Medical marijuana has been the subject of controversy for quite a while, being named as the cure for cancer and the cause of cancer, depending on which source you find. Of course, bias can exist on both sides, so taking a realistic view of what cancer has been proven to do is necessary.
Cancer Risk—Real or Exaggerated?
First, understand that much of the information regarding marijuana’s cancer-causing side effects is disputed by many sources. Many of the early studies concerning smoking marijuana were made by Dr. Gabriel Nahas, who later recanted of his conclusions, and eventually lost his position at the National Institute of Health. The basic criticism you will find of these studies is that a monkey was subjected to an unusually large amount of smoke for the trial—in fact, more than the average user breathes in his/her life. The animal was suffocated for mock test trials, just so President Nixon’s administration could continue with the “war on cancer” and the “war on drugs.”
Still, to ignore other findings would be misleading. A 2006 UCLA study found that chronic marijuana smokers who did not smoke cigarettes were still at an increased risk of lung cancer compared to those who did not partake. Dr. ElSohly also drew attention to “wheezing, coughing, and bronchitis” as documented effects.
Alternative Methods of Use
However, concern over smoking marijuana has given rise to alternative methods of ingesting the drug. These include using a vaporizer, which is cannabis heated not burned, (hence no carcinogens) and edible medical marijuana which does not involve direct inhalation of the drug.
It would also be remiss to not include the research that has been done, suggesting that smoking medical marijuana can actually cause cancer to go into remission. Studies published in the British Journal of Cancer, the US National Library of Medicine, and the Harvard Medical Schools Experimental Medicine Department, have led to conclusive evidence that there is a link between marijuana and the cessation or remission of brain cancer, breast cancer, and lung cancer.
The evidence of marijuana’s successful cancer studies cannot be ignored. For anyone concerned about the smoking risk, edible and even new topical solutions are quickly becoming popular and effective alternatives. Medical marijuana is clearly anti-cancerous on a medical level.