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Cannabis Oil For Cancer Wounds: Is It Beneficial Or Harmful?

Update Date: Jan 19, 2017 06:08 PM EST

New reports suggest that cannabis oil may be more beneficial than harmful in treating cancer wounds. According to a case report published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, a cancer patient's wound has been reduced in size.

In 2016, Dr. Vincent Maida, an associate professor in Division of Palliative Care at the University of Toronto, first treated a Canadian patient suffering from oral cancer who has a large hole on his check. Before his initial visit to Maidan's clinic, the unnamed 44-year-old patient took opioid medications that failed to reduce severe pain in his cheek. The patient also suffered constipation and drowsiness as side effects of the opiates.

Maidan then prescribed medical cannabis oil to the patient for his cancer wound. He used it four times a day for almost a month. The patient then reported that the hole on his cheek has stopped growing and that the size of the wound has been reduced by five per cent. Maidan believes that ancient cultures have been using cannabis extracts on wounds.

There are no scientific evidence that cannabis oil may help in wound treatment, especially for cancer patients, as there are not actual studies conducted as well. Only one study done in human intestine cells growing in lab dishes suggests that cannabinoids may enhance wound closure.

Dr. Anita Gupta, vice chair of the Division of Pain Medicine at Drexel College of Medicine in Philadelphia, said that while it is interesting that cannabis oil worked in reducing the wound of the Canadian patient, the reason of its efficacy is still not clear. Gupta theorized that the oil may have reduced the inflammation of the cancer wound.

Geoff Munro, Alcohol and Drug Foundation National Policy manager, said that there is no doubt marijuana is harmful. Recreational cannabis smoking will likely increase risk of schizophrenia and trigger heart attack. Researchers are still conducting studies to know more about the benefits of cannabis oil in treating cancer wounds.

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