Marijuana proven effective in treating different types of cancers

By chillinwill · Oct 18, 2009 · ·
  1. chillinwill
    Marijuana opponents in the federal government are up against the wall and the wall is crumbling. The feds have fought marijuana use for decades, disregarding its medicinal applications, in a senseless war against the herb.

    The demonized killer weed is turning out to be anything but that. As myths about this ancient herb are dispelled, scientists are using it to treat everything from chemotherapy-induced nausea to different cancers.

    In August, The British Journal of Cancer published the results of a study that found THC (the main active component in marijuana) is effective in fighting prostate cancer. Reportedly, pot attacks prostate cancer cell types that do not respond to the usual hormone treatments.

    A recent study by a team of Spanish researchers discovered THC kills various brain cancer cells by a process known as autophagy. Michigan's new law regarding marijuana use went into effect in April. Patients, with doctor's prescriptions, get a state-issued ID Card (a lot like California's) which allows them to grow and use marijuana to treat pain and other symptoms of cancer and multiple sclerosis.

    In October 2003, the University of California, San Francisco, released the results of a study that said pot was effective when used in combination with opiate pain medications. Dr. Donald Abrams, MD, UCSF professor of Clinical Medicine and chief of the Hematology-Oncology Division at SF General Hospital Medical Center, told the press, “Marijuana uses a different mechanism than opiates and could augment the pain relief of opiate analgesics.”

    The Marijuana Policy Project recently reported on a study that suggests moderate amounts of marijuana use reduces risk of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). This study suggests cannabinoids have potential anti-tumor properties.

    A study released in July, “White matter in adolescents with history of marijuana use and binge drinking,” says marijuana use actually protects brain cells. The study involved adolescents with alcohol use disorders.

    One group had just alcohol-drinking teens. The other group drank alcohol and used marijuana. The report said that binge drinkers who used marijuana retained more white matter than the other group. In other words, alcohol destroyed more brain cells when a person didn't use marijuana.

    How many times have you heard someone say, “Pot destroys your brain cells”? If that's true, what about this study? Why do doctors use marijuana to fight brain cancer if it destroys brain cells? Remember the Spanish study?

    In April of 2007, Harvard University researchers released the results of a study that concluded THC cuts tumor growth in common lung cancers and reduces the ability of the cancer to spread.

    A study conducted by UCLA's medical school in June 2005 concluded smoking marijuana did not cause lung cancer. That impressive piece of news, along with the Harvard study, seems to have been ignored by most mass media outlets.

    Fred Gardner, editor of the medical marijuana research journal, O'Shaughnessy's, recently wrote an article, “Smoking Marijuana Does Not Cause Cancer,” about this groundbreaking UCLA study that barely made headlines.

    Gardner reported that an investigative team was contracted with the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) in 2002 “to conduct a large, population-based, case-controlled study that would prove definitively that heavy, long-term marijuana use increases the risk of lung and upper-airway cancers.”

    Guess what? This study backfired! It turned out that increased marijuana use did not result in higher rates of lung and pharyngeal cancer. The study also concluded that tobacco smokers who also puffed on pot were at a slightly lower risk of getting lung cancer than those who didn't!

    Perhaps the icing on the cake is the fact that UCLA Medical professor Donald Tashkin led the investigation. Tashkin has led government studies on marijuana since the 1970s and is well known for his belief that heavy marijuana use causes lung and upper-airway cancers. To his credit as a professional, he ended up disproving his own original hypothesis.

    Despite the government's efforts to keep it illegal, it's apparent that marijuana does offer help in the battle to treat cancer. The facts about marijuana's medical potentials are finally causing cracks in the government's wall of lies built up over the years.

    As It Stands, it's time to bring down that wall.

    Dave Stancliff
    October 18, 2009

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  1. chillinwill
    The Benefits of Medical Marijuana for Cancer Patients

    Due to being illegal or quasi-legal in many countries, you might not find as much information on the uses of medical marijuana (or marihuana) as you might expect. However, many studies have been conducted, and are still being conducted, about the medical uses of cannabis. Despite a somewhat blind governmental view in many countries, including Canada and the United States, these studies have shown repeatedly exactly how medical marijuana can help those suffering from severe illnesses such as cancer.

    Traditional Cancer Treatments

    Lung cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer - in fact, most types of cancer all start the same basic way. Something causes cancer cells to divide and grow without pause, spreading badly damaged DNA. Those cells invade other tissues and, in most cases, form tumors.

    Cancer studies have taken leaps and bounds as far as finding treatments to slow, and sometimes stop, the spread of cancer. However, two of the most important treatments, chemotherapy and radiation therapy, also cause damage and, often, severe side effects.

    For instance, some of the most powerful, toxic chemicals are used in chemotherapeutic agents. Both treatments kill cancer cells, but healthy cells as well. Chemotherapeutic agents such as Adriamycin (doxorubicin) and Platinol (cisplatin) can, and have, caused immune suppression and multiple organ damage, but they also cause severe nausea and vomiting.

    The vomiting can last over a period of days, to the point that some patients have actually torn their esophagus. Due to the vomiting and lack of appetite, severe dehydration and weigh loss is normal. In fact, many cancer patients begin having a reaction before chemotherapy begins, in "anticipation" of the side effects. Unfortunately, although chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy may be an integral part of their survival, many cancer patients decide not to take the therapies because the side effects are so severe.

    Because of this, many are given a mix of anti-nausea drugs. Often, the anti-nausea drugs work. However, the drugs only give partial symptom control, while for others they give no control at all. In addition, those who take traditional medications may also suffer fever, bone pain, fatigue, anxiety, sleep problems and changes in heart activity, among other issues. This leaves cancer patients to suffer from the effects of the cancer itself, the side effects of the treatments, and the side effects of medications used to alleviate the initial side effects of the treatments.

    Medical Marijuana for Cancer Patients

    It has proven in many studies, performed by prestigious scientific and medical organizations and individuals, that medical marijuana can (and does) relieve pain and nausea. In fact, some of these studies go as far back as the 1970s and older.

    For instance, in 1975, the New England Journal of Medicine published the results of a "double-blind" study on the effects of oral (ingested rather than smoked) tetrahydrocannabinol on nausea and vomiting. According to the study, "No patient vomited while experiencing a subjective "high". Oral tetrahydrocannabinol has antiemetic properties and is significantly better than a placebo in reducing vomiting caused by chemotherapeutic agents."

    A 1999 report by the Institutes of Medicine concluded, "In patients already experiencing severe nausea or vomiting, pills are generally ineffective, because of the difficulty in swallowing or keeping a pill down, and 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."

    Although freedom from nausea and vomiting are two of the most noticed benefits of medical marijuana use, many have reported a reduction in the severity of wasting away. As well, they've notice a lessening in depression and other "side effects" brought on by the disease, including an increase in appetite. All of these things together have helped many cancer patients live a better, happier, more comfortable life. However, studies have also shown a shocking benefit.

    Over twenty major studies in the past nine years have shown that cannabinoids (the chemicals in cannabis) actually fight cancer cells. In fact, it's been shown that cannabinoids arrest cancer growths of many different forms of cancer, including brain, melanoma and breast cancer. There's even growing evidence that cannabinoids cause direct anti-tumor activity.

    Since the possibility was first realized, many more studies have been conducted, focused on the possibility of cannabinoids have anticarcinogenic effects. A 2007 study by the Institute of Toxicology and Pharmacology in Rostock, Germany focused on human cervical cancer (HeLa) cells. The cells were treated with specific cannabioids and THC. Even at low concentrations, MA and THC "led to a decrease in invasion of 61.5% and 68.1% respectively."

    The benefits of medical marijuana for cancer patients are clear when it comes to increased appetite, reduction of pain, wasting, vomiting and nausea, as well as depression. Although its anticarcinogenic effects aren't quite as clear, ongoing research further points to the possibility that medical marijuana may actually be what many claim it is - a truly miraculous drug.

    Health Canada grants access to marijuana for medical use to those who are suffering from grave and debilitating illnesses and those with chronic conditions. helps connect qualified patients with designated growers across Canada, providing information, support and resources to all Canadians who would like to access the medical cannabis program of Canada. Visit online today.

    Bonnie Pranger
    October 18, 2009
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