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BBC: Cannabis cancer risk played down

Discussion in 'Cannabis & Health' started by Prince_Charles, Oct 18, 2005.

  1. Prince_Charles

    Prince_Charles Newbie

    Reputation Points:
    Oct 1, 2005

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    Cannabis cancer risk played down

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    <div ="cap">THC is one of 60 cannabinoids derived from the cannabis plant</div>

    Cannabis smoke is less likely to cause cancer than tobacco smoke, a leading US expert says.

    Dr Robert Melamede, of the University of Colorado, said
    that, while chemically the two were similar, tobacco was more

    He said the difference was mainly due to nicotine in
    tobacco, whereas cannabis may inhibit cancer because of the presence of
    the chemical THC.

    But health campaigners warned against complacency.


    Cannabis remains the most commonly-used drug in the UK
    with one in 10 people using it in the last year, according to the
    British Crime Survey.

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    from tobacco and cannabis contains many of the same carcinogens, and
    cell damage linked to lung cancer has been found in the lungs of
    chronic cannabis smokers

    anewsimg.bbc.co.uk_nol_shared_img_v3_end_quote_rb.gif <br clear="all"> </div>


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    <div>Jean King, of Cancer Research UK</div>




    The Class C drug, which was downgraded in 2004, has already been linked to mental health problems and breathing difficulties.

    But scientists are also exploring whether it can be used
    to treat a range of conditions, including multiple sclerosis and
    Alzheimer's disease.

    Dr Melamede said whereas nicotine activated carcinogenic
    compounds, THC - one of 60 cannabinoids derived from the cannabis plant
    - had been shown to inhibit them in mice cells.

    "Compounds found in cannabis have been shown to kill
    numerous cancer types including lung, breast, prostate, leukaemia,
    lymphoma and skin cancer."

    But he said the effects of cannabis were complex as
    evidence also suggested low doses of THC could stimulate growth of lung
    cancer cells.


    And he added the two could interact as cannabis was often smoked with tobacco.

    "It is possible that as the cannabis-consuming
    population ages, the long-term consequences of smoking cannabis may
    become more similar to what is observed with tobacco.

    "However, current knowledge does not suggest that
    cannabis smoke will have a carcinogenic potential comparable to that
    resulting from exposure to tobacco smoke."

    Jean King, director of tobacco control at Cancer
    Research UK, said many of the studies that had looked at the link
    between cancer and cannabis had used purified cannabinoids. </font>

    "Results from such studies may not represent the overall effects of cannabis smoke, which contains more than 400 chemicals.

    "Smoke from tobacco and cannabis contains many of the
    same carcinogens, and cell damage linked to lung cancer has been found
    in the lungs of chronic cannabis smokers."

    And she added there should be no complacency as cannabis
    was often smoked with tobacco, which is responsible for a quarter of
    all cancer deaths in the UK.


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