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.

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

    1. A mind mapper, and at the same time an easy-to-operate hierarchical editor with strong emphasis on folding.
      These two are not really two different things, just two different descriptions of a single application.
      Often used for knowledge and content mgmt.

    2. Helen says:

      Like I have said many times before, let’s get this through the FDA R&D process and end all the fighting. I am not opposed to the idea of marijuana as medicine. I am opposed to VOTING on what is medicine and how it is distributed. And I think we are all wasting our time arguing back and forth about all of these conflicting medical reports. To fairplay: I’m an Atheist, so please don’t bash religious people. This isn’t a religious issue. It’s a social issue. I wish that NORML would spend it’s energy and dollars lobbying the FDA instead of individual states. That’s all.

      [Editor’s note: Lobby the FDA rather than states? Why? The feds don’t move an inch and will not absent political pressure from Congress and the Executive branch. Where do they get pressure from? Their own technocrats and agency heads? No. They get political pressure from the states that are forcing the fed’s hand on changing the legal status for cannabis–be it for medical or non-medical purposes.

      States, counties and cities is where the real reform action is, not the FDA in Washington, D.C.]

    3. nancy says:

      As I read thru all the info above, I feel I must share:

      A. Cannabis is an herb with medicinal values. As many other herbs are processed into FDA approved drugs, cannabis is still what it has always been a medicinal Herb, not an herb processed into a drug!

      B. Many years ago I received a diagnosis that said my body was shutting down rapidly from large pitituary tumor.

      Although surgeries and meds helped, the tumor was still there and many Drs. tried to tell me it would never go away. Yes,

      Life went on, and yes I had headaches almost daily. But smoking pot immediately relieved the pain and my surgeon knew this. Afterall a part of the benefits is that cannabis is a natural anti-inflamation agent.

      8 years later, that tumor was gone, shrunken to forevermore I hope. When my surgeon confirmed that yes it gone, I asked if the pot may have helped.

      His response was It Couldn’t Have Hurt! Overall, it helped me to release the pain of headaches, which came often. Did as use it as a medication—yes. Did I use it for fun—-no.

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