Recent evidence on marijuana use & cancer risk and the benefits of using during cancer treatment.
Cannabis became legal in October 2018 for recreational use in Canada under the cannabis act. Before it became legal cannabis were only used for medical purposes prescribed by doctors via marijuana for medical purposes regulations (2013) & the access to cannabis for medical purposes regulations (2016).
The partnership took on 2 reviews to access evidence linking cannabis to cancer as well as cannabis benefiting cancer during treatment.
Cannabis does not cure cancer but there is an inconclusive link between cannabis use and cancer. There is not enough evidence supporting benefits of therapeutic cannabis being used during cancer treatment. There are solid evidence needed to understand the risks & benefits of cannabis use for cancer.
Expert commentary on the good and bad of marijuana use.
David Hammond, public health chair for the Canadian Institute for Health research/ public Health & Health Systems, University of Waterloo.
“Some people with cancer reported that cannabis manage symptoms including nausea and appetite and pain. There are no evidence that cannabis can ‘cure’ or ‘treat’ cancer. There are evidence that suggests that chronic marijuana use that may increase the chance of some cancer, especially being inhaled. Some cannabis users should try other options on consuming cannabis instead of smoking Cannabis.”
Peter Shelby, Addiction Medicine Clinical Scientist and chief of medicine in psychiatry Division at the Centre for Addiction and Mental health (CAMH).
” we need better studies to reach firm conclusions about the good and bad of cannabis. The risks for cancer are likely because of how people consume cannabis. Taking in smoke from.a plant regardless if it’s tabacco or cannabis produces carcinogens. Avoiding inhaled cannabis may be best to reduce one’s risk.
I tailor my advice to people recreationally using cannabis to factors such as their age for intentions behind use. For example, people with high risks of addiction, or those working in a safety-sensitive jobs should not use cannabis. Those occasional users should use only legal products with less potency.”
Dr Craig Earle, Medical Oncologist at Sunnybrook hospital and the co, cancer control at the Canadian partnership Against cancer.
“The evidence is still unclear if medical cannabis is a safe & effective therapy for people with cancer and other diseases. Some people are interested in trying it. For those appropriate patient,I have authorized it at their requests. I have yet gotten to the point of actively promoting it , but have seen some patients appear to derive benefits for symptoms like nausea and pain. I look forward to seeing high level of evidence about when medical cannabis does and does not work, like we usually require for other medications we prescribed.”