The benefits of medical marijuana for cancer patients are clear when it comes to increased appetite, reduction of pain, wasting, vomiting and nausea, as well as depression. Although its anticarcinogenic effects are not quite as clear, ongoing research further points to the possibility that medical marijuana may actually be what many claim it is - a truly miraculous drug.
Since the possibility was first realized, many more studies have been conducted, focused on the possibility that cannabinoids have anticarcinogenic effects. A 2007 study by the Institute of Toxicology and Pharmacology in Rostock, Germany focused on human cervical cancer (HeLa) cells. The cells were treated with specific cannabioids and THC. Even at low concentrations, “MA and THC led to a decrease in invasion of 61.5% and 68.1% respectively."
Over twenty major studies in the past nine years have shown that cannabinoids (the chemicals in cannabis) actually fight cancer cells. In fact, it has been shown that cannabinoids arrest cancer growths of many different forms of cancer, including brain, melanoma and breast cancer. There is even growing evidence that cannabinoids cause direct anti-tumor activity.
Although freedom from nausea and vomiting are two of the most noticed benefits of medical marijuana use, many have reported a reduction in the severity of wasting away. As well, they have noticed a lessening in depression and other "side effects" brought on by the disease, including an increase in appetite. All of these things together have helped many cancer patients live a better, happier, more comfortable life.
Between the years 2001-2006 major Cancer research studies:
Cannabinoids fight cancer cells
Cannabinoids arrest many cancer cells (brain, breast, leukemic, melanoma, phaepchromocytoma)
How: by promoting programmed cell death and by arresting angiogenesis (increased blood vessel production)
Direct anti-tumor activity of cannabinoids specifically CB1 and CB2 agonists in a range of cancer types (brain (glioma), skin, pituitary, prostate and bowel).
The anti-tumor activity led to regression of tumors, reduction in the blood supply and metastases (secondary tumors) and direct inducement of death in cancer cells.
We now understand how cancers develop, because of the studies, and because of what we learned about cannabinoid receptors.
Cannabinoids (the active components in cannabis) exhibit anti-tumor properties.
Cannabinoids inhibit tumor growth.
THC eradicated malignant brain tumors.
THC prolonged life.
Cannabis inhibits the growth of thyroid, prostate, colorectal cancer cells.
THC causes death of glioma (brain) cells.
Cannabinoids regulate human pituitary hormone secretions.
CBD produces anti-tumor activity.
CBD is an antineoplastic agent, i.e. inhibits growth of malignant cells.
The side effects associated with cannabis, compared with all other current drug therapies, is classified as “low risk”.
Greatest danger associated with medical marijuana is its illegality.
Marijuana (Cannabis) should be rescheduled and decriminalized.
Marinol (synthetic THC) proven to be much less effective than the natural herb which contains at least 60 other cannabinoids in addition to THC.
Eight surviving patients still receive medical cannabis from the Federal government. Grown at the University of Mississippi and paid for by federal tax dollars.
The DEA still classifies cannabis as having no medicinal use.
Thirty-six states have symbolic medicinal cannabis laws—laws that support medical cannabis but do not provide legal protection under state law.
In 2005, U. S. Supreme Court Ruling (Gonzales v. Raich) ruled federal officials could still prosecute medical marijuana patients for possessing, consuming and cultivating medical cannabis. Only applies to prosecution in federal court.