Could Cannabis Shrink Tumors?

Tumors or neoplasms are abnormal growths of tissue or what is known as a mass of abnormal cells. Generally, there are three types of tumors: benign, pre-malignant and malignant.

A benign tumor is a non-cancerous growth.  Although these types of tumors do not spread into other areas they can cause pressure onto surrounding blood vessels and nerves.

A pre-malignant tumor is compromised of disordered cells that have the risk of turning into cancer.

And there is a malignant tumor which is a cancerous tumor that spreads to other areas of the body, which can be life-threatening if not resolved.

What new evidence are we seeing when it comes to cannabinoids role in shrinking tumors?

Lab results are showing that cannabinoids help stop new blood vessels from feeding tumors. This is very important, because the more blood flow to a tumor, the more it will grow. With less blood flow, the tumor will likely shrink and ultimately dissolve.1

Research is also showing us that cannabinoids inhibit the proliferation of cancerous cells spreading to other areas of the body, a process known as metastasis where a secondary growth forms. Certain cannabinoids are helpful in keeping things in a tight area instead of allowing healthy cells to get bombarded with diseased tissue.2

When the body is under stress it can benefit from assistance to go in and clean up the cells. With the use of cannabinoids,the body’s ability to promote cleansing of diseased cells is enhanced. Think of It like having a garbage disposal instead of a trash can. This method of waste clean up is more efficient.3

Through animal lab testing, we are seeing the ability of certain cannabinoids to inhibit the growth of metastasis especially in breast, brain and lung cancer growths, resulting in autophagy.1

What is happening is that certain cannabinoids are downregulating the expression of unhealthy genes, specifically ID-1 genes in order to restrain tumor growth2

The main cannabinoids that were researched in this particular study were:


With the down-regulation of unhealthy genes and up-regulation of autophagy (our ability to digest unhealthy cells), the body starts to regain homeostasis. When you activate this biological process, it assists you to repair naturally. Three key benefits to autophagy are:

  1. Decrease Inflammation
  2. Maximize your Biological Processes and Turn on Healthy Genes
  3. Reduce the Speed of the Aging Process

The findings suggest that cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant can function as a direct approach to tumor suppression and could help first line therapies (such as pharmaceuticals) to create improved results.123


Cannabis, cannabinoids and cancer – the evidence so far. Cancer Research UK – Science blog. Published July 25, 2012. Accessed November 18, 2016.
The antitumor activity of plant-derived non-psychoactive cannabinoids. PubMed Central (PMC). Published April 28, 2015. Accessed November 18, 2016.
Autophagy—How Your Body Detoxifies and Repairs Itself. Published March 11, 2016. Accessed November 18, 2016.
Cannabis Oil

Full Spectrum Cannabis Oil & The Entourage Effect

Cannabis contains hundreds of chemical compounds with diverse health benefits. As a remedy, cannabis compounds work best 
together– not extracted one by one. 1  This principle is aptly called “the entourage effect” to suggest that these compounds support each other, flock together, and combine forces to heal us.

For this reason, products such as “full-spectrum” cannabis oil preserve the integrity of the plant and its medicinal potency– and are far more effective than isolates or refined oils.


While cannabis therapies work best when the product maintains a full range of compounds, the culture of pharmaceutical drugs encourages a completely different mindset.

Consumers habitually check their over-the-counter drugs for the list of “active ingredients,” and the most prominent chemical is often seen as its most helpful. 2 We assume that the more of it there is, the “better” the drug will be.

This mentality does not apply well to cannabis treatments– and is likewise the root of the problem with pharmaceuticals that target the symptoms, not the cause.

Though cannabis remains an “alternative” therapy to the mainstream world of medicine,  it is still very common for manufacturers of cannabis products to respond to this popular perception.  They market isolate products as “refined,” as if freed from some impurity and reduced to the most essential elements.

But stripped of its complexity, cannabis loses its power to heal. 3


The best cannabis remedies are whole plant extracts, such as full-spectrum oil, whose potency comes from the interaction of many compounds in the entourage effect.   A study by the Hadassah Medical School at the University of Jerusalem showed how whole plant extracts reduced inflammatory conditions in mice to a far greater degree than purified cannabidiol when administered orally or by injection. 4

Cannabidiol (CBD) is commonly used in medical products, and belongs to a class of better-known compounds called cannabinoids. 1 CBD is the second most studied compound after THC (tetrahydrocannabinol)– widely recognized for its psychoactive effects and the most sought after compound in recreational use.

Today researchers have identified 144 cannabinoid compounds that are not found in any other plant.  However, cannabis includes a wealth of compounds far beyond cannabinoids.  As many as 1,088 non-cannabinoid compounds engage in complex ways and contribute to the entourage effect.

Terpenes and flavonoids are two major non-cannabinoid groups with aromatic and anti-inflammatory properties.  Though terpenes have psychoactive effects like THC, they can temper some of THC’s potentially negative effects by reducing the anxiety and paranoia that cannabis smokers sometimes feel.  A terpene called Pinene counteracts anxiety by providing mental alertness and focus, while others like Myrcene and Borneol are sedative and calming. 2

Flavonoids likewise balance the effects of THC, but also serve as antioxidants and estrogen regulators, among many other benefits.  Most flavonoids exist in in a wide variety of plants, though a specific type called canniflavins are exclusive to cannabis, and provide relief for inflammation.


Cannabis compounds interact dynamically when left intact in a product as they grew in the plant itself.  Though different people and conditions will not respond the same way to cannabis treatments every time, products like full-spectrum oil allow the maximal scope of benefits for everyone.  Whole plant extracts bring the whole “entourage” of chemical compounds together, and with it, the greatest chance for healing.

Whole-Plant Cannabis Concentrates Become Gold Standard. Medical Jane. Published January 23, 2014. Accessed November 5, 2016.
Beyond Cannabinoids: Flavonoids, Terpenes & Terpenoids Of Cannabis. Zamnesia. Published June 20, 2014. Accessed November 5, 2016.
Cannabis Study: Full-Spectrum Cannabis Extracts More Medically Effective than CBD Alone | Caregivers For Life Medical & Recreational Marijuana Center. Caregivers For Life. Published September 9, 2015. Accessed November 5, 2016. [Source]
Overcoming the Bell-Shaped Dose-Response of Cannabidiol by Using Cannabis Extract Enriched in Cannabidiol . Published February 2015. Accessed November 5, 2016. [Source]