Combating Breast Cancer With Cannabis


Breast cancer is a horrible disease affecting 1 in 8 Canadian women in their lifetimes. This cancer has a range of treatments currently, but could cannabis be added to them?


There’s evidence that cannabis can slow the growth of tumors through a combination of effects.

  • Blocking the tumors ability to use blood vessels to grow (angiogenesis).
  • Increasing the death rate (autophagy and apoptosis) of proliferating cells.
  • Decreasing the migration of cancer cells to other places in the body (metastasis).




This has been proven by numerous studies on mice, though human trials have yet to be conducted.

Since the 1990’s there has been evidence that cannabis can fight cancer. The main study on breast cancer and cannabis is from 2007 by Dr. Sean McAllister. It found that CBD fights breast cancer by switching off a gene called ID-1. This gene is helpful when we are young, but can return later in adulthood causing malignant tumors.

Though THC and CBD have both been found to have anti-cancer properties, another cannabinoid called 0-1663 was the most effective in combating breast cancer and extending the life of mice that were afflicted. This was determined by a study published in 2014 in The British Journal of Pharmacology.

Though there is currently no cannabis treatment for breast cancer, there is an oral spray called Sativex that is being used to treat the pain associated with the disease. It’s currently used for other ailments in Europe and Canada but will soon come to the US to combat breast cancer discomfort directly. Hopefully, this will begin the process of development for more combative medications in the future.

February 6, 2018

by Shasta Nelson

Profile photo of Shasta Nelson
Shasta Nelson is a California Native and a cannabis connoisseur. She's been involved in the industry at every level since she was a teenager. Currently she provides content for Roottie, DOPE Magazine, and Terpenes and Testing. She's also a creative writer, with a graphic novel underway.


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