General Article 'Cannabis cure for brain cancer' headline is misleading

Topic Selected: Drugs
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By Kat Arney

Earlier this week the Daily Mail reported that a young US boy’s brain tumour had been ‘cured’ after his father secretly gave him cannabis oil through his feeding tube.

The bold headline hides a more important truth: the boy was also receiving high-dose chemotherapy, and it is this – rather than the cannabis oil – that is likely to have treated his cancer.

Despite the headline, the story points out that the cannabis oil may well have helped to relieve some of the symptoms of the cancer, and treatment side-effects such as pain, nausea and appetite loss. But this isn’t the impression that you get from reading the headline, which arguably implies that cannabis cured the boy’s disease.
We felt it was important to emphasise this distinction. The role of cannabis and its derivatives in treating cancer is the subject of persistent Internet myth and rumour, and we’re concerned that this headline may unduly fan these flames.

Cannabis and cancer – the state of play

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