With the rise of the use of Marijuana in our country due to many states continuing to pass laws legalizing the use, many patients now feel that it is a harmless substance to try, use or even abuse! However, researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine have identified a molecule that is activated by the presence of THC in the bloodstream that accelerates the growth in patients with HPV-positive head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.
HPV-related head and neck cancer is one of the fastest growing cancers in the United States, while at the same time that exposure to marijuana is accelerating. These cancers are the sixth most common cancer worldwide and begin in the cells that line the membranes inside the mouth, nose, and throat. Researchers believe that increased marijuana use over recent times may be the driving factor in this increase. There is now scientific evidence that daily marijuana use can drive tumor growth in HPV-related head and neck cancer!
Researchers are now looking at whether cannabidiol (CBD) has a similar effect to THC. CBD is another major chemical compound that is found in marijuana but does not produce the same high and is commonly used in over the counter products such as lotions, ointments, and edibles. Stay tuned as more information about the effects of the use of marijuana in all of its forms, recreactional and medicinal, becomes available!