Can Cannabis Cure Cancer?

February 11, 2018

Categories: Skepticism , Tags: Pseudoscience, Cannabis, CAM

An Australian woman, Shona Leigh, has publicly spoken (opens new window) about how she supposedly cured herself of cervical cancer with cannabis oil. This story seems to be popular in NZ (opens new window) because of the new Labour government's recent efforts to relax our laws on medicinal cannabis use.

Shona claims that, after deciding to ignore her doctor's advice to undergo chemotherapy treatment, she started taking the oil and is now free of cancer. Of course, a single person's experience is not enough to be able to make claims of efficacy, and so it's sad to see Shona making these claims publicly - she's potentially risking other people's health with her bad advice. Shona is now selling cannabis oil, which alongside the claims she's making are probably enough for her to fall foul of Australia's laws. Apparently she's "helped" around 50 people so far, which is worrying.

Unfortunately, despite the original Australian article carrying a skeptical viewpoint, the NZ Herald's article skipped any warnings of this being an unproven treatment. The Daily Mercury quoted Kat Arnet from Cancer Research UK:

"we only hear about the success stories -- what about the people who have tried cannabis and not been cured? People who make these bold claims for cannabis only pick their best cases, without presenting the full picture."

A similar critical warning was sadly missing from the Herald's article. a