A Review of the Therapeutic Antitumor Potential of Cannabinoids.

:Image result for J Altern Complement Med.

“The aim of this review is to discuss cannabinoids from a preclinical and clinical oncological perspective and provide the audience with a concise, retrospective overview of the most significant findings concerning the potential use of cannabinoids in cancer treatment.

RESULTS:

Cannabis sativa is a plant rich in more than 100 types of cannabinoids. Besides exogenous plant cannabinoids, mammalian endocannabinoids and synthetic cannabinoid analogues have been identified. Cannabinoid receptors type 1 (CB1) and type 2 (CB2) have been isolated and characterized from mammalian cells. Through cannabinoid receptor and non-receptor signaling pathways, cannabinoids show specific cytotoxicity against tumor cells, while protecting healthy tissue from apoptosis. The dual antiproliferative and proapoptotic effects of cannabinoids and associated signaling pathways have been investigated on a large panel of cancer cell lines. Cannabinoids also display potent anticancer activity against tumor xenografts, including tumors that express high resistance to standard chemotherapeutics. Few studies have investigated the possible synergistic effects of cannabinoids with standard oncology therapies, and are based on the preclinically confirmed concept of “cannabinoid sensitizers.” Also, clinical trials aimed to confirm the antineoplastic activity of cannabinoids have only been evaluated on a small number of subjects, with no consensus conclusions regarding their effectiveness.

CONCLUSIONS:

A large number of cannabinoid compounds have been discovered, developed, and used to study the effects of cannabinoids on cancers in model systems. However, few clinical trials have been conducted on the use of cannabinoids in the treatment of cancers in humans. Further studies require extensive monitoring of the effects of cannabinoids alone or in combination with standard anticancer strategies. With such knowledge, cannabinoids could become a therapy of choice in contemporary oncology.”

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Cannabinoids as Modulators of Cell Death: Clinical Applications and Future Directions.

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“Endocannabinoids are bioactive lipids that modulate various physiological processes through G-protein-coupled receptors (CB1 and CB2) and other putative targets. By sharing the activation of the same receptors, some phytocannabinoids and a multitude of synthetic cannabinoids mimic the effects of endocannabinoids.

In recent years, a growing interest has been dedicated to the study of cannabinoids properties for their analgesic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects. In addition to these well-recognized effects, various studies suggest that cannabinoids may affect cell survival, cell proliferation or cell death. These observations indicate that cannabinoids may play an important role in the regulation of cellular homeostasis and, thus, may contribute to tissue remodelling and cancer treatment.

For a long time, the study of cannabinoid receptor signalling has been focused on the classical adenylyl cyclase/cyclic AMP/protein kinase A (PKA) pathway. However, this pathway does not totally explain the wide array of biological responses to cannabinoids. In addition, the diversity of receptors and signalling pathways that endocannabinoids modulate offers an interesting opportunity for the development of specific molecules to disturb selectively the endogenous system.

Moreover, emerging evidences suggest that cannabinoids ability to limit cell proliferation and to induce tumour-selective cell death may offer a novel strategy in cancer treatment.

This review describes the main properties of cannabinoids in cell death and attempts to clarify the different pathways triggered by these compounds that may help to understand the complexity of respective molecular mechanisms and explore the potential clinical benefit of cannabinoids use in cancer therapies.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28425013

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It’s Oral, Head & Neck Cancer Awareness Month. Please Be Aware.

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“Oral, Head & Neck Cancer Awareness Month. While smoking and tobacco use are still major risk factors, the fastest growing segment of oral cancer patients is young, healthy, nonsmoking individuals due to the connection to the HPV virus. We cannot stop this virus from spreading; our only hope to save lives is with professional involvement and public awareness.”  http://oralcancerfoundation.org/events/oral-head-neck-cancer-awareness-month/

“Oral Sex Linked to Rise in Oral Cancers”  https://www.roswellpark.org/cancertalk/201304/oral-sex-linked-rise-oral-cancers

“Role of human papilloma virus in the oral carcinogenesis”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19542661                                                           “A causal role for human papillomavirus in head and neck cancer.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15135592/

“Bogarting that joint might decrease oral hpv among cannabis users. The development of oral cancer is not a result of smoking cannabis per se; rather, it is hypothesized to be a result of contracting hpv through various forms of sharing and passing joints and other smoking apparatuses. Therefore, it is hypothesized that bogarting (and not passing) joints might decrease oral hpv among cannabis smokers.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2794675/

“Additive found in toothpaste and food products could cause cancer, say scientists” http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/toothpaste-additive-e171-titanium-dioxide-food-products-cancer-cause-scientists-a7541956.html

“Mouthwash And Poor Dental Hygiene May Up The Risk Of Oral Cancer”  http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2014/04/08/300257396/mouthwash-and-poor-dental-hygiene-may-up-the-risk-of-oral-cancer

“Gum Disease Linked to Risk of Oral Cancer Causing Virus”  https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2013-08-21/gum-disease-linked-to-risk-of-oral-cancer-causing-virus

“ROUGH TEETH AND RUBBING DENTURES MAY BE LINKED TO ORAL CANCER” http://www.managedhealthcareconnect.com/content/rough-teeth-and-rubbing-dentures-may-be-linked-oral-cancer

“Unhealthy lifestyles blamed for sharp rise in mouth cancer cases”  http://www.itv.com/news/2016-11-25/bad-habits-linked-to-soaring-rates-of-mouth-cancer/

“Type of food and risk of oral cancer. To reduce the risk of oral and pharyngeal cancer, especially squamous cell carcinoma, the most common oral cancer, diet must be optimized, primarily to reduce calorie intake, monounsaturated fat, and red or processed meat. Consumption of fruits, vegetables, and cereals, which are the major source of vitamins and fiber, should be adequate in the daily diet. Optimal levels of daily allowance of micronutrients like vitamin C, E, antioxidants, zinc, beta-carotene, and folate are effective in prevention of oral cancer. Consumption of fried or broiled foods and employment of microwave cooking, because of formation of heterocyclic amines, must be avoided because of increasing risks of oral cancer including the salivary gland tumors.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17367228

“Coffee consumption associated with reduced risk of oral cancer: a meta-analysis”  http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212440315013656

“Tobacco and alcohol use are among the strongest risk factors for oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancers.” https://www.cancer.org/cancer/oral-cavity-and-oropharyngeal-cancer/causes-risks-prevention/risk-factors.html

“Marijuana use on its own does not merit definitive oral cancer development, according to research. In fact, cannabis also contains cannabinoids, such as THC, which contain anticancer properties. Some of these anticancer properties include the slowing of the inflammatory arm of the immune system designed to slow free-radical growths. Some researchers link medicinal marijuana to these anticancer properties.” http://www.dentistryiq.com/articles/2014/04/should-marijuana-users-be-worried-that-smoking-causes-oral-cancer.html

“Marijuana has been used in herbal remedies for centuries. More recently, scientists reported that THC and other cannabinoids such as CBD slow growth and/or cause death in certain types of cancer cells.” http://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/physicalsideeffects/chemotherapyeffects/marijuana-and-cancer

“Cannabis has been shown to kill cancer cells in the laboratory. Cannabinoids appear to kill tumor cells but do not affect their nontransformed counterparts and may even protect them from cell death.” http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/cam/patient/cannabis-pdq#section/all

“Marijuana Kills Cancer Cells, Admits The U.S. National Cancer Institute” http://naturalsociety.com/marijuana-kills-cancer-cells-admits-the-u-s-national-cancer-institute/

“US government says cannabis kills cancer cells”  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/11820620/US-government-says-cannabis-kills-cancer-cells.html

“US government finally admits that cannabis kills cancer cells”  http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/government-finally-admits-cannabis-kills-6303176

“Review of Various Herbal Supplements as Complementary Treatments for Oral Cancer. Diet changes, supplementation with antioxidants, high-dose vitamin C therapy, and cannabinoid use have been suggested to decrease cancer cell replication and increase chance of remission.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26863913

“Cannabinoids Offer Some Hope for Oral Cancer Pain”  https://www.practicalpainmanagement.com/meeting-summary/cannabinoids-offer-some-hope-oral-cancer-pain

“Cannabinoids Attenuate Cancer Pain and Proliferation in a Mouse Model.  Our results suggest that systemic administration of cannabinoids decease oral cancer pain. Our findings suggest a direct role for cannabinoid mechanisms in oral cancer pain and proliferation. The systemic administration of cannabinoid receptor agonists may have important therapeutic implications wherein cannabinoid receptor agonists may reduce morbidity and mortality of oral cancer. The present findings suggest that cannabinoid treatment may be a promising alternative therapy for oral cancer pain management.”  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3099480/

“Cannabinoids Inhibit Cellular Respiration of Human Oral Cancer Cells. The primary cannabinoids, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) and Δ8-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ8-THC) are known to disturb the mitochondrial function and possess antitumor activities. These observations prompted us to investigate their effects on the mitochondrial O2 consumption in human oral cancer cells (Tu183). This epithelial cell line overexpresses bcl-2 and is highly resistant to anticancer drugs. A rapid decline in the rate of respiration was observed when Δ9-THC or Δ8-THC was added to the cells. These results show the cannabinoids are potent inhibitors of Tu183 cellular respiration and are toxic to this highly malignant tumor.” https://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/312686

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“CANNABINOIDS INHIBIT ORAL CANCER CELLS”  https://pharmotech.ch/cannabinoids-inhibit-oral-cancer-cells/

“Evaluation of cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors expression in mobile tongue squamous cell carcinoma: associations with clinicopathological parameters and patients’ survival. The present study provides evidence that CB1R and CB2R may play a role in the pathophysiological aspects of the mobile tongue squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and even each molecule may constitute a potential target for the development of novel anti-cancer drugs for this type of malignancy.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26459312

“Review: cannabidiol may be beneficial for oral mucositis. The researchers found evidence that oxidative stress control could prevent and relieve oral mucositis. Cannabidiol was found to be safe to use and demonstrated antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties,” https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-02-cannabidiol-beneficial-oral-mucositis.html

“Salivary bacteria linked to oral cancers”  http://middleeast.thelancet.com/journals/lanonc/article/PIIS1470-2045(05)70266-7/abstract

“Antibacterial Cannabinoids from Cannabis sativa: A Structure−Activity Study”  http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/np8002673

“Targeting Id1 reduces proliferation and invasion in aggressive human salivary gland cancer cells.  Id1 suppression could represent a novel and effective approach for the treatment of salivary gland cancer.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3639030/

“Suppression of invasion and metastasis in aggressive salivary cancer cells through targeted inhibition of ID1 gene expression.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27087608

“Cannabidiol as a novel inhibitor of Id-1 gene expression in aggressive breast cancer cells. CBD represents the first nontoxic exogenous agent that can significantly decrease Id-1 expression in metastatic breast cancer cells.  Moreover, reducing Id-1 expression with cannabinoids could also provide a therapeutic strategy for the treatment of additional aggressive cancers because Id-1 expression was found to be up-regulated during the progression of almost all types”  http://mct.aacrjournals.org/content/6/11/2921.long

“Anticancer effects of anandamide on head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cells via the production of receptor-independent reactive oxygen species.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24797795

“The endocannabinoid system and cancer: therapeutic implication. Many in vitro and in vivo studies have shown that cannabinoids are efficacious in reducing cancer progression (i.e. inhibition of tumour growth and metastases as well as induction of apoptosis and other anti-cancer properties) in breast, prostate and bone cancer. Although this review focuses on these three types of cancer, activation of the endocannabinoid signalling system produces anti-cancer effects in other types of cancer.” http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1476-5381.2011.01327.x/full

“Medical marijuana use in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma patients treated with radiotherapy. The purpose of the study was to better understand why patients with history of head and neck cancer (HNC) treated with radiotherapy are using medical marijuana (MM). HNC patients report MM use to help with long-term side effects of radiotherapy.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27005465

“Head and neck cancer among marijuana users: A meta-analysis of matched case–control studies. No association between lifetime marijuana use and the development of head and neck cancer was found.”  http://www.aobjournal.com/article/S0003-9969(15)30041-8/abstract

“A Population-based Case-Control Study of Marijuana Use and Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Our study suggests that moderate marijuana use is associated with reduced risk of head and neck cancer (HNSCC). In fact, many of these studies reported non-significant protective estimates of effect, consistent with a possible anticarcinogenic action of cannabinoids.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2812803/

“Smoking Marijuana Regularly May Reduce Risk of Some Neck, Head Cancers” http://www.foxnews.com/story/2009/08/26/smoking-marijuana-regularly-may-reduce-risk-some-neck-head-cancers.html

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http://www.thctotalhealthcare.com/category/oral-cancer/

http://www.thctotalhealthcare.com/category/head-and-neck-squamous-cell-carcinoma-hnscc/

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Anticancer effects of anandamide on head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cells via the production of receptor-independent reactive oxygen species.

Head & Neck

“The endocannabinoids, anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG), are considered promising potential anticancer agents. In this study, we examined the anticancer effects of AEA and 2-AG in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) cell lines. Our results showed that AEA effectively inhibited proliferation of HNSCC cells whereas 2-AG did not. The anticancer effect of AEA seemed to be mediated by a receptor-independent mechanism. Inhibitors of AEA intracellular transportation and transfection of HNSCC cells with fatty acid amide hydrolase, a key enzyme in AEA metabolism, reversed AEA-dependent inhibition of cell proliferation. We found that cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) did not mediate the anticancer effects of AEA; instead we observed an increase in reactive oxygen species (ROS) production after AEA treatment. Moreover, antioxidants partially reversed AEA-dependent inhibition of cell proliferation. These findings suggest that AEA might have anticancer effects on HNSCC cells by mediating an increase in ROS levels through a receptor-independent mechanism.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24797795

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/hed.23727/abstract

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5-lipoxygenase mediates docosahexaenoyl ethanolamide and N-arachidonoyl-L-alanine-induced reactive oxygen species production and inhibition of proliferation of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cells.

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“Endocannabinoids have recently drawn attention as promising anti-cancer agents. We previously observed that anandamide (AEA), one of the representative endocannabinoids, effectively inhibited the proliferation of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) cell lines in a receptor-independent manner. In this study, using HNSCC cell lines, we examined the anti-cancer effects and the mechanisms of action of docosahexaenoyl ethanolamide (DHEA) and N-arachidonoyl-L-alanine (NALA), which are polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA)-based ethanolamides like AEA. From these findings, we suggest that ROS production induced by the 5-LO pathway mediates the anti-cancer effects of DHEA and NALA on HNSCC cells. Finally, our findings suggest the possibility of a new cancer-specific therapeutic strategy, which utilizes 5-LO activity rather than inhibiting it.”  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27411387

https://bmccancer.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12885-016-2499-3

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ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM: A multi-facet therapeutic target.

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“Cannabis sativa is also popularly known as marijuana. It is being cultivated and used by man for recreational and medicinal purposes from many centuries.

Study of cannabinoids was at bay for very long time and its therapeutic value could not be adequately harnessed due to its legal status as proscribed drug in most of the countries.

The research of drugs acting on endocannabinoid system has seen many ups and down in recent past. Presently, it is known that endocannabinoids has role in pathology of many disorders and they also serve “protective role” in many medical conditions.

Several diseases like emesis, pain, inflammation, multiple sclerosis, anorexia, epilepsy, glaucoma, schizophrenia, cardiovascular disorders, cancer, obesity, metabolic syndrome related diseases, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and Tourette’s syndrome could possibly be treated by drugs modulating endocannabinoid system.

Presently, cannabinoid receptor agonists like nabilone and dronabinol are used for reducing the chemotherapy induced vomiting. Sativex (cannabidiol and THC combination) is approved in the UK, Spain and New Zealand to treat spasticity due to multiple sclerosis. In US it is under investigation for cancer pain, another drug Epidiolex (cannabidiol) is also under investigation in US for childhood seizures. Rimonabant, CB1 receptor antagonist appeared as a promising anti-obesity drug during clinical trials but it also exhibited remarkable psychiatric side effect profile. Due to which the US Food and Drug Administration did not approve Rimonabant in US. It sale was also suspended across the EU in 2008.

Recent discontinuation of clinical trial related to FAAH inhibitor due to occurrence of serious adverse events in the participating subjects could be discouraging for the research fraternity. Despite of some mishaps in clinical trials related to drugs acting on endocannabinoid system, still lot of research is being carried out to explore and establish the therapeutic targets for both cannabinoid receptor agonists and antagonists.

One challenge is to develop drugs that target only cannabinoid receptors in a particular tissue and another is to invent drugs that acts selectively on cannabinoid receptors located outside the blood brain barrier. Besides this, development of the suitable dosage forms with maximum efficacy and minimum adverse effects is also warranted.

Another angle to be introspected for therapeutic abilities of this group of drugs is non-CB1 and non-CB2 receptor targets for cannabinoids.

In order to successfully exploit the therapeutic potential of endocannabinoid system, it is imperative to further characterize the endocannabinoid system in terms of identification of the exact cellular location of cannabinoid receptors and their role as “protective” and “disease inducing substance”, time-dependent changes in the expression of cannabinoid receptors.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27086601

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Medical marijuana use in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma patients treated with radiotherapy.

Supportive Care in Cancer

“The purpose of the study was to better understand why patients with history of head and neck cancer (HNC) treated with radiotherapy are using medical marijuana (MM).

RESULTS:

There was a 100 % response rate. Median time from treatment was 45 months (21-136 months). Most patients smoked marijuana (12 patients), while others reported ingestion (4 patients), vaporizing (3 patients), and use of homemade concentrated oil (1 patient). Six patients reported prior recreational marijuana use before diagnosis. MM provided benefit in altered sense, weight maintenance, depression, pain, appetite, dysphagia, xerostomia, muscle spasm, and sticky saliva.

CONCLUSIONS:

HNC patients report MM use to help with long-term side effects of radiotherapy.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27005465

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00520-016-3180-8

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Cannabinoid pharmacology in cancer research: A new hope for cancer patients?

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“Cannabinoids have been used for many centuries to ease pain and in the past decade, the endocannabinoid system has been implicated in a number of pathophysiological conditions, such as mood and anxiety disorders, movement disorders such as Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease, neuropathic pain, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, stroke, hypertension, glaucoma, obesity, and osteoporosis.

Several studies have demonstrated that cannabinoids also have anti-cancer activity and as cannabinoids are usually well tolerated and do not produce the typical toxic effects of conventional chemotherapies, there is considerable merit in the development of cannabinoids as potential anticancer therapies.

Whilst the presence of psychoactive effects of cannabinoids could prevent any progress in this field, recent studies have shown the value of the non-psychoactive components of cannabinoids in activating apoptotic pathways, inducing anti-proliferative and anti-angiogenic effects.

The aforementioned effects are suggested to be through pathways such as ERK, Akt, mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways, phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) pathways and hypoxia inducible factor 1 (HIF1), all of which are important contributors to the hallmarks of cancer.

Many important questions still remain unanswered or are poorly addressed thus necessitating further research at basic pre-clinical and clinical levels. In this review, we address these issues with a view to identifying the key challenges that future research needs to address.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26852955

http://www.thctotalhealthcare.com/category/cancer/

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Ligands for cannabinoid receptors, promising anticancer agents.

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“Cannabinoids compounds are unique to cannabis and provide some interesting biological properties.

These compounds along with endocannabinoids, a group of neuromodulator compounds in the body especially in brain, express their effects by activation of G-protein-coupled cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2.

There are several physiological properties attributed to the endocannabinoids including pain relief, enhancement of appetite, blood pressure lowering during shock, embryonic development, and blocking of working memory.

On the other hand, activation of endocannabinoid system may be suppresses evolution and progression of several types of cancer.

According to the results of recent studies, CB receptors are over-expressed in cancer cell lines and application of multiple cannabinoid or cannabis-derived compounds reduce tumor size through decrease of cell proliferation or induction of cell cycle arrest and apoptosis along with desirable effect on decrease of tumor-evoked pain.

Therefore, modulation of endocannabinoid system by inhibition of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), the enzyme, which metabolized endocannabinoids, or application of multiple cannabinoid or cannabis-derived compounds, may be appropriate for the treatment of several cancer subtypes. This review focuses on how cannabinoid affect different types of cancers.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26764235

http://www.thctotalhealthcare.com/category/cancer/

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Head and neck cancer among marijuana users: A meta-analysis of matched case-control studies.

Archives of Oral Biology Home

“The scientific literature presents conflicting data on a possible causal relationship between marijuana users and the development of head and neck cancer.

This study performed a systematic review with meta-analysis.

The meta-analysis found no association between exposure and disease.

No association between lifetime marijuana use and the development of head and neck cancer was found.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26433192

http://www.aobjournal.com/article/S0003-9969(15)30041-8/abstract

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