Touted by physicians worldwide as a “miracle” drug, marijuana has proven effective in the treatment of Cancer, Crohn’s disease, decompensated cirrhosis, chronic pain, nail patella, glaucoma, HIV/Aids, anorexia, Alzheimer’s Disease, ALS, Autism, intractable skeletal muscular spasticity, Hepatitis C, severe muscle spasms including Multiple Sclerosis, painful peripheral neuropathy, seizures, epilepsy, severe nausea, and cachexia.
As a diverse array of medical research studies substantiate the health benefits of medical marijuana, more and more countries and cultures are turning to cannabis to treat the escalating number of patients diagnosed with cancer: one of the most dreadful diseases known to man.
Today headlines in The Telegraph announce Britain’s new policy to go easy on drug traffickers that are moving marijuana for medical purposes reporting, Sentencing guidelines issued today say that offenders who play a “limited” role in gangs could face community orders for intent to supply Class A drugs. Dealers caught with 6kg of cannabis, valued at £17,000 and enough to fill 30,000 joints or keep an average user in supply for 17 years, could also avoid prison. The sentences on drug “mules” will be cut substantially, while workers in small cannabis “farms” could escape custody. Courts will be told for the first time to reduce sentences for cannabis possession if it is being used for medicinal purposes.”
Bold-faced headlines splashing across the Internet report exciting results from scientific research about the medicinal benefits of marijuana in the treatment of all forms of cancer. Cancer patients are claiming miraculous cures for supposedly incurable forms of cancer. It sounds too good to be true, but the research substantiates all claims.
A 2006 study conducted by medical researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology in Richmond strongly suggests that if used with regularity, cannabis oil may be able to induce remission in leukemia while avoiding the very unpleasant side effects typically associated with radiation and chemotherapy treatments. The 2006 study is but one of many, similar studies that have shown equally promising results. For those naysayers that discount the medical benefits of marijuana in the treatment of a diverse array of cancers as well as a host of other illnesses, the list below of medical research studies published in the United States National Library of Medicine; National Institutes of Health, presents irrefutable proof: cannabis cures cancer.
A group of scientists from around the world convened in Germany to assess the total sum of accumulated research regarding medical marijuana. According to data analysis of 37 separate studies carried out around the world from 2006 through 2009, which included more than 2,500 documented test subjects, there were few to no adverse patient reactions to marijuana. Unlike chemo or radiation, cannabis only heals: it doesn’t harm.
On March 13, 2013, Marijuana.com reported, “Marijuana has medicinal benefits. That’s a fact. But the scope of these benefits, along with cannabis’ alleged “negative side effects” is a contentious and highly debated subject. After clear-cut evidence that weed can legitimately treat breast and lung cancer–along with showing zero damage to the lungs–well, the “stoners” win again.
In a recent report, the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the Federal government’s National Institutes of Health (NIH), stated that marijuana “inhibited the survival of both estrogen receptor-positive and estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer cell lines.” The same report showed marijuana slows or stops the growth of certain lung cancer cells and suggested that marijuana may provide “risk reduction and treatment of colorectal cancer.”
Referring to the NCI report, Patient Rights attorney Matthew Pappas said, “The Federal government’s continuing attack on people prescribed medical cannabis by their doctors is hypocritical considering the benefits reported by its own National Cancer Institute.” Pappas represents patients in defending their right to reasonably obtain medical marijuana. The patients contend the Federal government and various municipalities are trying to prevent them from obtaining cannabis for medical purposes in direct contravention of state laws. “Cities that ban dispensaries are denying patients the ability to obtain a medicine the Federal government’s National Institutes of Health says fights cancer and they’re doing it with the Obama Administration’s help.” Recently, the City of Los Angeles repealed its ban on medical marijuana collectives after Bill Rosendahl, a member of its city council diagnosed with cancer and prescribed medical marijuana said to fellow council members about the ban, “You want to kill me? You want to throw me under the bus?”
The NCI report also examined whether patients who smoke marijuana rather than ingesting it orally are exposed to a higher risk of lung and certain digestive system cancers. According to the government, 19 studies “failed to demonstrate statistically significant associations between marijuana inhalation and lung cancer.”
The report also identified a separate study of 611 lung cancer patients that showed marijuana was “not associated with an increased risk of lung cancer or other upper aero-digestive tract cancers and found no positive associations with any cancer type.” In the area of prostate cancer, the NCI report was inconclusive and suggested further research was necessary. In its report, the National Cancer Institute also identified a “study of intratumoral injection of delta-9-THC in patients with recurrent glioblastoma” that showed tumor reduction in the test participants.
The federal government reported this incredible news. Marijuana remains federally illegal. That is not kosher.”
Marijuana is illegal under federal law. The fact is, marijuana (Cannabis sativa or Cannabis Indica) also known as pot, weed, hemp, or cannabis, is a common weed found growing wild in many parts of the world. Because it is a natural plant, marijuana cannot be patented. These impediments have greatly restricted research. If the product is illegal and cannot be patented, monetization is severely restricted.
Today, forward-thinking entrepreneurial pharmaceutical companies are not just looking for another antidepressant, antibiotic, or sleeping pill. Because not everyone responds favorably to the drugs currently available, they are seeking a plant-based alternative for patients who do not benefit from traditional treatments.
On September 12, 2012, the Natural Society in an article “Does marijuana cause cancer? Research Says Marijuana Fights Cancer” stated, “The censorship-happy government’s war on marijuana may be sorely misplaced, especially when considering all the other issues in need of focus. Dr. Sean McAllister of the Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco has spent years researching cannabidiol, a cannabinoid found in cannabis, the plant that flowers marijuana. “Cannabidiol offers hope of a non-toxic therapy that could treat aggressive forms of cancer without any of the painful side effects of chemotherapy,” he says.
June 18, 2013, Yahoo Finance reported that Medical Marijuana Sciences, a subsidiary of the well-known drug manufacturing company Nuvilex, has a directed commitment to research on pancreatic cancers and cancers of the brain in the hope that their efforts will place them at the front of the pack of research companies exploring the healing health benefits of marijuana. YF reports, “Medical Marijuana Sciences will initially utilize cannabidiol, one of the compounds found in Cannabis, as the basis for developing treatments for some of the deadliest forms of cancer that have historically shown they’re extremely difficult to treat. Meanwhile, other groups are finding success initiating research using cannabis for epilepsy, heart damage, and traumatic brain injuries.”
Many other organizations and companies seek to explore opportunities to participate in the economic explosion of the worldwide marijuana market: estimate to exceed 200 billion dollars currently. The Multidisciplinary Association For Psychedelic Studies currently seeks regulatory approval to conduct a study of smoked and/or vaporized marijuana for symptoms of PTSD in veterans of war.
The history of cannabis as a medicine dates back thousands of years before the era of Christianity. Scientists believe the hemp plant originated in Asia. In 2737 B.C., Emperor Shen Neng of China prescribed tea brewed from marijuana leaves as a remedy for muscle injuries, rheumatism, gout, malaria, and memory loss. During the Bronze Age in 1400 B.C., cannabis was used throughout the eastern Mediterranean to ease the pain of childbirth and menstrual maladies.
The dried flowering tops and dried leaves of the marijuana plant contain a diverse array of active chemicals known as cannabinoids. Cannabinoids produce a drug-like effect though out the body including the immune and central nervous systems. The National Cancer Institute explains, “Cannabinoids are a group of 21-carbon–containing terpene phenolic compounds produced uniquely by Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica species.
These plant-derived compounds may be referred to as phytocannabinoids. Although delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the primary psychoactive ingredient, other known compounds with biological activity are cannabinol, cannabidiol (CBD), cannabichromene, cannabigerol, tetrahydrocannabivarin, and delta-8-THC. CBD, in particular, is thought to have significant analgesic and anti-inflammatory activity without the psychoactive effect (high) of delta-9-THC.”
Professor Lester Grinspoon MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, emeritus, at Harvard Medical School and the author of Marihuana Reconsidered and Marijuana, the Forbidden Medicine and confirmed advocate of ” Cannabis Law Reform states, “In 1967 because I was concerned about the rapidly growing use of the dangerous drug marijuana, I began my studies of the scientific and medical literature to provide a reasonably objective summary of the data which underlay its prohibition. Much to my surprise, I found no credible scientific basis for the justification of the prohibition.”
- “The assertion that it is a very toxic drug is based on old and new myths. One of the many exceptional features of this drug is its remarkably limited toxicity. Compared to aspirin, which people are free to purchase and use without the advice or prescription of a physician, cannabis is much safer: there are well over 1000 deaths annually from aspirin in the United States alone, whereas there has never been a death anywhere from marijuana.”
- “When cannabis regains its place in the US Pharmacopeia, a status it lost after the passage of the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, it will be seen as one of the safest drugs in that compendium. Moreover, it will eventually be hailed as a “wonder drug” just as penicillin was in the 1940s.”
- “Penicillin achieved this reputation because it was remarkably non-toxic, it was, once it was produced on an economy of scale, quite inexpensive, and it was effective in the treatment of a variety of infectious diseases. Similarly, cannabis is exceptionally safe, and once freed of the prohibition tariff, will be significantly less expensive than the conventional drugs it replaces while its already impressive medical versatility continues to expand.”
Today, Celebstoner.com pays a special tribute to Dr. Grinspoon, stating, “One of the pioneers of the marijuana legalization movement turned 85 yesterday. With that in mind, we’re honoring Dr. Lester Grinspoon by naming him a Top Celeb Stoner.
Grinspoon is an Associate Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School. In 1971, his breakthrough book, Marihuana Reconsidered was published. He went on to write many other books, including Marihuana: The Forbidden Medicine in 1993. His website is called Marijuana Uses.
Grinspoon famously outed Carl Sagan after his death. Sagan appeared in Marihuana Reconsidered as “Mr. X.” In 1973, Grinspoon testified on behalf of John Lennon at the Beatle’s immigration hearing. The U.S. was attempting to deport Lennon, who’d been arrested for hash in England.
Dr. Grinspoon’s a longtime member of the NORML board of directors and, even at his advanced age, regularly attends conferences – in person or via Skype. He lives with his wife Betsy in Wellesley, Massachusetts.”
Kogan NM, and Mechoulam R. of the Medicinal Chemistry and Natural Products Department, Pharmacy School, Ein-Kerem Medical Campus, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, in a scientific paper Cannabinoids in health and disease, note, “Cannabis sativa L. preparations have been used in medicine for millennia. However, concern over the dangers of abuse led to the banning of the medicinal use of marijuana in most countries in the 1930s. Only recently, marijuana and individual natural and synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists and antagonists, as well as chemically related compounds, whose mechanism of action is still obscure, have come back to being considered therapeutic value.
However, their use is highly restricted. Despite the mild addiction to cannabis and the possible enhancement of addiction to other substances of abuse, when combined with cannabis, the therapeutic value of cannabinoids is too high to be put aside. Numerous diseases, such as anorexia, emesis, pain, inflammation, multiple sclerosis, neurodegenerative disorders (Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Tourette’s syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease), epilepsy, glaucoma, osteoporosis, schizophrenia, cardiovascular disorders, cancer, obesity, and metabolic syndrome-related disorders, to name just a few, are being treated or have the potential to be treated by cannabinoid agonists/antagonists/cannabinoid-related compounds.
Given the very low toxicity and the generally benign side effects of this group of compounds, neglecting or denying their clinical potential is unacceptable–instead, we need to work on the development of more selective cannabinoid receptor agonists/antagonists and related compounds, as well as on novel drugs of this family with better selectivity, distribution patterns, and pharmacokinetics, and–in cases where it is impossible to separate the desired clinical action and the psycho-activity–just to monitor these side effects carefully.”
Studies to date show medical science strongly endorsing the use of THC-laden hemp oil as a primary cancer therapy in addition to its supportive role in combating the side effects of chemotherapy. The International Medical Verities Association features hemp oil in its cancer protocol, including it with five other inexpensive and readily available without prescription anti-cancer medicines: selenium, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Sodium Bicarbonate, iodine, and magnesium chloride.
On May 23, 2012, MSN Now reported, “A new Rasmussen poll has found 56 percent of U.S. voters “favor legalizing and regulating marijuana similar to the way alcohol and tobacco cigarettes are currently regulated.” The support for legalization is up nine percentage points from March this year when Rasmussen found 47 percent of us believed in legalizing and taxing marijuana to help extricate the nation from our current financial jam.”
Informed voters in state after to state are crafting new legislation to legalize marijuana for medical and/or recreational purposes. On Thursday, June 6, 2013, Democratic Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed a state legislative bill decriminalizing the possession of cannabis. Adversaries of the legalization of marijuana are faced with the reality that marijuana is here to stay. To date, 18 states and the District of Columbia have enacted legislation legalizing the medical use of marijuana. Forward-thinking voters in Colorado and Washington state recently passed new laws making the use of marijuana legal for everyone in their state over the age of 21.
All across the nation, more and more people are speaking out: advocating the decriminalization of marijuana and urging support for medical research to explore the many health benefits of nature’s herbal remedy.
Giving voice to the frustration of the majority of advocates for the legalization of marijuana, Mark Sircus Ac., OMD states, “It is legal for doctors to attack people with their poisons but you can go to jail for trying to save yourself or a loved one from cancer with the oil of a simple garden weed. Our civilization has put up with this insanity but there is a great price being paid. In a mad medical world, people die that need not and this is a terrible sadness that has destroyed the integrity and ethics of modern medicine. The science for the use of hemp oil is credible, specific fact-based, and documented in detail. There is absolutely no reason to not legalize medical marijuana and create an immediate production and distribution of THC hemp oil to cancer patients. Unfortunately, we live in a world populated with governments and medical henchmen who would rather see people die cruel deaths than have access to a safe and effective cancer drug.”
In June 2012, celebrity stoner Tommy Chong revealed he was suffering from prostate cancer. Less than a year later the pot comic says he’s kicked the disease with the help of various therapies, including cannabis oil.
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What are your thoughts on the legalized use of medical marijuana (cannabinoid therapy) in conjunction with therapies for cancer and other diseases? Let’s discuss legalization and the health benefits of cannabis in the comments below!
By: Marlene Affeld
A compendium of medical research studies published by the United States National Library of Medicine; National Institutes of Health is offered for further reference and review.
- Cannabinoids induce cancer cell proliferation via tumor necrosis factor alpha-converting enzyme (TACE/ADAM17)-mediated transactivation of the epidermal growth factor receptor.
- Up-regulation of cyclooxygenase-2 expression is involved in R(+)-methanandamide-induced apoptotic death of human neuroglioma cells.
- Gamma-irradiation enhances apoptosis induced by cannabidiol, a non-psychotropic cannabinoid, in cultured HL-60 myeloblastic leukemia cells.
- Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol inhibits cell cycle progression by downregulation of E2F1 in human glioblastoma multiforme cells.
- Plant-derived cannabinoids modulate the activity of transient receptor potential channels of ankyrin type-1 and melastatin type-8.
- Cannabinoid receptor activation induces apoptosis through tumor necrosis factor alpha-mediated ceramide de novo synthesis in colon cancer cells.
- Anandamide induces apoptosis in human cells via vanilloid receptors. Evidence for a protective role of cannabinoid receptors.
- The non-psychoactive cannabidiol triggers caspase activation and oxidative stress in human glioma cells.
- Apoptosis induced in HepG2 cells by the synthetic cannabinoid WIN: involvement of the transcription factor PPARgamma.
- Antitumor activity of plant cannabinoids with emphasis on the effect of cannabidiol on human breast carcinoma.
- The CB1/CB2 receptor agonist WIN-55,212-2 reduces the viability of human Kaposi’s sarcoma cells in vitro.
- Cannabinoid derivatives induce cell death in pancreatic MIA PaCa-2 cells via a receptor-independent mechanism.
- The endocannabinoid anandamide neither impairs in vitro T-cell function nor induces regulatory T-cell generation.
- Effect of a synthetic cannabinoid agonist on the proliferation and invasion of gastric cancer cells.
- Cannabinoids down-regulate PI3K/Akt and Erk signaling pathways and activate the proapoptotic function of Bad protein.
- Cannabinoid 2 receptor induction by IL-12 and its potential as a therapeutic target for the treatment of anaplastic thyroid carcinoma.
- Down-regulation of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-1 in gliomas: a new marker of cannabinoid antitumoral activity?
- Cannabinoid action induces autophagy-mediated cell death through stimulation of ER stress in human glioma cells.
- JunD is involved in the antiproliferative effect of Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol on human breast cancer cells.
- Anti-tumoral action of cannabinoids: involvement of sustained ceramide accumulation and extracellular signal-regulated kinase activation.
- Endocannabinoids: a new family of lipid mediators involved in the regulation of neural cell development.
- The CB2 cannabinoid receptor signals apoptosis via ceramide-dependent activation of the mitochondrial intrinsic pathway.
- Inhibition of human tumor prostate PC-3 cell growth by cannabinoids R(+)-Methanandamide and JWH-015: involvement of CB2.
- Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol inhibits cell cycle progression in human breast cancer cells through Cdc2 regulation.
- Cannabinoids induce apoptosis of pancreatic tumor cells via endoplasmic reticulum stress-related genes.
- Cannabinoids protect astrocytes from ceramide-induced apoptosis through the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/protein kinase B pathway.
- Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol induces apoptosis in human prostate PC-3 cells via a receptor-independent mechanism.
- Potentiation of cannabinoid-induced cytotoxicity in mantle cell lymphoma through modulation of ceramide metabolism.
- Cannabinoid receptor-mediated apoptosis induced by R(+)-methanandamide and Win55,212-2 is associated with ceramide accumulation and p38 activation in mantle cell lymphoma.
- Expression of cannabinoid receptors types 1 and type 2 in non-Hodgkin lymphoma: growth inhibition by receptor activation.
- Cannabinoid receptor 1 is a potential drug target for the treatment of translocation-positive rhabdomyosarcoma.
- The dual effects of delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol on cholangiocarcinoma cells: anti-invasion activity at low concentration and apoptosis induction at high concentration.
- Cannabis-induced cytotoxicity in leukemic cell lines: the role of the cannabinoid receptors and the MAPK pathway.
- The cannabinoid delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol inhibits RAS-MAPK and PI3K-AKT survival signaling and induces BAD-mediated apoptosis in colorectal cancer cells.
- Cannabinoid receptor agonists are mitochondrial inhibitors: a unified hypothesis of how cannabinoids modulate mitochondrial function and induce cell death.
- Non-THC cannabinoids inhibit prostate carcinoma growth in vitro and in vivo: pro-apoptotic effects and underlying mechanisms.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
- Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol-induced apoptosis in Jurkat leukemia T cells is regulated by the translocation of Bad to mitochondria.
- Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol-induced apoptosis in the thymus and spleen as a mechanism of immunosuppression in vitro and in vivo.
- Cannabidiol enhances the inhibitory effects of delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol on human glioblastoma cell proliferation and survival.
- Cannabidiol-induced apoptosis in human leukemia cells: A novel role of cannabidiol in the regulation of p22phox and Nox4 expression.
- The expression level of CB1 and CB2 receptors determines their efficacy at inducing apoptosis in astrocytomas.
- Targeting cannabinoid receptors to treat leukemia: role of cross-talk between extrinsic and intrinsic pathways in Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-induced apoptosis of Jurkat cells.
National Cancer Institute
Cannabis and Cannabinoids
American Thoracic Society
Effects of Marijuana Smoking on the Lungs
East Bay Express
Cannabis and Cancer Research