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The Feds Finally Recognize The Anti-Cancer Potential Of Cannabis — 36 Years Too Late!

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director March 24, 2011

    Scientific trials have for decades documented the anti-cancer properties of cannabis and its constituents. Yet it took until this week for the website of the National Institute of Cancer, a component of the U.S. government’s National Institutes of Health, to finally acknowledged the herb’s therapeutic utility for patients living with disease or suffering from the adverse side-effects of cancer treatment.

    In a newly added section to the website, entitled ‘Cannabis and Cannabinoids,’ the Institute states:

    Cannabinoids may cause antitumor effects by various mechanisms, including induction of cell death, inhibition of cell growth, and inhibition of tumor angiogenesis and metastasis. Cannabinoids appear to kill tumor cells but do not affect their nontransformed counterparts and may even protect them from cell death.”

    …The potential benefits of medicinal cannabis for people living with cancer include antiemetic effects, appetite stimulation, pain relief, and improved sleep. In the practice of integrative oncology, the health care provider may recommend medicinal cannabis not only for symptom management but also for its possible direct antitumor effect.”

    It’s a stunning acknowledgment, given that the NIH is a branch of the very same government that presently maintains that the cannabis plant and all of its naturally-derived components have ‘no accepted medical use.’ Yet it also begs the question: Where has the National Institute of Cancer been all these years?

    After all, the anti-tumor activity of cannabinoids were initially documented in 1975! That’s right; it’s taken 36 years for the Institute to get with the program.

    Hopefully it won’t take them another 36 years to demand that the Feds finally assess whether these preclinical results are replicable in human trials.

    149 Responses to “The Feds Finally Recognize The Anti-Cancer Potential Of Cannabis — 36 Years Too Late!”

    1. Arnold says:

      Now, we can all go tell the DEA to shove their beliefs up their asses, where their heads have been deeply planted for years, because now a federal medical institution has countered their claim by believing cannabis has medicinal value. Not some random disease with better treatment options – like the FDA has claimed – no, no, its an admission of aid for the big problem, cancer. We win, Game Over!

    2. […] 2011 at 5:16 pm and is filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 […]

    3. truthandconse says:

      This should be “front page” news nationwide. But somehow I think it won’t be.

    4. SmokeyJoe says:

      Some folks at the FDA and DEA need to start packing up personal belongings from their desks. Imagine how stupid they are going to appear once we start seeing some REAL science in action.

    5. Daniel says:

      This is AWESOME!! Great progress on this rough road. I do ask the question, why are we not pushing for a federal medical bill? Get your prescription from a pain management doctor, have a panel that evaluates the doctors and randomly pull patient records to evaluate and to assure they are qualified, and if they aren’t it’s at the hands of the doctor. Then just set up a plan for each patient 4 plants that they can differ growing their own to a qualified grower which would be sold and taxed. Would this not be the next step instead of all out legalization? If a federal law was enacted for medical, other states would be stupid to allow this because it will create the revenue that it could create for the states/feds. It just seems like when we’re wanting a president to consider marijuana, it’s to all out legalize. Maybe I’m wrong though.

    6. KOG says:

      The first part of the Institute’s statement that is quoted is no longer on the page “Cannabis and Cannabinoids.”

      “Cannabinoids may cause antitumor effects by various mechanisms, including induction of cell death, inhibition of cell growth, and inhibition of tumor angiogenesis and metastasis. Cannabinoids appear to kill tumor cells but do not affect their nontransformed counterparts and may even protect them from cell death.”

      Does anyone have a screenshot of it?
      Possible censorship going on here….

      K

    7. Leonard Krivitsky, MD says:

      I believe it is a matter for the majority of people to see that the whole cannabis prohibition, the whole DEA “dogma” that “marijuana is a dangerous drug without accepted medical use” be exposed in its anti-scientific, deceptive nature. Cannabis is not physically addictive as it lacks the recognizable “physical withdrawal syndrome” (like opiates, or alcohol, for example); the so-called “gateway drug theory” has been proven to be nonsense by a scientific research, and was even declared “half-baked” by a recent study; drug Marinol, much touted by the DEA, is not at all the same as medicinal cannabis which, as opposed to Marinol, has over 70 active compounds interacting in therapeutic ways. Cannabis decriminalization is followed by a decrease (not an increase) in “teenage use”, as the example of Portugal clearly shows, and (with another major scare-tactic disintegrating), smoking cannabis does not increase one’s risk of lung cancer; combine all this with the violence-suppressing qualities of cannabis use, its propensity to be a “safe alternative” to alcohol/hard drugs, its remarkable medicinal properties, and then see if the DEA “dogmas” have any factual foundation and not just an empty talk that is being enforced by a version of philosophical “radical pragmatism” which basically “allows” its followers to disregard the truth in favor of, let’s say, DEA “dogma”, with such a dogma being constantly “reinforced” by a consciousness of “guilt” and “fear”. “Radical Pragmatism” was at the basis of Illinois patients being denied their medicine, because the DEA intimidated enough “law-makers” with the “non-existing entity” of a “gateway drug theory. The same way, some rogue politicos in Montana are trying to trample the will of Voters of that state by “repealing” the medical marijuana law! So, what we (and I mean, all of us) need to do is spread this scientific knowledge (along with the refutation of “dogma”), so that even for the politicians this becomes a question of either siding with fear and ignorance (which will assure one kind or “legacy”), or with science, progress and compassion, which will bring a totally different “legacy” altogether; I doubt that any of these crooks will enjoy a “legacy” of him remaining silent when the modern-day “storm-troopers” dragged a cancer-afflicted granny to jail for using medicinal cannabis. Let’s not forget to ask our politicians as well as to why they are “crying broke” and yet, at the same time keep financing the so-called “marijuana enforcement” while most of the country wants this rather harmless natural substance decriminalized altogether, and definitely legalized when it comes to its many remarkable medicinal uses.

    8. KOG says:

      Disregard my previous comment. I made the assumption that the link would lead to a page with both quotes present. After further investigation I was able to locate the first quote on a different section of the “Cannabis and Cannabinoids” page

      Perhaps a link to the page with the first quote can be provided so as to avoid any further confusion.

      Or it could just be me hehe

      [Paul Armentano responds:

      “Cannabinoids may cause antitumor effects by various mechanisms, including induction of cell death, inhibition of cell growth, and inhibition of tumor angiogenesis and metastasis. [9-11] Cannabinoids appear to kill tumor cells but do not affect their nontransformed counterparts and may even protect them from cell death. These compounds have been shown to induce apoptosis in glioma cells in culture and induce regression of glioma tumors in mice and rats. Cannabinoids protect normal glial cells of astroglial and oligodendroglial lineages from apoptosis mediated by the CB1 receptor. [10,11]”

      http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/cam/cannabis/healthprofessional/page4

      Thank You NORML for sticking up for humans and plants.

    9. M.Sebastian Patrick says:

      Just remember this is the same Government that protects a cancer patients right to continue to smoke tobacco-yet is willing to imprison the same cancer patient for providing themselves with a cigarette that is well documented to actually help them-That’s government working for the people in action! Every citizen out there must know-The Emperor truly wears no clothes-and this lie must end.

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