Can cannabis be used to heal cancer patients?

2018-10-23 06:02
Marijuana plants. PHOTO: sourced

Marijuana plants. PHOTO: sourced

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FOLLOWING the Constitutional Court ruling on the private use of marijuana, major questions have been raised about whether using cannabis can really cure cancer and other ailments.

Cannabis is a drug that comes from Indian hemp plants such as Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica.

It is a generic term used to denote the several preparations of the cannabis Sativa, commonly known as marijuana.

CEO for CANSA Elize Joubert said: “CANSA cannot support the use of cannabis [excluding medically prescribed cannabidiol] as long as cannabis is still illegal in South Africa. CANSA cannot support the smoking of cannabis as smoking is dangerous to health, whether one speaks of tobacco products or cannabis.”

Joubert said they cannot currently recommend the use of cannabidiol for use by cancer patients until such time as successful clinical trials have concluded indicating that the benefits of Cannabidiol use outweigh any possible associated risks with the use of cannabidiol in the palliation and treatment of cancer.

“CANSA however recognises the right of any patients to request a prescription for the use of cannabidiol from their doctor and also recognises the right of medical practitioners to prescribe cannabidiol to their patients,” Joubert said.

Joubert added that CANSA is of the opinion that “there are currently medicines available for us in South Africa for the effective treatment of nausea, voting and other conditions related to cancer including palliative and end-of-life care until other complimentary [options] may become available”.

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