Stomach cancers are typically diagnosed in older adults, but depending on a person’s dietary choices, weight, overall health, parasites and infections, stomach cancer can affect the young as well.
About Stomach Cancer
According to the American Cancer society, Stomach cancers tend to develop slowly over many years. Before a true cancer develops, pre-cancerous changes often occur in the inner lining (mucosa) of the stomach. These early changes rarely cause symptoms and therefore often go undetected.1
Cancers starting in different sections of the stomach may cause different symptoms and tend to have different outcomes. The cancer’s location can also affect the treatment options. For example, cancers that start at the GE junction are staged and treated the same as cancers of the esophagus. A cancer that starts in the cardia of the stomach but then grows into the GE junction is also staged and treated like a cancer of the esophagus.1
Types of Stomach Cancers
Most (about 90% to 95%) cancers of the stomach are adenocarcinomas. A stomach cancer or gastric cancer almost always is an adenocarcinoma. These cancers develop from the cells that form the innermost lining of the stomach (the mucosa).1
These are cancers of the immune system tissue that are sometimes found in the wall of the stomach. The treatment and outlook depend on the type of lymphoma.1
Gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST)
These rare tumors start in very early forms of cells in the wall of the stomach called interstitial cells of Cajal. Some of these tumors are non-cancerous (benign); others are cancerous. Although GISTs can be found anywhere in the digestive tract, most are found in the stomach.1
These tumors start in hormone-making cells of the stomach. Most of these tumors do not spread to other organs.1
Medical Study on Gastric Cancer and Cannabis
Medical marijuana cannabinoids have been studied extensively in its ability to kill cancer and tumor cells. In a Korean study in 2013, researchers found that cannabinoid halted the proliferation of stomach and gastric cancers in rodents. The study used a synthetic version of THC and in turn, they found that the apoptotic cells increased; these cells cause imminent death to cancer cells.2
How Medical Cannabis Works
Medical cannabis has over 100 neuroactive properties that work with CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors within the brain. This natural process helps our bodies naturally react to cannabis (medical marijuana). The structure of cannabis interacts directly with our cells. Therefore, our biological endocannabinoid system works synergistically with medical marijuana, creating a multitude of beneficial reactions in the body. The endocannabinoid cell’s tiny receptors take in chemicals and produce responses. This natural system in our bodies regulates things like mood, sleeping, immunity, pleasure, memory and much more.
Medical marijuana is made up of THC, CBD, and terpenes. The CBD is known to bind to receptors and is thought to regenerate cells and brain function, while THC helps to relax and alleviate the physical symptoms of apprehension. Terpenes have an antioxidative effect that supports the cells much in the same way as green leafy vegetables. There is a collaborative effect between these chemicals when taken together. This synergistic effect means the ratio of THC, CBD and terpenes can be manipulated for the patient’s benefit.
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1. American Cancer Society, “About Stomach Cancer”, Atlanta, GA, 2019,
2. Xiang-shu xian1, Anticancer Research, “Cannabinoid Receptor Agonist as an Alternative Drug in 5-Fluorouracil-resistant Gastric Cancer Cells” 33: 2541-2548 (2013), http://ar.iiarjournals.org/content/33/6/2541.full.pdf