Can Marijuana Help Cancer?



Some Studies Now Say That Marijuana May Help Some Cancers

Now there are some studies that are coming out that indicate that marijuana can actually help certain forms of cancer. This emphasizes my point that I’ve made earlier that these kinds of questions are so generic that they wind up answering nothing. Because of such a wide and ill-defined set of research criteria, we wind up with apparently conflicting results.

In fact, the results do not conflict. It is the way we’re framing our questions and the extreme reductionist attitude of the research that reduces out the meaningful data in their quest for objectivity.

It Depends on The Cancer

From the viewpoint of Traditional Chinese Medicine, marijuana may help cancers that involve a significant amount of wetness. It can be particularly helpful in cancers that appear on the stomach and kidney channels. Yet marijuana would be detrimental to cancers that have a significant hot toxic quality on those same channels. It could also be detrimental in cancers that are hormone responsive and/or involve pathological dryness.

Successful Treatment Depends on Relationships

In fact, most cancers embody a combination of wetness and toxins, so it will be a toss up for how beneficial marijuana will be in treating them. However, from the viewpoint of Traditional Chinese Medicine, you wouldn’t use a single herb to treat an illness anyway. You would combine herbs into families that support each other’s beneficial aspects and reduce the negative ones with respect to the illness you are treating. You would create that formula through respecting the inner environment of the individual you are treating, along with her/his interpersonal, familial, close social, community, national and global relationships. And don’t forget the weather.

If we were really going to take this kind of dimensionality into account when we are testing substances, then we would have something to talk about. Until then, from the point of view of Traditional Chinese Medicine, the results of any studies will be hazy, vague and not very relevant to the matter at hand.

How Useful Is Marijuana?

Does any of this affect how we treat people clinically? Of course it does. There are many, many substances that we can use to treat all kinds of cancers. The question is what are the useful qualities of any substance, and what do we need to combine it with keeping all of the above factors in mind to maximize the treatment potential for the individual right now.

Is marijuana helpful to treat certain kinds of cancers? The answer is that it could be, but it really depends on the individual. The better question to ask is, ‘Is marijuana one of the most useful substances that we can use to treat this person right now? If it is, what can we do to maximize its positive effects and minimize the negative ones?’

In all of my years of practice, have I ever used marijuana to help someone with cancer? No. I’ve always found other herbs that are more helpful. Whenever marijuana has been involved, it has been because of the patient’s personal choices and not something that I have suggested as part of their treatment. In every one of those cases, marijuana has been an aggravating factor in their illness, not a helpful one.

We Have Many Tools

Is it conceivable that marijuana could help somebody in combination with other traditional Chinese herbs? Yes, but there are many other herbs in our arsenal that are much less volatile and problematic. If I had to use marijuana to treat somebody with cancer, I could, if I balanced it out with other herbs appropriately. You never know, things could boil down to that some day, so to speak, but I hope they never do.


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For extensive details on how to balance and optimize the effects of cannabis using Traditional Chinese Medicine, please refer to

Marijuana Syndromes
How to Balance and Optimize
the Effects of Cannabis
With Traditional Chinese Medicine


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More Resources

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Here’s the National Cancer Institute’s view on cannabis and cancer...


For extensive details on how to balance and optimize the effects of cannabis using Traditional Chinese Medicine, please refer to

Marijuana Syndromes
How to Balance and Optimize
the Effects of Cannabis
With Traditional Chinese Medicine

Home