Here’s what science is learning about how cannabis kills cancer cells. One of the most radical—and controversial—claims currently being made is that cannabis kills cancer cells. This claim is part of a much larger debate about whether or not cannabis has any medical properties.
On the one hand, cannabis is still classified as a Schedule I illegal drug, and it doesn’t appear that there are plans to reclassify marijuana in the near future. According to the DEA, anything in this category is officially “defined as [a drug] with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.”
But on the other hand, there’s a growing movement of people claiming that cannabis has a number of important health benefits, most importantly, that it can actually kill cancer cells.
Essentially, cannabis kills cancer cells because it contains millions of cannabinoids, a certain type of chemical compound.
When these cannabinoids enter the human body, they bind to what scientists call cannabinoid receptors. These receptors are located throughout the body and they help control and regulate a number of different bodily functions.
Once cannabinoids have linked up with a cannabinoid receptor, they chemically “communicate” with the cell they’ve connected themselves to.
And here’s where things get really interesting.
Scientists have started learning that cannabinoids can bind themselves to certain types of cancer cells, evidence that cannabis kills cancer cells.
The scientific evidence of all this is now so strong that even the federal government is starting to take notice.
Toward the end of 2015, the National Institute on Drug Abuse changed its official fact sheet for cannabis. Here’s what the new fact sheet has to say:
“Recent animal studies have shown that marijuana can kill certain cancer cells and reduce the size of others.”
“Evidence from one animal study suggests that extracts from whole-plant marijuana can shrink one of the most serious types of brain tumors.”
And there are seemingly endless personal accounts that back up what the scientists are discovering.
Darren Miller, a 50-year-old man from Granite City, Illinois, was told that his cancer was “incurable” and “inoperable.” After that, he started using cannabis oil alongside the chemotherapy his doctors were giving him.
Eight months later he had a clean bill of health and was teaching others how to kill cancer cells using cannabis.
And just last month, doctors said that a three-year-old boy named Landon Riddle had so many tumors in his chest that he probably only had 48 more hours to live.
When his family heard that, they immediately packed up and headed to Colorado. Landon started using cannabis oil and today his cancer is in remission.