Cancer (medical term: malignant neoplasm) is a class of diseases in which a group of cells display uncontrolled growth (division beyond the normal limits), invasion (intrusion on and destruction of adjacent tissues), and sometimes metastasis (spread to other locations in the body via lymph or blood). These three malignant properties of cancers differentiate them from benign tumors, which are self-limited, and do not invade or metastasize. Most cancers form a tumor but some, like leukemia, do not.

The use of marijuana has been found to help cancer patients with the pain and nausea caused by certain cancers and related chemotherapy. Recent research has indicated cannabis also has tumor-reducing and anti-carcinogenic properties as well. Marijuana can help increase appetite stimulation and help combat wasting.

The Institute of Medicine published a report in 1999 which stated: “In patients already experiencing severe nausea or vomiting, pills are generally ineffective because of the difficulty in swallowing or keeping a pill down, and the slow onset of the drug effect. Thus an inhalation (but, preferably not smoking) cannabinoid drug delivery system would be advantageous for treating chemotherapy induced nausea.