Monday, April 20, 2009

Does Marijuana Cure Cancer?

As gay marriage fever sweeps the land, with even Republicans now realizing that votes can be gained by empowering youthful believers, a second revolution seems afoot: marijuana legalization.

In the last election, voters in Massachusetts made marijuana possession a common nuisance, worthy of a ticket. Voters made Michigan the 13th state to legalize medical marijuana. Today, the California state assembly is looking at the possibility of taxing the state's largest business, marijuana sales. Many states are re-considering the $30,000 per year cost of jailing non-violent marijuana users. The violent Mexican drug cartels are also making legalization look good as they turn Southwest cities into Al Capone-like Prohibition-era Chicagos.

In addition to ending gangsterism, reducing the cost of incarceration, and providing tax revenues, legalizing marijuana will bring a hidden benefit. It appears that it may reduce the cancer rate.

Does marijuana cure cancer? Yes, says a 2007 Harvard study.
"...the active ingredient in marijuana, THC, cuts tumor growth in common lung cancer in half and significantly reduces the ability of the cancer to spread!"
One of the commenters in the above article said, in further anecdotal support of the idea,
"i have known about a knot in my leftie testie for over a year and am a regular user, my doc told me it seemed as it may have started as a cancer but some how fizzled out on the way!"
Interesting. Is there more? Let's try the Google for "THC cures cancer". Yes, much more. Much, much more. Brain cancer, for instance...
"In 1998, the research team – led by investigator Manuel Guzman – discovered that THC can selectively induce program cell death in brain tumor cells without negatively impacting the surrounding healthy cells. Then in 2000, Guzman’s team reported in the journal Nature Medicine that injections of synthetic THC eradicated malignant gliomas (brain tumors) in one-third of treated rats, and prolonged life in another third by six weeks."
"Program cell death" is another name for apoptosis. It is ordinary cell death. Cells that become defective are programmed to die. But some don't, and they can become a cancer. This study seems to suggest that marijuana reboots their programs.

More glioma news comes from The Journal Of Clinical Investigation, April 2009:
"Cannabinoid action induces autophagy-mediated cell death through stimulation of ER stress in human glioma cells"
Here is a time-lapse video that lets you see the cells die...

Marijuana controls cervical cancer:
"...researchers Robert Ramer and Burkhard Hinz from the Institute of Toxicology and Pharmacology at the University of Rostock in Germany have found that cannabinoid compounds, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and methanandamide (MA), can cause the regression of highly invasive cancers, including cervical cancer and lung carcinoma."

Leukemia and lymphoma:
"A study published in the July 2002 edition of the medical journal Blood found that THC and some other cannabinoids produced "programmed cell death" in different varieties of human leukemia and lymphoma cell lines, thereby destroying the cancerous cells but leaving other cells unharmed."

These cancers seem to respond pretty impressively. The FDA might approve marijuana, if only it would dare to look at it. But marijuana research is discouraged in this country. And the drug industry likes drugs that are delivered through the drug industry.

People with cancer will need to find their own source for this possible cure. They can be assured that marijuana's toxicity is less than aspirin. It can be inhaled using a special vaporizer that eliminates combustion. Compared to the drugs they are using for their cancers, the side effects are trivial. But don't drive. Marijuana is an amplifier. If you smoke it and drink, you will be drunker.

Some people are sensitive to marijuana. A friend of mine, Ted, tried it once and it took him three days to come down. Curiously, he later died of lung cancer. Treat it with the respect its price deserves. Google around and see what can be found about marijuana and your particular condition.

It may not be too late.

Lawmakers who are now considering the impact of marijuana legalization might do well to look at the reduction in health costs that would come from a reduced cancer rate.


Blogger Dan McIntyre said...

Also, a google on 'marijuana neurogenesis' discovers that pot helps the brain make new brain cells. This may be why we survived the 60's. New art, new politics, new ideas about consciousness.

12:32 AM, April 21, 2009  

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