A massive 440-page report that was put together to clarify what weed can and cannot do to your body was released in January by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. One of the things that it poured water on was the notion that weed can treat cancers.
However, according to Men's Health, a U.K.-based drug company is looking to challenge that. That company, GW Pharmaceuticals, claims that a substance they've created, which combines THC and cannabidiol, increases median survival rates in brain cancer patients by six months when compared to a non-cannabis placebo. They also reportedly released data from an early trial to back up that claim, and say that the recent study suggests that combining THC and cannabidiol can make cancer cells less viable.
The cancer that their treatment is attacking is called glioblastoma multiforme, which is said to be a particularly fatal brain cancer. People who are unfortunate enough to be diagnosed with it only have a 30 percent chance of surviving past two years, and also suffer major brain damage along the way.
GW's substance appears to be effective because it enhances a process which "regulates cell self-degradation more effectively." This, in turn, leads to brain tumors growing and progressing at a slower rate. The treatment also, they say, "acts on an intercellular pathway," which is frequently overactive in many types of cancers.
All that being said, according to Fortune, it still isn't clear what weed's effect on cancer is. After all, marijuana doesn't treat cancer, so much as it treats the pain and nausea that cancer patients suffer from. Furthermore, GW's product contains what they call "concentrated derivatives" in specific doses, which are being clinically tested and could provide further insights in the future.