After Decades of Denial, the National Cancer Institute Finally Recognizes that “Marijuana Kills Cancer” August 22, 2015 – Posted in: Marijuana News – Tags: Anti Inflammatory, Antitumor, Appetite, Cancer Institute, cancer.gov, Cannabis, health, Law, legality, marijuana, medicine, National Cancer Institute, Reform, Science, THC, Tumor, US Department of Health, US Government
After years of denial and false claims that Marijuana offers no medicinal value, the U.S. government is changing their tone. The National Cancer Institute (NCI), which is a subset of the United States Department of Health has made an official statement that claims,
Cannabis has been shown to kill cancer cells in the laboratory … there is not enough evidence to recommend that patients inhale or ingest cannabis as a treatment for cancer-related symptoms or side effects of cancer therapy
The announcement goes forward to outline other beneficial uses and potential treatment avenues, which include but are not limited to: anti-inflammatory, cell growth inhibition, tumor blood flow control, antiviral properties and muscle spasms caused by multiple sclerosis. Marijuana is useful as the NIDA says because,
Marijuana can kill certain cancer cells and reduce the size of others.
- Studies in mice and rats have shown that cannabinoids may inhibit tumor growth by causing cell death, blocking cell growth, and blocking the development of blood vessels needed by tumors to grow. Laboratory and animal studies have shown that cannabinoids may be able to kill cancer cells while protecting normal cells.
- A study in mice showed that cannabinoids may protect against inflammation of the colon and may have potential in reducing the risk of colon cancer, and possibly in its treatment.
- A laboratory study of delta-9-THC in hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer) cells showed that it damaged or killed the cancer cells. The same study of delta-9-THC in mouse models of liver cancer showed that it had antitumor effects. Delta-9-THC has been shown to cause these effects by acting on molecules that may also be found in non-small cell lung cancer cells and breast cancer cells.
- A laboratory study of cannabidiol (CBD) in estrogen receptor positive and estrogen receptor negative breast cancer cells showed that it caused cancer cell death while having little effect on normal breast cells. Studies in mouse models of metastatic breast cancer showed that cannabinoids may lessen the growth, number, and spread of tumors.
- A laboratory study of cannabidiol (CBD) in human glioma cells showed that when given along withchemotherapy, CBD may make chemotherapy more effective and increase cancer cell death without harming normal cells. Studies in mouse models of cancer showed that CBD together with delta-9-THC may make chemotherapy such as temozolomide more effective.
- Many animal studies have shown that delta-9-THC and other cannabinoids stimulate appetite and can increase food intake.
- Cannabinoid receptors (molecules that bind cannabinoids) have been studied in the brain, spinal cord, and nerve endings throughout the body to understand their roles in pain relief.
- Cannabinoids have been studied for anti-inflammatory effects that may play a role in pain relief.
For years American research into the powerful potential of Marijuana as medicine has been hampered by restrictive and unnecessary federal regulations. With individual states legalizing Marijuana for medical use, the barriers blocking scientific research are being lifted. Despite this national trend, the US government still classifies weed as a Schedule 1 narcotic – putting it in ranks with Crack, MDMA and Heroin. It’s this classification that puts marijuana research on the rocks in the USA, with over $1.1 billion of $1.4 billion USD spent on researching marijuana as a drug of abuse as opposed to a potential medical asset.
While this is a monumental acknowledgement, it’s to be noted that there is still a disparity in how Marijuana research is funded. More funding for medical research will help marijuana become legitimized in the medical community. Without this research, access to medical marijuana for veterans and others in need may go on inhibited.