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Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2012 Jul;83(1):1-10. doi: 10.1016/j.critrevonc.2011.09.008. Epub 2011 Oct 21.

The intersection between cannabis and cancer in the United States.

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Developmental Therapeutics Program, University of Colorado Cancer Center, Aurora, CO 80045, USA.


In the last 15 years there has been a major shift in the laws governing medical use of cannabis in the United States. Corresponding with this change there has been escalating interest in the role that cannabis, commonly referred to as marijuana, and cannabinoids play in the care of patients with cancer. This review will examine cannabis' and cannabinoids' current and potential roles in cancer care. Specifically, we will examine five areas of cannabis medicine: (1) pharmacologic properties of cannabis; (2) its potential role in the development of human cancers, particularly smoking-related malignancies; (3) cannabinoids' potential as anti-cancer therapies; (4) cannabis and cannabinoids in the palliation of common cancer-associated symptoms; (5) current legal status of cannabis for medical purposes in the United States.

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