The death rate from cancer in the US declined by 29% from 1991 to 2017, including a 2.2% drop from 2016 to 2017, the largest single-year drop ever recorded, according to annual statistics reporting from the American Cancer Society. The decline in deaths from lung cancer drove the record drop. Deaths fell from about 3% per year from 2008 – 2013 to 5% from 2013 – 2017 in men and from 2% to almost 4% in women.
While researchers contribute this drop to “Advances in Research”, the idea that CBD (cannabidiol) and Cannabis becoming more readily available in the United States is not discussed by the American Cancer Society or any other cancer foundation. It is hard not to see the use of CBD and other forms of cannabis as a legitimate form of prevention and treatment for cancer. The issue, unfortunately, is research set to empirically study the beneficial nature of CBD and Cannabis is stifled by law makers and pharmaceutical companies. While prescription pain medicines and anti-anxiety medication is handed out like candy, the use of cannabis is still scrutinized as “gateway drug”.
Research into the use of cannabis and cancer has slowly began to see some head way with Cannabis being available recreationally in 11 states for adults over the age of 21, and legal for medical use in 33 states. Currently, the US federal government allows states to locally enforce specific laws that govern the use of Cannabis. The US federal government has recently allowed the use of CBD nationally with the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill. While CBD is now legal in the United States, each state has been required to make laws specific to enforce the use and the sale of CBD products.
The website of The National Cancer Institute, which is part of the US Department of Health, indicates that ‘cannabinoids may be useful in treating the side effects of cancer and cancer treatment’. The website also adds that no ongoing studies of cannabis as a treatment for cancer in people have been found in the CAM on PubMed database maintained by the National Institutes of Health. Yet, small studies have been done, but their results have not been reported or suggest a need for larger studies.
Cannabis and cannabinoids have been studied as ways to manage side effects of cancer and cancer therapies, including pain, nausea, appetite loss, as well as pain, and anxiety. The National Cancer Institute suggests that laboratory and animal studies have shown that cannabinoids may be able to kill cancer cells while protecting normal cells. They may inhibit tumor growth by causing cell death, inhibiting cell growth, and blocking the development of blood vessels needed by tumors to grow.
The numbers are reported in “Cancer Statistics, 2020,” published in the American Cancer Society’s peer-reviewed journal CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. The annual report estimates the numbers of new cancer cases and deaths expected in the US each year. The estimates are some of the most widely quoted cancer statistics in the world. The information is also released in a companion report, Cancer Facts and Figures 2020, available on the interactive website, the Cancer Statistics Center.
The article was previously published with a title: “U.S. Government Finally Admits Cannabis Really Does Kill Cancer Cells”, indicating that the National Cancer Institute (NCI) “admits Cannabis kills cancer”. However, this was later found to be untrue, as the NCI fact sheet clearly states that the use of Cannabis in cancer patients is limited to “treatment of cancer-related side effects”, and that cannabis has not been approved for use in anti-cancer treatment.
Sources and References:
“Cancer Statistics 2020” can be viewed at cacancerjournal.com, while “Cancer Facts & Figures 2020” is available at cancer.org/statistics.