Philmans Pharm,, The German Patient Roundtable

Est. 1977

Cannabis and cannabinoids in cancer therapy an introductory brief overview- by Markus Berger

Cannabis is a medicinal plant with incredible potential. No other plant covers as much medical spectrum as the hemp.However, research in this field is far from over, and new findings and application areas of hemp products are emerging from scientific investigations every year. Cannabis can also have a helpful effect in the case of cancers and the side effects and accompanying symptoms associated with conventional therapy. In this article, we will look at a brief overview of how cannabis can help alleviate cancer.

It is the ingredients of the hemp plant, which can be helpful to cancer patients and in the case of healthy people may even prevent the formation of cancer cells. The fact that hemp can be successfully used against cancer is now really nothing new. In the indigenous ethnomedicine of the Americas, cannabis has long been regarded as an effective plant for combating cancerous diseases. It is also well known that cannabis products are useful in the palliative, that is, the soothing cancer treatment. For example, cannabinoids help against nausea and vomiting, which are often seen as undesirable side effects in the context of radiation and chemotherapy. Cannabis is particularly useful in interactions with other drugs which suppress the breed-release inhibition against these symptoms. At the same time, marijuana, hashish or hash oil also act as appetite stimulants and are thus helpful against excessive emaciation in people with advanced cancer. Cannabis also helps cancer patients as mood brighteners and effective painkillers. Cannabinoids and opiates, for example morphine, intensify their analgesic effects on the other side.

It is important in this context to know that cancer patients are generally dying of excessive consumption – the terrible consequences of stressful chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Cannabis, with its medical and psychoactive effects, can counteract these exertions and drastically alleviate them, because cannabis sufferers are suddenly released from vomiting and regain appetite, regain their well-being, thereby significantly reducing pain or even completely disappearing. Dr Franjo Grotenhermen, a cannabis medicine expert, on the history of the THC as an appetite stimulant in cancer and other diseases: “An initial clinical study on the appetite-stimulating effect of THC in cancer patients” was published in 1976 (Regelson 1976).The 54 participants received 2.5 to 5 mg THC or a placebo 3 times daily for one week. An increase in weight of 0.2 to 0.4 kilograms was recorded under THC, whereas weight loss of 0.6 to 1 kilogram occurred in placebo. At the beginning of the 1990s, a few more small studies were conducted with cancer and AIDS patients who showed a similar success in THC treatment with weight loss “(Grotenhermen 2015: 106). Another study looked at adults “with advanced cancer, bad appetite, and changes in chemosensory perception (…). Twenty-four participants received 2.5 mg of THC twice a day and 22 received a placebo for 18 days. Patients treated with THC indicated significantly improved and enhanced chemosensory perception, and the food tasted better (ibid .: 107).

In the United States, “Joints” was formerly “banned” for cancer patients suffering from the terrible consequences (chronic nausea, vomiting) of chemotherapy “(Hainer Hai and Ronald Rippchen: hemp manual). Today, with the resurgence of cannabis medicine, medical Marijuana varieties are again distributed to patients via the Medical Marijuana Dispensaries, if desired, also in the form of ready-made Purjoints.

Cannabinoids, and this is known today, are not only useful remedies for cancer-related symptoms. Cannabinoids are also able to stop, prevent and at least potentially heal cancer cases. The endocannabinoids formed by the body, which each vertebrate and consequently every human being carry within it, play a decisive role. This is because they produce an antitumoral effect, which goes far beyond the palliative effect, when combined with externally supplied cannabinoids. However, the research on these spectacular findings is still in the children’s shoes, and in the future there will still be some great discoveries under guarantee. Let us look at what has been researched so far.

–  Cannabinoids inhibit the growth of cancer cells.

– Cannabinoids ae the so-called angiogenesis inhibitors, ie, they inhibit the formation of blood vessels (= angiogenesis), which nourish a tumor, which is of great use in cancer therapy.

– Cannabinoids have apoptotic effects, that is, they favor a kind of programmed cell death from abnormal, thus also from cancer cells. Apoptosis, in simplified terms, means a process in the body in which ever old, useless and abnormal cells are killed in a suicide-like destruction process in order to make room for healthy and fresh cells.

– Cannabinoids have antimetastatic effects, that is, they prevent the formation of stray cancer cells, the so-called metastases.

The renowned SETH research labs (SETH = Scientists Exploring Truth in Healing) in the US have shown that marijuana cancer cells turn off in tumors, while it does not bother the healthy cells. American scientists found out in 2009 that cannabidiol (CBD) can inhibit the metastasis of aggressive breast cancer. And the University of Rostock also concluded in a laboratory study that cannabinoids block an enzyme with the formation of an inhibitor that allows cancer cells to spread. In short, cannabis prevents the further spread of cancer cells in the body. The detection was achieved by a cell culture model.However, researchers are looking for cannabinoids that do not have psychoactivity for any pharmaceutical preparations to be created in order to achieve a non-effective alternative to chemotherapy. A study by the University of South Florida also shows that THC can block the so-called gamma herpes viruses. These are not common herpes viruses, but represent a highly dangerous variant, which can be responsible for different types of cancer. It is also proven that cannabinoids can play a central role, especially in brain tumors, as they can overcome the blood-brain barrier and thus easily penetrate the cancer cells of the brain. The biochemist Dr. Manuel Guzmán has shown in experiments with rats that THC destroys brain tumors, which are actually regarded as incurable. A sensation that was hardly noticed by the public.

So much to the facts so far proved to the effectiveness of cannabinoids in the various cancer diseases. But we will expect a lot.So, if cannabinoids are helpful, then marijuana and hashish are the available drugs. Preparations such as dronabinol and nabilone are only of secondary importance, but these products are pure tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). It is true that THC has a special anti-tumor quality. However, some types of cancer require treatment with cannabidiol (CBD), which is contained, for example, in preparations such as Sativex together with THC. And also pure CBD has its effectiveness: “Several cell and animal experiments have shown that not only THC, but also CBD has anticancer properties” (Grotenhermen et al., 2015: 38). But: “So far no clinical trials have been carried out in humans, and therefore no statement can be made about the efficacy or over-sensible doses, possibly also in combination with THC” (ibid.).

Presumably, it will be the totality of the cannabinoids in the hemp plant, which guarantees the best and most effective efficacy against any kind of suffering, which is why the pure natural product, as legally possible, is to be preferred in any case. In particular, the highly active ishic oil is of paramount interest in cancer treatment. The story of the Canadian Rick Simpson, who has cured many patients with various forms of cancer using hash oil, is well-known. For eight years – and totally free!The film “Run from the Cure” provides information about the entire story and is freely available on the Internet under the Creative Commons license. An important movie tip! Even David Triplett from the USA, inspired by Rick Simpson, fought malignant skin cancer succesfully with hashish oil. In doing so, he carried the oil on the outside – precisely on the visible cancer lesions, whereupon this gradually healed and previously invisible cancer became visible in other places. David Triplett also treated these lesions with the hemp blossom oil-not to be confused with the oil made from the hemp seed-until the cancer ulcers had completely disappeared.

Overall, it can be said that cannabis can favorably influence the disease course of cancer and other autoimmune diseases, if not significantly more benefits. It is only the scientific studies of modern, though limited, medicinal medicine, which gradually reveal the mechanisms of healing by cannabinoids. Bottom line, however, one can not be too euphoric when it comes to cannabis and cancer treatment. Franjo Grotenhermen summarizes briefly: “Treatment with cannabis, THC and / or CBD is not an alternative to normal cancer therapy (surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, immunotherapy), but could be a useful supplement.

In some types of cancer there is evidence that THC and CBD are more effective in combination than either of the two cannabinoids alone. There are also indications that THC and CBD might enhance the efficacy of conventional chemotherapy and radiation treatments. It can be assumed that CBD and THC have different meanings in different cancers “(Grotenhermen et al., 2015: 38f.).

The US government has known since 1975 that cannabis is an effective means of treating symptoms and ailments associated with (the therapeutic) actions of cancer. In a study commissioned by the US National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) in 2000, researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles questioned in a questionable way that THC increases the responsiveness to cancer. The study has shown that THC suppresses immunoreactivity, ie the body’s defense mechanisms against lung cancer. However, the “scientists” administered the test animals over a month four times a week 5 milligrams per kilogram of body weight THC, which represents an enormous overdose. We are talking about the 70-fold dose a person needs to get intoxicated! Dr. Franjo Grotenhermen, medical expert and medical cannabis expert, said: “These animal experiments with high doses of THC can not simply be transferred to the human situation” ( However, a further study by the US government resulted in the opposite results, which kept them under lock-and-play for a long time. Also the marc of the joint, which is as dangerous and carcinogenic as 20 cigarettes is, is now no longer in the discussion.

Franjo Grotenhermen reports on new findings on various plant carcinomas and their antitumoral efficacy in 2015: “Italian researchers investigated the anti-tumor effect of five natural cannabinoids of the cannabis plant (cannabidol, cannabigol, cannabidroma, cannabidiol and THC acid) in breast cancer (Ligresti et al . Cannabidiol was among these cannabinoids the most effective substance in inhibiting the growth of human breast cancer cells that were injected under the skin of mice. CBD also reduced the lung metastases injected from human breast cancer cells into the paws of the animals. Researchers found that the anti-tumor effect of CBD was caused by triggering a programmed cell death of cancer cells “(Grotenhermen et al., 2015: 43). Some further findings are summarized in the book “Cannabidiol CBD” by Grotenhermen, myself and Kathrin Gebhardt.

Finally, a few lines on how to deal with the drug cannabis. Because even cancer patients in Germany do not simply approach the valuable medicine. As in the past, severe diseases can only reach medical centers with the exception of the Federal Office of Public Health – and socially stigmatized in many cases. Therefore, it is absolutely delicious to read reports such as the following: “Doctors are allowed to talk with their patients about all aspects of cannabis products. However, they may not advise their patients to commit a criminal offense, and they may not provide their patients with illegal cannabis products, as happened in the UK in 2004, when a doctor admitted cannabis to a cancer patient. “(Grotenhermen 2006: 29). If physicians need to help their patients become criminals because they know that there is a helpful medicine, then that is the best indicator that something is wrong in our society. Let us hope that this soon belongs to the dark history of human inadequacy.



Literature (selection):


Grinspoon, Lester and Bakalar, James B. 1994. Marijuana, the Forbidden Medicine,


Grotenhermen, Franjo 2006. Treatment with cannabis and THC, Solothurn: Nachtschatten Verlag


Grotenhermen, Franjo 2015. Hemp as medicine, Solothurn: Nachtschatten Verlag


Grotenhermen, Franjo, Markus Berger and Kathrin Gebhard (2016), CBD Cannabidiol, 2nd edition, Solothurn: Nachtschatten Verlag


Guzmán, Manuel 2003. Cannabinoids: potential anticancer agents. Nat. Rev. Cancer 3 (10): 745-55.


Hai, Heiner and Ronald Rippchen 1998. The hemp manual, Löhrbach: Werner Pieper’s media experiments


Hartwell, Jonathan L. 1967-71. Plants used against cancer. A survey. Lloydia 30-34.


Li X. Zhu, Sherven Sharma, Marina Stolina, Brian Gardner, Michael D. Roth, Donald P. Tashkin, and Steven M. Dubinett 2000. Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol Inhibits Antitumor Immunity by a CB2 Receptor-Mediated, Cytokine-Dependent Pathway , The Journal of Immunology 165: 373-380.


Rätsch, Christian 2016. Hemp as a remedy, Solothurn: Nachtschatten Verlag


Rätsch, Christian 1998. Encyclopaedia of Psychoactive Plants, Aarau: AT Verlag


Over the last 4 decades I have been involved in the fight for patient rights in America, and now here in Germany. During my career I have served as a Board of Director for the World Trade Center San Diego and as a Lead Consultant for Deutsche Telekom's Executive Board, Co-Founded the San Diego Software Council and the Dayton Human Trafficking Accords and was Director of LawInfo's Lead Council Program. Previously I was a C-Level Business Development Executive in the technology sector, but also involved with the cannabis industry since 1977. More recently I have been fulltime in the legal medical marijuana industry here in Europe, helping international companies navigate the biggest potential market in the world. This website is light on details due to confidentiality issues with clients but be rest assured I am knowledgeable, professional and with street cred in the industry that can immediately assist your growth in some way. Consulting Services: Sales and Business Development Assist with Strategic Direction Professionally represent your firm Special Projects management Licensing and compliance Sales and Distribution networks Qualify potential partners I am your resource on the ground in Europe, contact me directly to schedule an initial discussion on the German Cannabis-as-Medicine market. Thank you, Philip J. Cenedella IV Call +1.888.206.3264 USA + GERMANY Skype: philip.j.cenedella eMail: LinkedIN:

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