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A Tale of Two Studies

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director July 17, 2009

    For 35 years scientists have known that naturally occurring compounds in the cannabis plant possess potent and selective anti-cancer properties, a fact that I have documented extensively in previous writings here, here, and here.

    Yet for more than three decades the scientific study of these anti-cancer effects has remained almost exclusively limited to preclinical in vitro (in a petri dish) and in vivo (in lab animals) analysis, rather than clinical (human) study. Why? A just published review in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology provides an answer.

    Cannabinoid receptor ligands as potential anticancer agents – high hopes for new therapies?
    abstract excerpt via PubMed

    In recent years, CB receptor ligands, including Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol, have been proposed as potential anticancer agents. This review critically discusses the pharmacology of CB receptor activation as a novel therapeutic anticancer strategy in terms of ligand selectivity, tissue specificity and potency. Intriguingly, antitumour effects mediated by cannabinoids are not confined to inhibition of cancer cell proliferation; cannabinoids also reduce angiogenesis, cell migration and metastasis, inhibit carcinogenesis and attenuate inflammatory processes.

    Sounds promising, huh? Well it is — that is, until you get to this:

    The development of CB(2)-selective anticancer agents could be advantageous in light of the unwanted central effects exerted by CB(1) receptor ligands.

    And just what are these terrible “unwanted effects” — effects so “problematic” that we must continue to forbid scientists from clinically studying the drug’s effects in cancer patients? I’ll let the authors explain.

    “In terms of a potential therapeutic application the unwanted psychotropic effects mediated via CB1 could be a problem.”

    You read that right. The ‘problem’ with cannabinoids anti-cancer abilities is that patients might temporarily feel better after they take them!

    Now contrast mainstream science’s feigned concern with the so-called ‘unwanted effects’ of the natural cannabis ‘high’ with the actual side-effects of the pharmaceutical cannabinoid antagonist drug rimonabant (aka Acomplia), which was recently withdrawn from the European market because of the the drug’s link to depression and suicide.

    The psychiatric side-effects of rimonabant

    Experimental evidence has suggested that drugs that enhance cannabinoid type-1 (CB1) receptor activity may induce anxiolytic and antidepressant effects, whilst the opposite has been reported with antagonists. Thus, the objective of the present review is to discuss the potential psychiatric side-effects of CB1 receptor antagonists, such as rimonabant, which has been recently marketed in several countries for the treatment of smoking cessation, obesity and associated metabolic disorders.

    … Patients taking CB1 receptor antagonists should be carefully investigated for psychiatric side-effects. These drugs should not be prescribed for those already suffering from mental disorders. Nevertheless, the development of new compounds targeting the endocannabinoid system for the treatment of several conditions would be necessary and opportune.

    Let’s review shall we? Natural plant selectively kills cancer, but it may also get you high = “problematic.” Synthetic pharmaceutical drug short circuits the body’s natural endocannabinoid system and will likely make you depressed and suicidal = “opportune.”

    Any questions?

    63 Responses to “A Tale of Two Studies”

    1. Steven says:

      Are they even reading there own studies. Come on my fellow partakers of the “Heavenly Herb”, we must stand up and stand up NOW.

    2. Feel good facists? That sucks. Ive had about my fill of some of these know it all, live in a labratory cave, out of touch with humanity scientists. No offense to fair and truthful smartguys

    3. adle1984 says:

      “Any questions?”

      Yeah, when will people realize that big pharma is just a front for legalized addiction? I mean, holy cow – those pill ads clearly state all the possible side effects – some include SUDDEN DEATH. Marijuana compared to those FDA-approved drugs is like comparing clean air to the most tainted poisons – poison being those pills.

      Sometimes I’m saddened that so far this is the reality of things.

      But I have to keep my head up as well as everyone else. This is the BIGGEST fight to save our people right now. Keep up the fight keep up the fight! Fact and truth will set us free. Those who profit from the War on US Citizens will be held responsible soon enough.

    4. Joel says:

      According to Rick Simpson, cannabis oil can be effectively used with no psychotropic effects at all.

    5. As some of you may know, the brain is a bit more absorbent and analytical when “high”. I am currently enjoying a joint after a very stressful week. I am reading this and cannot understand how anyone manipulates logic for bias reasons. Language is a very constricting thing. The hysterics that oppose the use of Cannabis use language to manipulate truth. In lamens terms, to lie. It is a pity.

      Whoa, check out the spelling and grammar. Is this a side-effect of being high?

    6. Samuel says:

      Which is the more potent cancer fighter, THC or Cannabadiol? I’ve heard conflicting reports.

    7. NOT THIS AGAIN!!!
      What is the problem with this messed-up blog???
      (INTENDED post ISN’T EVEN showing as “awaiting moderation”).

    8. # NeuroGenesis1:29 Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
      July 17th, 2009 at 9:15 pm

      NOT THIS AGAIN!!!
      What is the problem with this messed-up blog???
      (INTENDED post ISN’T EVEN showing as “awaiting moderation”).

      WHY IS THIS POST SHOWING,
      BUT NOT the ON-TOPIC POST?????

    9. PART ONE:
      – The disasterous, dangerous, side-effects caused by
      cannabinoid-receptor ANTAGONIST Rimonabant
      only further emphasize the
      INTEGRAL-importance and interdependence of
      cannabis-compounds and the endo-cannabinoid-system.

    10. PART-TWO of THREE:


      – Considering that Rimonabant CAUSES many of the
      medical and psychological conditions remediated by cannabis,
      shouldn’t it, NOT CANNABIS, be highly-illegal?

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