New Hopes for Medical Marijuana—
And They aren’t “High” Hopes!

September 17th, 2014 by Holly Cornish

Don’t worry—we’re not talking about the chopped leaves smoked by folks looking for a mind-altering experience. Like many plants, the cannabis plant has a number of chemicals that can be extracted for medicinal use and that are not mind-altering.

In fact, one British researcher tested six of these chemicals called ‘cannabinoids’ on leukemia cells. What he observed convinced him that marijuana plants offer far more benefit than just a temporary high! Here’s the story. . .

Continued below…


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Wai Liu, an oncologist at the University of London’s St. George’s medical school, said these cannabis extracts drastically reduced cancer cell potency. A study abstract, published in the journal Anticancer Research, said cannabis was able to simultaneously halt all phases of cancer cell growth.

The research tested six cannabinoids on leukemia cells. Liu said none of these chemicals would intoxicate patients.

Speaking to U.S. News, Dr. Liu said the cannabis compounds appear to “target and switch off” pathways that allow cancer to grow. This is precisely what many drug companies have attempted to do with synthetic medications—at a much higher cost.

Liu is hopeful that continued studies will produce a medication that patients can use in the near future.

But this type of research hasn’t exactly been a cakewalk…

The Feds oppose research on medical marijuana

Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is a group that advocates for medicinal marijuana. They observe that while the last 30 years have seen “an explosion of international studies designed to investigate the therapeutic value of cannabis,” the same is not true in America.

The group exposed these efforts at blocking domestic cannabis research in their 2009 report The Obstruction of Medical Cannabis Research in the U.S.

ASA noted that anyone who wants to perform this type of research must first get approval from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and from the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS). And you can bet they’re probably pretty tight-fisted with those approvals.

In addition to the complicated approval process, NIDA holds a monopoly on cannabis used for research and requires all scientists to use plants grown at the University of Mississippi.

Historically, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) aided the blockade by protecting NIDA’s monopoly on research-grade cannabis. They routinely block any competition from potential producers by refusing to grant competitive licenses to other organizations.

Ironically, the DEA is beginning to play a different role in the use of cannabis for medical purposes.

Could that be change you smell in the wind?

The Drug Enforcement Agency recently requested that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) consider whether cannabis should be removed from the list of Schedule I substances.

Under provisions of the 1970 Controlled Substance Act, signed into law by President Richard Nixon, Schedule 1 substances are those considered to have no medical value and a high potential for abuse.

ASA and other drug reform advocates are putting pressure on the U.S. government to reclassify marijuana.

This could serve to open the gates to more thorough investigative research on potential health uses for cannabis.

In the meantime, there are studies besides Dr. Liu’s that demonstrate its cancer fighting potential. The National Cancer Institute lists these examples:

  • A mouse study showed that cannabinoids may protect against inflammation of the colon, which may reduce the risk of colon cancer.
  • A laboratory study of the cannabis compound delta-9-THC in liver cancer cells showed that it damaged or killed these cells. The study also showed this compound has antitumor 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 in estrogen receptor positive and estrogen receptor negative breast cancer cells showed that the substance caused cancer cell death—while leaving normal breast cells unharmed.
  • A laboratory study of cannabidiol in human glioma cells showed that, when administered with chemotherapy, the treatments were more effective than chemotherapy by itself at increasing cancer cell death without harming normal cells.

So the government debate about the medical value of marijuana promises to rage on.

But now you’re aware of research that shows this plant might well be part of nature’s bounty of healing botanicals!


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Kindest regards,

Lee Euler, Publisher

Video of the Week:

“Shocking Confessions of a Drug Company Insider”

In this exposé, a top executive of a major pharmaceutical company spills the naked truth about the drugs you and your family take… which drugs heal, and which ones KILL… what doctors turn to when they don’t know the cure… what they do when they themselves or their loved ones are stricken with disease or illness… what life-saving resource they insist should be in every home. Watch this must-see video now because your life — or the life of your loved ones — may depend on it.

 




 

References:

Americans for Safe Access. 2009. The obstruction of medical cannabis research in the U.S. Retrieved from http://AmericansForSafeAccess.org/downloads/Research_Obstruction_Report.pdf
National Cancer Institute. 2014. Cannabis and cannabinoids (PDQ) factsheet. Retrieved from http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/cam/cannabis/patient/page2
Nelson, S. 2013. Study: Cannabis compounds can kill cancer cells. U.S. News and World Report. Retrieved from http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2013/10/24/study-cannabis-compounds-can-kill-cancer-cells
Scott, KA et al. 2013. Enhancing the activity of cannabidiol and 0ther cannabinoids in vitro through modifications to drug combinations and treatment schedules. Anticancer Research October 2013 vol. 33no. 10 4373-4380. Abstract available at http://ar.iiarjournals.org/content/33/10/4373.abstract#corresp-1

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