That cannabis can cause cancer is a myth that needs to be debunked.
There are people who do not believe that cannabis has any therapeutic benefits at all. Even, when we talk about CBD oil and cancer, then some people insist that cannabis is dangerous and that smoking pot can even cause cancer. Because if smoking tobacco or cigarettes can lead to lung cancer (and other types of cancer), smoking pot surely can, too, right?
While marijuana smoke and tobacco smoke contain carcinogens and the same constituents, they do not have the same adverse effects. Studies have found that smoking marijuana does not cause lung cancer the way smoking cigarettes does.
Smoking tobacco, according to the National Cancer Institute, is the number one cause of cancer, and the number cause of death from cancer. Other than lung cancer, tobacco also causes cancer of the larynx, mouth, throat, esophagus, kidney, bladder, liver, pancreas, stomach, colon and rectum, cervix, and even blood (acute myeloid leukemia).
One study found that occasional and low cumulative cannabis use isn’t associated with negative effects on pulmonary function. According to the study, there wasn’t any clear evidence showing that smoking weed causes the same pulmonary damage that smoking tobacco does.
The study, however, noted that marijuana smokers demonstrated consistent evidence of mucosal injury and inflammation of the airway, as well as phlegm production, wheezing, and cough, all of which are also observed in tobacco smokers. But that’s about it.
Cannabis is even used in cancer treatment!
On the contrary, some medical professionals even use cannabis in treating certain symptoms of cancer like nausea and pain. Some cancer patients also use cannabis to deal with the side effects of chemotherapy, such as vomiting and lack of appetite.
A 1975 study published in the National Cancer Institute journal showed that cannabis has the potential to slow down the growth of cancerous tumor in mice.
The chemical compound Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC has been found to help regulate the body’s ribonucleic acid or RNA, which is the one responsible for killing cells or keeping them alive. The RNA of those diagnosed with cancer is coded for proliferation, thus spreading the growth of cancerous cells instead of killing them off. So, with using cannabis, THC comes into the picture and commands the RNA to stop. THC codes for the death of cancer cells.
Moreover, cannabidiol or CBD, which is another prominent compound contained in cannabis, also has anti-proliferative properties. The British Journal for Clinical Pharmacology wrote that CBD can decrease the size of cancer tumors and may even have anti-metastatic property – which means the ability to prevent the spread of cancer cells.
What about heavy cannabis use?
Many people also have the false belief that increased marijuana use will do the trick. They believe that all it would take is for you to smoke pot more heavily in order to get the same negative effects you get from tobacco smoking.
Again, they are wrong.
A book entitled Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know noted that a marijuana user consumes way less cannabis than a regular tobacco or cigarette smoker consumes tobacco. While a typical cigarette smoker consumes a pack or 20 grams of tobacco in a day, 4 grams of pot a day already means an extremely heavy pot smoking habit. As such, marijuana exposure is not great enough for it to cause cancer.
Moreover, according to a study for the World Health Organization in 1995, even if marijuana use is increased to the same levels as tobacco, it is unlikely that it would produce the same public health effects.
The study concluded that most of the risks associated with cannabis consumption are “small to moderate.” In effect, these risks are not likely to create public health problems that are comparable in scale to the ones produced by tobacco.