During this video Dr. Mary Clifton speaks about how THC and cannabis could stave off colon cancer, but the current research is very minimal. There are 97,000 new cases per year, 50,000 deaths each year, making colorectal cancer the third most common cancer cause of death in the United States.


What you’ll Learn

  • Statistics of Colon Cancer
  • Chemoprevention
  • Advanced Screening and other preventive measures

The Reality of Colon Cancer and How it Relates to Cannabis

Colon cancer. A subject that is near and close to my heart, given that I lost of my older brothers to colon cancer. There’s 97,000 new cases per year, 50,000 deaths each year, making colorectal cancer the third most common cancer cause of death in the United States. Although there has been some reduction in mortality caused by colorectal cancer due to advances in screening, preventive colonoscopy, it still remains the third most common cancer diagnoses. But the good news, if there is any around colorectal cancer, is that the changes in the colonic epithelial cells are very slow in general, and typically take up to five years to go from normal cells to a adenomatous polyp of precancerous foci. Oftentimes there’s the development of a small area, an aberrant crypt foci, of abnormal cells that then develops into a polyp.

Further research is working on the prevention of the development in these polyps, adenomatous polyps being identified as precancerous. Then also doing the polypectomies. But of course, chemoprevention can help. Before you get to your colonoscopy, this is one cancer that’s going to respond very well to eating a good diet and following a healthy lifestyle, but in addition to that, THC has been shown to be potentially beneficial in a laboratory setting. In fact, THC induces cell death in these aberrant cryptic foci in a CB1 dependent way, by stimulating the CB1 receptors on the epithelial cells. That stimulation seems to work to induce cell death through the reactive oxygen species pathway, the ROS pathway.

Could THC, regular cannabis use, actually stave off colon cancer? Well, this is very early research to suggest that that may be possible, and I don’t know of any studies that are ongoing that are looking at people who are using cannabis versus people who aren’t to determine if there’s a reduction in colorectal cancer, but stay tuned. This data on the way that THC is working with cancer cells in the laboratory is, I think, very interesting, surrounding colorectal cancer, and may shed some light on how THC and other cannabinoids can help to reduce the risk of cancer for a healthy person who is regularly using.

Dr. Mary Clifton


Dr. Mary Clifton is an Internal Medicine doctor in New York City, with 20 years of experience in both the hospital and private practice and is also a licensed by the New York State Department of Health to provide medical marijuana and is a recognized expert in CBD, Cannabis, and Medical Marijuana.

She is a published researcher, national speaker on women’s health and osteoporosis, and author of four books, and two new soon-to-be-released books on CBD and Cannabis – what you need to know, how to use them and a COOKBOOK to support ease of use.