Medical Marijuana and Cancer

Medical marijuana may effectively treat symptoms associated with cancer and cancer therapies, including: pain, nausea, and fatigue. Research suggests cannabis may also proactively fight the disease by killing cancer cells.

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Florida patients use medical marijuana treatments to help with Cancer


Cancer is a group of diseases in which mutant cells multiply, eventually interfering with the natural functions of the body. According to the National Cancer Institute, approximately 38.4% of men and women will be diagnosed with cancer at some point during their lifetime.

Cancer is a genetic disease (meaning that it’s caused by changes to genes that control the way our cells function, grow, and divide). There are currently over 100 known forms of cancer. Some of the most prevalent categories include:

  • Carcinoma
  • Leukemia
  • Lymphoma
  • Melanoma
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Sarcoma

Cancer treatment often involves a combination of therapies, including: surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, targeted therapy, hormone therapy, stem cell transplants, and precision medicine.


Early cancer symptoms vary and may include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Appetite changes and/or difficulty eating
  • Changes in bowel or urination habits
  • Fatigue
  • Hoarseness or a cough that does not go away
  • Night sweats
  • Slow healing
  • Skin changes (such as a new mole or change in an existing mole, a thickening or lump on or under the skin, or a change in skin texture)
  • Unusual bleeding or discharge

Traditional cancer medications and therapies may also result in a number of debilitating side effects, including:

  • Bleeding and bruising
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Memory or concentration problems
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Pain and/or nerve problems
  • Trouble sleeping


According to a recent survey of over 900 cancer patients, less than 15% received information about medical marijuana from their physician or nurse – despite acknowledgement from the National Cancer Institute that cannabis treats a wide variety of disease symptoms and “has been shown to kill cancer cells.”

Specifically, medical marijuana has demonstrated efficacy in treating the following cancer symptoms and therapy side effects:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Pain and/or nerve damage (neuropathy)

In addition, research suggests cannabis may exert anti-cancer effects by causing cell death, modulating cell-signaling pathways, and inhibiting tumor invasion. For instance, a 2011 study of cannabidiol (CBD) found that CBD kills breast cancer cells by inducing endoplasmic reticulum stress and inhibiting cell-signaling. Likewise, colon cancer studies show that CBD has a cancer-protective effect and reduces cell proliferation.

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Now Florida patients can use medical marijuana treatment to help with Cancer

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