Cannabis and Prostate Health
Three years ago my father passed away after a six year battle with cancer. It started with his prostate, but eventually moved to his kidneys. For the six years he fought the disease, my dad and mom both continually pestered me to get tested, considering I was closing in on 50 years old. I fought them on it the entire time, too scared to know the truth; the king of preaching transparency was suddenly the king of hypocrisy. I pushed on with blinders while my father withered and then finally flew away like a fall leaf.
Prostate cancer is 2nd to lung cancer as the leading cause of death across 46 countries and has the 5th highest mortality rate (6.7%) worldwide.
After his passing I returned home and saw my kids first. In fact, I picked them up from school. During the drive home I finally heard my father’s voice. It was about the two munchkins in the back seat and not about me anymore. It was time to get tested, for real. I had health insurance, for how much longer I couldn’t predict based on my job security at the firm I worked for, which was fair to middling. So I did it, and it sucked, but I kind of felt worse for the doctor afterwards. That’s enough detail. I then sweated out the results, considering my genetic history.
It turned out I was in good shape though, posting a score below 1. I was happy with the news, but more relieved than anything. Having explained my familial history with the doctors in detail, my doctor asked me over the phone if I was vegetarian. I said no, and so he probed a bit more into my lifestyle. When he learned that I didn’t drink alcohol, but that I do consume cannabis on a regular basis he said something like, “ahaaa.” A light went on in his head, and then he gave me a short education on the positive effects cannabis and prostate health. I was shocked!
Apparently, the combination of a lack of alcohol and the consumption of weed was blocking the testosterone circulating in my body from attacking my prostate’s receptors, which is what causes enlarged prostates and ultimately prostate cancer. According to a study published in the Indiana Journal of Urology, “experimental evidence shows that prostate tissue possesses cannabinoid receptors and their stimulation results in anti-androgenic effects.”
Androgen | an·dro·gen | noun: male hormones, including testosterone and androsterone
A scientific review of six different studies regarding cannabis and prostate cancer was published in the Journal of Molecular Science in 2020, and each of the studies reviewed showed that cannabinoids were shown to reduce the size of prostate tumors in mice and other animals. The review then concluded that cannabinoids possess anticancer properties. It also stressed that more detailed studies need to be conducted, on perhaps humans instead of rodents. That requires more funding and more encouragement by the American government for scientists to conduct these studies.
Help in that department is on its way. A bipartisan marijuana research bill was passed by Congress on Wednesday, and according to Marijuana Moment, President Joe Biden intends to sign it when it reaches his desk. What does this bill do for cannabis research? It does a number of things, but most importantly, “requires the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to look at the health benefits and risks of marijuana as well as policies that are inhibiting research into cannabis that’s grown in legal states and provide recommendations on overcoming those barriers.”
Institutional research into the cannabis plant’s ability to fight off and treat prostate cancer could affect millions of people who have very few options and insight when it comes to preventative measures. This research could benefit other areas of study too, as there seems to be quite a bit of overlap when it comes to the depth of the cannabis plant’s ability to serve as medicine for the human body. The fact that we have cannabis receptors in our prostate glands is sort of mind blowing to me. It begs the question; how many cannabis receptors do we have in our bodies that can block the intrusion of bad cells, androgens, PCBs, COVID, the flu and more? Hopefully the research into the medical uses of the cannabis plant will explode because of this bill.
As for me, I did not tell my mother or even my ex-wife that I had a prostate exam, and that it went well. I resisted telling my ex-wife and simply forgot to tell my mom. She hasn’t pestered me about getting tested since my father passed, but I know she thinks about it. So much time has passed since the test and so many other life events have taken place that, at some point it became moot and seemed awkward to bring up so long after the fact. Maybe I will just share with her this article on cannabis and prostate health.