Study: History Of Cannabis Use Associated With Reduced Cancer Risk

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director February 3, 2015

    Cannabis use is inversely associated with incidences of bladder cancer in males, according epidemiological findings published in the February issue of the journal Urology.

    Investigators at the Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center, Department of Neurology assessed the association of cannabis use and tobacco smoking on the risk of bladder cancer in a multiethnic cohort of more than 80,000 men aged 45 to 69 years old over an 11-year period.

    Researchers determined that a history of cannabis use was associated with a decreased risk of bladder cancer. By contrast, tobacco use was associated with an increased risk of cancer.

    “After adjusting for age, race or ethnicity, and body mass index, using tobacco only was associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer (hazard regression 1.52) whereas cannabis use was only associated with a 45 percent reduction in bladder cancer incidence (HR 0.55),” investigators reported.

    Subjects who reported using both tobacco and cannabis possessed a decreased risk of cancer (HR 1.28) compared to those subjects who used tobacco only (HR 1.52).

    The study is the first to indicate that cannabis use may be inversely associated with bladder cancer risk.

    Authors concluded:

    “In this multiethnic cohort of 82,050 men, we found that cannabis use alone was associated with a decreased risk of bladder cancer. … [M]en who used tobacco alone were 1.5 times more likely to develop bladder cancer when compared with men who did not use tobacco or cannabis. … However, among men who used both substances, this risk of bladder cancer was mitigated. … If this represents a cause and effect relationship, this pathway may provide new opportunities for the prevention and/or treatment of bladder cancer.”

    In 2009, Brown University researchers similarly reported that the moderate long-term use of marijuana was associated with a reduced risk of head and neck cancers in a multi-center cohort involving over 1,000 subjects. Investigators further reported that marijuana use “modified the interaction between alcohol and cigarette smoking, resulting in a decreased HNSCC (head and neck squamous cell carcinoma) risk among moderate smokers and light drinkers, and attenuated risk among the heaviest smokers and drinkers.”

    Read the abstract of the study, “Association between cannabis use and the risk of bladder cancer: Results from the California Men’s Health Survey,” online here.

    24 responses to “Study: History Of Cannabis Use Associated With Reduced Cancer Risk”

    1. Raven says:

      And SAM’s research shows…what?

    2. William Levy says:

      Informative post!. I like it. Yes, cannabis or medical marijuana has amazing benefits in reducing the symptoms of cancer. I had a personal experience with it and highly satisfied.

    3. Galileo Galilei says:

      “Subjects who reported using both tobacco and cannabis possessed a decreased risk of cancer.”

      I had read that if you smoked both tobacco and marijuana you would be MORE likely to develop lung cancer, so this is interesting.

      I once read that marijuana encouraged cell apostasy, a natural process in which older cells destroy themselves to be replaced by younger cells–hence preventing the development of cancerous cells. Tobacco, ironically, makes cells virtually immortal. They get older and older and more decrepit until they devolve into cancerous monsters your immune system recognizes as NOT you.

    4. Miles says:

      Cancer has run in my family. Both of my parents, all my grandparents, and my aunt all had cancer. Only two of them survived the treatment.

      As for me, as I quickly reach age 60, I’m in perfect health after using cannabis since age 15!

      I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the only thing wrong with cannabis are the idiotic laws against it.

    5. Ben says:

      “…cannabis use…decreased risk of…cancer.”

      They need to add a provision for partakers of the Great Herb to receive a reduction in medical insurance rates.

    6. Arrow says:

      A thought: People who smoke marijuana often get dry mouth and thus tend to drink more fluids than nonsmokers. This leads to more frequent urination; could this be a factor in the decreased risk? Another study should be done which also monitors water consumption and urination.

    7. Mark I says:

      Beat it twice and carry all along that want the ride to last. Making my own meds and never wondering if I will hurt myself with too much testing.

    8. Julian says:

      One of the greatest mysteries of my life is not only wondering how we allowed fear to prohibit cancer preventing medicine for so many generations, but what cancer we have potentially prevented in ourselves through our own self-medicated civil disobedience?

    9. Greg Carmello says:

      It is interesting that no research has been allowed with cannabis as a schedule one drug, American researchers , Doctors , and scientists have fought the government tooth , and nail to get clearance to do research, it has been a long hard battle’ and with the mass amounts of research coming out world wide showing that cannabis is the most beneficial , healthy plant on earth,this USA government will not budge one inch, witch makes it plain to see the government does not have the interests of it’s people at heart, what a hideous,ugly evil government it is.

    10. Joseph Goberville says:

      I Broke my neck, C3 thru C7 fused and wired at 15 yrs old, in 1973, I had daily xrays taken of my head and neck by a portable unit in my hospital room 4 over10 months time plus more over the years since, I had treatment at Mayo Clinic then , And a Doctor back then told me 2 smoke Marijuana, I have smoked Daily 4 almost 42 yrs now and Im still in Good Health, including Dealing with Arthritis in my Neck