Pot and the “Big C”

From Metro Times Detroit
Cannabis and cancer?
That concept is becoming more and more common these days, and it’s not because smoking the plant causes cancer as some people erroneously claim.

In fact, the clinical evidence that we do have suggests that cannabis could be very helpful in fighting many forms of cancer. In the Petri dish, and in rats and mice, researchers have found that THC and CBD, two active compounds (cannabinoids) in the plant, cause cancer cells to die while leaving healthy cells alone. This is in contrast to conventional chemotherapy wherein all the cells, cancerous and healthy, are killed; hopefully, the cancer dies before you do.

“The scientific studies are consistent in showing that there are constituents in cannabis that have anti-cancer activities,” says NORML deputy director Paul Armentano, who has given court testimony, written and lectured on medical marijuana. “We see that cannabinoids can act as selective anticancer agents in that they target malignant cancer cells and they cause these cells to turn on themselves and trigger cell suicide. They do not trigger suicide in healthy cells.”

Armentano does not claim that cannabis cures cancer. His comments are as cautious as scientists who see potential that cannabis might be used successfully in combination with currently conventional therapies to treat cancer. All of them conclude that more research needs to be done.

A group of researchers at the University of Wisconsin concurred with that after reviewing literature on medical uses for marijuana. Their findings were published in 2007 under the title “Cannabinoids for Cancer Treatment: Progress and Promise” in the journal Cancer Research. They concluded: Continue reading