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Dr. Andrew Weil: Cannabis “May Have a Primary Role in Cancer Treatment and Prevention”

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director September 14, 2010

    For nearly a decade now myself and others have been highlighting the potent anti-cancer and potentially cancer preventive properties of cannabinoids.

    Now Dr. Andrew Weil, a best-selling author and world-renowned leader and pioneer in the field of integrative medicine, has lent his powerful voice to this discussion.

    Cannabis Rx: Cutting Through the Misinformation
    via Huffington Post

    [Excerpt below; read the full commentary here.] Research into possible medical uses of cannabis is enjoying a renaissance. In recent years, studies have shown potential for treating nausea, vomiting, premenstrual syndrome, insomnia, migraines, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, alcohol abuse, collagen-induced arthritis, asthma, atherosclerosis, bipolar disorder, depression, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, sickle-cell disease, sleep apnea, Alzheimer’s disease and anorexia nervosa.

    But perhaps most exciting, cannabinoids (chemical constituents of Cannabis, the best known being tetrahydrocannabinol or THC) may have a primary role in cancer treatment and prevention. A number of studies have shown that these compounds can inhibit tumor growth in laboratory animal models. In part, this is achieved by inhibiting angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels that tumors need in order to grow. What’s more, cannabinoids seem to kill tumor cells without affecting surrounding normal cells. If these findings hold true as research progresses, cannabinoids would demonstrate a huge advantage over conventional chemotherapy agents, which too often destroy normal cells as well as cancer cells.

    As long ago as 1975, researchers reported that cannabinoids inhibited the growth of a certain type of lung cancer cell in test tubes and in mice. Since then, laboratory studies have shown that cannabinoids have effects against tumor cells from glioblastoma (a deadly type of brain cancer) as well as those from thyroid cancer¸ leukemia/lymphoma, and skin, uterus, breast, stomach, colorectal, pancreatic and prostate cancers.

    … If you want to learn more about this subject, I recommend an excellent documentary film, “What If Cannabis Cured Cancer,” by Len Richmond, which summarizes the remarkable research findings of recent years. Most medical doctors are not aware of this information and its implications for cancer prevention and treatment. The film presents compelling evidence that our current policy on cannabis is counterproductive.

    At this past weekend’s national NORML Conference, several panelists — myself included — discussed the use of cannabinoids as selective anti-cancer agents. We also screened Len Richmond’s excellent documentary (in which I’m briefly interviewed) “What If Cannabis Cured Cancer?” (Watch the movie trailer here.)

    Fortunately, this important discussion is just now finally making its way into the mainstream. Unfortunately, it’s taken 30+ years to get the MSM to notice.

    What possible advancements in the treatment of cancer may have been achieved over the past three decades had U.S. government officials chosen to advance — rather than suppress — clinical research into the anti-cancer effects of cannabis? It’s time for the public and the media to demand an answer.

    44 Responses to “Dr. Andrew Weil: Cannabis “May Have a Primary Role in Cancer Treatment and Prevention””

    1. Helen says:

      Note that he very specifically talks about the chemical eliments, not about smoked pot. Just as with other ailments that may show promise from treatment from ELEMENTS found in cannibis, you people have propagandized it once again to make people believe that smoking pot is healthy.

    2. Helen says:

      This is truly great PR on your part. You left out the part in Dr. Weil’s article that says, “It is not clear that smoking marijuana achieves blood levels high enough to have these anticancer effects. We need more human research, including well-designed studies to find the best mode of administration.”

      Caught you!

      [Paul Armentano responds: Helen, I’ve responded to your drivel before. With your notable animus, why do you post here at all? Caught what? I linked to the article you quoted from, yet you imply I’m somehow trying to hide the ball? FYI: I never talked about inhaling marijuana. All of my statements were about the anti-cancer properties of the cannabinoids (which you refer to as the ‘elements’) themselves. As in, “For nearly a decade now myself and others have been highlighting the potent anti-cancer and potentially cancer preventive properties of cannabinoids.” Or, “At this past weekend’s national NORML Conference, several panelists — myself included — discussed the use of cannabinoids as selective anti-cancer agents.” Hmmm, do you find any references to smoking? I don’t. I’m well aware of the Spanish study Dr. Weil summarized, and would concur with his assessment of it. Geez, it’s summarized on NORML’s website for crying out loud and you act like you discovered some sort of smoking gun. Get a life. The ultimate point of my post is here, “What possible advancements in the treatment of cancer may have been achieved over the past three decades had U.S. government officials chosen to advance — rather than suppress — clinical research into the anti-cancer effects of cannabis?” What’s yours?

    3. levelnext- says:

      The time has come, to say fair’s fair

    4. Stephanie Wallcott says:

      It is good know that still there are places I eat findrxonline that shows us that the health care is the main, they can interchange ideas in his forum and learn a lot of his articles.

    5. Los Angeles — A ballot measure to make California the first state to legalize the sale and use of marijuana has won the support of one of the state’s most powerful union, officials said Monday, offering the proposition a shot of mainstream legitimacy as well as a potential financial and organizational lift.

      The decision by the executive board of the Service Employees International Union of California will be announced in the next few days, according to officials who have been briefed about it but were not allowed to speak publicly before it was announced.

      The measure has faced strong opposition from law enforcement groups, including Sheriff Lee Baca of Los Angeles County, who said he would lead a campaign against it as a threat to public safety.

      But the proposal also won support on Monday from some former law enforcement officials, including police officers, judges and prosecutors.

      The measure, known as Proposition, 19 would legalize, regulate and tax the sale of marijuana. It has been promoted as a way to raise money for the financially beleaguered state, while dealing a setback to Mexican drug cartels.

      The measure is quickly emerging as one of the top — and most contentious — ballot issues in the nation this November. Polls show that it has the support of a slight majority of voters. But political analysts said that this kind of measure, given the social stigma that comes with illicit drug use, could prove difficult to poll.

      At the very least, the support by the S.E.I.U., which claims over 700,000 members in the state, could make it easier for other groups to rally around the measure. More practically, it means access to the union’s considerable campaign apparatus, which could finance mailings, telephone calls and leaflets

    6. Bongstar420 says:

      I actually found a report that showed that THC increased cancer cell proliferation. The report is supposed to discuss anandamide, ?9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), HU-210, and Win55,212-2, however the abstract only makes statments about THC. I’m not going to discuss the technical flaws of the structure of the abstract, but I will note that one should refrence the source of this papers financial support.

      The abstract is located at: http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/64/6/1943.abstract

      The grant source is at the bottom of the abstract. The information that is relavent to the source of funding for the grant is located at: http://www.bifonds.de/cgi-bin/show.pl/about_us/donors.html?sid=7mvmh2cniv1cyq0j853fd39oeq68qs86

      It is worth considering the grant’s sole finincial contributor is a pharmaceutical company who’s interest is profits. While I do not consider cannabinoids to be cures in themselves generally, they do present the opportunity for a relatively cheap and more decentralized source of conjunctive or sole source thearpies for a great deal of conditions.

      Now, to broaden the focus of the discussion for a more accurate perspective of the issue; a single document does justice to a proper introductory perspective on the topic: http://www.bifonds.de/cgi-bin/show.pl/about_us/donors.html?sid=7mvmh2cniv1cyq0j853fd39oeq68qs86

      This document is from Nature Publishing Group, which has a very large source of contribution, mainly subscribers and publishee regristrants. While I cannot determine any clear unitary or primary financial contribuitons aside from publishing revenue, Nature is a subsidary of Macmillan Publishers Ltd.. This company has different interests then what a pharmaceutical company has, though they are likely profits at the bottom line.

      I find it suspicious, however, that the first statement in NPS’s Mission Statement is to publish articles written by men prominent in….I do not believe it to be healthy to use the language of the patriarchy. http://www.nature.com/npg_/company_info/mission.html

      These are only two documents. I am only trying to make the point that one can make nearly any conclusion if one is to restrict ones focus. The reality is that things are complicated, and effects can contradict each other depending on conditions and focus.

    7. “But perhaps most exciting, cannabinoids (chemical constituents of Cannabis, the best known being tetrahydrocannabinol or THC) may have a primary role in cancer treatment and prevention.”

      And there you have it.

      IF cannabis was legal and every person in the USA read that cannabis use would PREVENT cancer. EVERYONE would do it and thats just not part of the prohibitionist or BigPharma agenda.

      I have said it before and I will say it again, only I will add on to my previous statement. If it could ever be broven that cannabis prohibition and the sharp rise in cancer which both came into being in the early 1900’s there should be a class action lawsuit against those that have cause what, for a lack of a better term, is a damb near haulocost of the industrialized worlds popultation with a most agonizing and drawn out painful death due to the bodies milenia old symiotic relationship with cannabis.

    8. Ron Combs says:

      In light of the fact that cannabis may cure cancer. We can expect the Pharmacutical Coorperations to increase their bribes to our corrupt politicians. The last thing they want is to cure cancer.They make far too much money treating the symtoms. The way i see it. Our government has got 30yrs worth of blood on their hands.They best hope that God does’nt exist.

    9. freedom says:

      Humanity has a right to know all possiblities concerning cannabis and cancer..not to mention the many many other uses for cannabis. To do other wise is to a crime .

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