and also improving dietary habits when eating has been difficult due to nausea from various prostate cancer drugs. A key point made is that no one should be smoking it but rather using a vaporizer or mixing it into foods, bBut the problem with foods is dose control.

    Finding specific information on prostate cancer and cannabis is not easy. The two presentations I saw, one by Abrams and one by Lawenda (famous for the
    integrativeoncology-essentials.com website) lists cannabinoids as a viable option for cancer patients in general.

    It is important to note that, based on federal law, possession of any form of cannabis is illegal anywhere in the United States — even in states that have legalized it for either recreational or medicinal uses. Until the Feds relax the laws, they trump state laws. Enforcement has been relaxed or applied selectively. In some states the possession of cannabis carries felony prosecution status.

  2. Here is a link to that site where there is information about general use of cannabis.

  3. In California , I am not aware of licensed users having been prosecuted by the Feds although there are periodic crackdowns on dispensaries and medical growers.

    I have a couple of friends currently using either a vaporizer or gel pills. One is using cannabis to combat side effects from docetaxel; the other is looking at curative potential.

    It is important to understand the difference between the two main sources of active compounds — THC and CBD. The THC is responsible for psychotropic response, whilst the CBD has analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and other physiological properties. No doubt Donald Abrams will explain this in detail.

    Medical marijuana can be purchased with very low THC content and very high CBD content.

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