Marijuana Cuts Tumor Growth By Half
Sept 10, 2012 | Marco Torres
The healing powers of
marijuana and specifically how its active ingredients prevent disease
lends credibility to claims that the pharmaceutical industry is behind
marijuana prohibition laws. One of marijuana's active ingredients
Delta-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cuts tumor growth in half and
significantly reduces the ability of the cancer to spread.
The first research to show marijuana's anti-tumor properties was
presented at the American Association for Cancer Research meeting in
Los Angeles in 2007 demonstrating that THC may activate biological
pathways that halt cancer cell division or block development of blood
vessels that feed tumors. It then became a target of synthetic research
into THC for drugs such as ImClone System Inc.'s Erbitux and Amgen
THC that targets cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2
is similar in function to endocannabinoids, which are cannabinoids
that are naturally produced in the body and activate these
receptors. The researchers suggest that THC or other designer agents
that activate these receptors might be used in a targeted fashion
to treat lung cancer.
For three weeks, researchers injected standard doses
of THC into mice that had been implanted with human lung cancer
cells, and found that tumors were reduced in size and weight by
about 50 percent in treated animals compared to a control group.
There was also about a 60 percent reduction in cancer lesions on the
lungs in these mice as well as a significant reduction in protein
markers associated with cancer progression, Preet says.
Although the researchers do not know why THC
inhibits tumor growth, they say the substance could be activating
molecules that arrest the cell cycle. They speculate that THC may
also interfere with angiogenesis and vascularization, which promotes
Acting through cannabinoid
receptors CB1 and CB2, endocannabinoids (as well as THC) are thought
to play a role in variety of biological functions, including pain
and anxiety control, and inflammation. Although a medical derivative
of THC, known as Marinol, has been approved for use as an appetite
stimulant for cancer patients, and a small number of U.S. states
allow use of medical marijuana to treat the same side effect, few
studies have shown that THC might have anti-tumor activity, Preet
says. The only clinical trial testing THC as a treatment against
cancer growth was a recently completed British pilot study in human
The U.S. Patent 6630507
was specifically initiated when researchers found that cannabinoids
had specific antioxidant properties making them useful in the
treatment and prophylaxis of wide variety of oxidation associated
diseases, such as ischemic, age-related, inflammatory and autoimmune
diseases. The cannabinoids are found to have particular application
as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage
following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the
treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease,
Parkinson's disease and HIV dementia.
Unfortunately, the scientists will use the
research on the effects of these receptors to develop new drugs to
benefit the pharmaceutical industry.
Marijuana researcher and activist Jason
Mihaldas says the studies finally justify what the
pro-marijuana community has always know. "Decades of anecdotal and
empirical evidence are now being validated by the scientific community,
but it's unfortunate they are using this research for their own
selfish motives--to take marijuana from its raw medically effective
form to one where it will be medically ineffective with processing
agents, altering what it was designed to do...heal," proclaimed
Nonpsychoactive cannabinoids, such as
cannabidoil, are particularly advantageous to use because they avoid
toxicity that is encountered with psychoactive cannabinoids at
high doses useful in the method of the present invention. CBD
(Cannabidiol), one of the main constituents of the cannabis plant
has been proven medically to relieve many diseases including the
inhibition of cancer cell growth. Recent studies have shown it to
be an effective atypical anti-psychotic in treating schizophrenia.
CBD also interferes with the amount of THC your brain processes,
balancing the psychotropic effect of marijuana. That is precisely why the power of raw cannabis is turning heads.
A British company, GW Pharma, is in advanced clinical trials for the world's first pharmaceutical developed from raw marijuana
instead of synthetic equivalents and they say they'll have a mouth
spray to treat cancer pain on pharmacy shelves by 2013.
“If cannabis were discovered in an Amazon rainforests today, people
would be clambering to make as much use as they could out of the
potential benefits of the plant,” said Donald L. Abrams, MD, Chief of
Hematology and Oncology at San Francisco General Hospital and
Professor of Medicine at the University California. Dr. Abrams is
widely known for his research on medical cannabis applications.
"Unfortunately, it carries with it a long and not so long history of
being a persecuted plant," he added.
Now that the scientific evidence is being made
public, a concerted effort must be made from all nations to end
marijuana-prohibition laws. Holding or possessing a plant should never
be a criminal offence and the origins and source for these laws are
now coming to light.
is a research specialist, writer and consumer advocate for healthy
lifestyles. He holds degrees in Public Health and Environmental
Science and is a professional speaker on topics such as disease
prevention, environmental toxins and health policy.