Using Medical Marijuana for Cancer


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Using Medical Marijuana for Cancer

One of the most common patient diagnoses that I see, unfortunately, is cancer.  It’s a terrible disease, affecting the very young and the very old alike.

When patients come to me with cancer, they usually have one of three goals.  Treatment options differ depending on your goals.


Goal #1: Prevent cancer recurrence

Some patients were successfully treated for their cancer and are currently in remission.  However, they worry about their cancer returning and seek to prevent this using medical marijuana.

There is some evidence that medical marijuana, especially CBD (due to it’s immune modulating and anti-inflammatory properties), is a potential strategy for those seeking to prevent disease recurrence.

However, all patients should continue routine surveillance and treatment per their cancer doctor’s recommendations


Goal #2: Treat cancer or chemotherapy symptoms

Another group of patients currently have cancer and want to use medical marijuana to help alleviate symptoms.  Anxiety, depression, pain, nausea, vomiting, and decreased appetite are known side effects of cancer and cancer treatments like chemotherapy.

In these patients, we will typically use regimens that are predominant in THC, as THC is the component of medical marijuana that has proven benefit for many of the above symptoms.

In states that allowing vaping, that appears to be the superior form of delivery for these particular patients.


Goal #3:  Cure the cancer

A final group of patients want to use medical marijuana to actually treat their cancer.  As medical professionals, we do not feel that medical marijuana promotes cancer and we do not feel that medical marijuana negatively affects conventional cancer treatment, but we also do not feel that medical marijuana can treat cancer.

I know it’s disappointing to hear that medical marijuana cannot treat cancer, but I’m not going to lie to you.  There is no convincing medical evidence that cancer can be effectively treated in humans using only medical marijuana.

Now I certainly treat many patients that have cancer with medical marijuana, but almost all in conjunction with traditional cancer treatments.

I do not generally recommend, except in a few limited circumstances, that patients use only medical marijuana for cancer treatment.



So those are the three main uses of medical marijuana with regards to cancer.  Patients present to me with different illnesses and goals and I offer all my patients an individualized treatment plan custom tailored for their individual needs and circumstances.


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Thanks for reading

Doctor Victor Chou, M.D.

Medical Marijuana Clinic of Louisiana