HEALED: How I Cured My Cancer with Cannabis

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The potheads did it with a rice cooker

From Compassion Chronicles
By Charmie Gholson

Mike McShane has endured five bouts of Squamous cell carcinoma cancer. He’s spent a million dollars and has been treated with radiation therapy, chemotherapy and surgery by this team of doctors at the Detroit Medical Center. Today, he believes the invasive treatments were unnecessary. He says he’s cured his latest bout with the disease using a highly concentrated form of marijuana oil called Simpson Oil.

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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

Rick Simpson Interview: Cannabis oil as a cure for cancer

While we’re on the subject, the news came out today that a link has been found between young men, cannabis use and testicular cancer.

Some insight into how the framing of this (very small, government-funded and quite unscientific study) is being twisted and used as propaganda very close to election time, when 3 states are to vote on legalization – the mainstream media articles leave out some important points:

“The findings are biologically plausible but there is no proven mechanism to link marijuana to testicular cancer”

“While a 2X increase in testicular cancer risk appears moderately strong, in absolute terms, the increase is small (0.012%).”

Here is a review of the study sans propaganda:
Marijuana may increase marijuana cancer risk study

See also Marijuana cures cancer – government has known since 1974

Michelle Aldrich: Cancer free thanks to Cannabis oil!

Medical Marijuana: A Note of Caution

Dr. Lester Grinspoon is associate professor emeritus of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the author of Marihuana Reconsidered and Marijuana: The Forbidden Medicine.

This op-ed is a response to an article that appeared in the January 2010 issue of HIGH TIMES, “Rick Simpson’s Hemp-Oil Medicine,” written by Steve Hager, HIGH TIMES creative director. (Source)

By Lester Grinspoon, M.D.

Like everyone else who has been working over decades to ensure that marijuana, with all that it has to offer, is allowed to take its proper place in our lives, I have been heartened by the rapidly growing pace at which it is gaining understanding as a safe and versatile medicine. In addition to the relief it offers to so many patients with a large array of symptoms and syndromes (almost invariably at less cost, both in toxicity and money, than the conventional drugs it replaces), it is providing those patients, their caregivers, and the people who are close to them an opportunity to see for themselves how useful and unthreatening its use is. It has been a long and difficult sell, but I think it is now generally believed (except by the United States government) that herbal marijuana as a medicine is here to stay.

The evidence which underpins this status as a medicine is, unlike that of almost all other modern medicines, anecdotal. Ever since the mid-1960s, new medicines have been officially approved through large, carefully controlled double-blind studies, the same path that marijuana might have followed had it not been placed in Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, which has made it impossible to do the kind of studies demanded for approval by the Food and Drug Administration. Anecdotal evidence commands much less attention than it once did, yet it is the source of much of our knowledge of synthetic medicines as well as plant derivatives. Controlled experiments were not needed to recognize the therapeutic potential of chloral hydrate, barbiturates, aspirin, curare, insulin or penicillin. And there are many more recent examples of the value of anecdotal evidence. It was in this way that the use of propranolol for angina and hypertension, of diazepam for status epilepticus (a state of continuous seizure activity), and of imipramine for childhood enuresis (bed-wetting) was discovered, although these drugs were originally approved by regulators for other purposes.

Today, advice on the use of marijuana to treat a particular sign or symptom, whether provided or not by a physician, is based almost entirely on anecdotal evidence. For example, let’s consider the case of a patient who has an established diagnosis of Crohn’s disease but gets little or no relief from conventional medicines (or even occasional surgery) and suffers from severe cramps, diarrhea and loss of weight. His cannabis-savvy physician – one who is aware of compelling anecdotal literature suggesting that it is quite useful in this syndrome – would not hesitate to recommend to this patient that he try using marijuana. He might say, “Look, I can’t be certain that this will help you, but there is now considerable experience that marijuana has been very useful in treating the symptoms of this disorder, and if you use it properly, it will not hurt you one bit; so I would suggest you give it a try, and if it works, great – and if it does not, it will not have harmed you.”

If this advice is followed and it works for this patient, he will report back that, indeed, his use of the drug has eliminated the symptoms and he is now regaining his weight; or that it doesn’t work for him but he is no better or worse off than he was before he had a trial of marijuana. Particularly in states which have accommodated the use of marijuana as a medicine, this kind of exchange is not uncommon. Because the use of cannabis as a medicine is so benign, relative to most of the conventional medicines it competes with, knowledgeable physicians are less hesitant to recommend a trial.

One of the problems of accepting a medicine – particularly one whose toxicity profile is lower than most over-the-counter medicines – on the basis of anecdotal evidence alone is that it runs the risk of being oversold. For example, it is presently being recommended for many types of pain, some of which are not responsive to its analgesic properties. Nonetheless, in this instance, a failed trial of marijuana is not a serious problem; and at the very least, both patient and physician learn that the least toxic analgesic available doesn’t work for this patient with this type of pain. Unfortunately, this kind of trial is not always benign.

In the January 2010 issue of HIGH TIMES, Steve Hager published an article, “Rick Simpson’s Hemp-Oil Medicine,” in which he extols the cancer-curing virtues of a concentrated form of marijuana which a Canadian man developed as “hemp oil.” Unfortunately, the anecdotal evidence on which the cancer-curing capacity is based is unconvincing; and because it is unconvincing, it raises a serious moral issue.

Simpson, who does not have a medical or scientific education (he dropped out of school in ninth grade), apparently does not require that a candidate for his treatment have an established diagnosis of a specific type of cancer, usually achieved through biopsy, gross and histopathological examinations, radiologic and clinical laboratory evidence. He apparently accepts the word of his “patients.” Furthermore, after he has given the course of “hemp oil,” there is apparently no clinical or laboratory follow-up; he apparently accepts the “patient’s” belief that he has been cured. According to Hager, he claims a cure rate of 70 percent. But 70 percent of what? Do all the people he “treats” with hemp-oil medicine have medically established, well-documented cancer, or is he treating the symptoms or a constellation of symptoms that he or the patient have concluded signify the existence of cancer? And what is the nature and duration of the follow-up which would allow him to conclude that he has cured 70 percent? Furthermore, does this population of “patients with cancer” include those who have already had therapeutic regimes (such as surgery, radiation or chemotherapy) which are known to be successful in curing some cancers or holding at bay, sometimes for long periods of time, many others?

There are patients who have a medically sound diagnosis of pre-symptomatic cancer (such as early prostate cancer) but who, for one reason or another, eschew allopathic treatment and desperately seek out other approaches. Such patients are all too eager to believe that a new treatment, such as hemp-oil medicine, has cured their cancer. Unfortunately, this cancer, which was asymptomatic at the time of its discovery, will eventually become symptomatic, and at that time the possibility of a cure is significantly diminished, if not inconceivable.

This lesson was brought home to me when I was asked by the American Cancer Society, during a period early in my medical career when I was doing cancer research, to participate in an investigation of a man in Texas who claimed that a particular herb that his grandfather discovered would cure cancer. I was able to locate two women who had well-documented diagnoses of early (asymptomatic) cervical cancer who had decided not to have surgery but instead went to Texas and took the “medicine.” When I first met them some months after each had taken the “cure,” they were certain that they were now cancer-free. With much effort, I was able to persuade them to have our surgical unit perform new biopsies, both of which revealed advancement in the pathological process over their initial biopsies. Both were then persuaded to have the surgery they had previously feared, and there is no doubt that this resulted in saving their lives.

There is little doubt that cannabis now may play some non-curative roles in the treatment of this disease (or diseases) because it is often useful to cancer patients who suffer from nausea, anorexia, depression, anxiety, pain and insomnia. However, while there is growing evidence from animal studies that it may shrink tumor cells and cause other promising salutary effects in some cancers, there is no present evidence that it cures any of the many different types of cancer. I think the day will come when it or some cannabinoid derivatives will be demonstrated to have cancer-curative powers, but in the meantime, we must be very cautious about what we promise these patients.

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How to Make Your Own Hemp Oil – Rick Simpson

Marijuana cures cancer – US government has known since 1974

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No time to read? Every bit of information included in this post is summarized in this new video:

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Brain tumor healed:

Skin cancer cured:

Other recent findings:

  • January 2010 Marijuana Components Fight Brain Cancer
  • From Compultense University, Madrid April 2009 Cannabinoid action induces autophagy-mediated cell death

    “…These findings describe a mechanism by which THC can promote the autophagic death of human and mouse cancer cells and provide evidence that cannabinoid administration may be an effective therapeutic strategy for targeting human cancers”

    The most censored news story of the decade!  Message from Rob Robinson and Jen Rog of Damn Sam Productions

    Visit Rick Simpson’s website for more on cannabis as a cancer cure

    See also: Project Censored – U.S. Government Repressed Marijuana-Tumor Research

    Pot Shrinks Tumors, Government Knew in ’74

    Raymond Cushing, AlterNet

    May 30, 2000  |

    The term medical marijuana took on dramatic new meaning in February 2000 when researchers in Madrid announced they had destroyed incurable brain cancer tumors in rats by injecting them with THC, the active ingredient in cannabis.
    The Madrid study marks only the second time that THC has been administered to tumor-bearing animals; the first was a Virginia investigation 26 years ago. In both studies, the THC shrank or destroyed tumors in a majority of the test subjects.

    Most Americans don’t know anything about the Madrid discovery. Virtually no U.S. newspapers carried the story, which ran only once on the AP and UPI news wires, on Feb. 29.

    The ominous part is that this isn’t the first time scientists have discovered that THC shrinks tumors. In 1974 researchers at the Medical College of Virginia, who had been funded by the National Institute of Health to find evidence that marijuana damages the immune system, found instead that THC slowed the growth of three kinds of cancer in mice — lung and breast cancer, and a virus-induced leukemia.

    The DEA quickly shut down the Virginia study and all further cannabis/tumor research, according to Jack Herer, who reports on the events in his book, “The Emperor Wears No Clothes“. In 1976 President Gerald Ford put an end to all public cannabis research and granted exclusive research rights to major pharmaceutical companies, who set out — unsuccessfully — to develop synthetic forms of THC that would deliver all the medical benefits without the “high.”

    The Madrid researchers reported in the March issue of “Nature Medicine” that they injected the brains of 45 rats with cancer cells, producing tumors whose presence they confirmed through magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). On the 12th day they injected 15 of the rats with THC and 15 with Win-55,212-2 a synthetic compound similar to THC.

    “All the rats left untreated uniformly died 12-18 days after glioma (brain cancer) cell inoculation … Cannabinoid (THC)-treated rats survived significantly longer than control rats. THC administration was ineffective in three rats, which died by days 16-18. Nine of the THC-treated rats surpassed the time of death of untreated rats, and survived up to 19-35 days. Moreover, the tumor was completely eradicated in three of the treated rats.” The rats treated with Win-55,212-2 showed similar results.

    The Spanish researchers, led by Dr. Manuel Guzman of Complutense University, also irrigated healthy rats’ brains with large doses of THC for seven days, to test for harmful biochemical or neurological effects. They found none.

    “Careful MRI analysis of all those tumor-free rats showed no sign of damage related to necrosis, edema, infection or trauma … We also examined other potential side effects of cannabinoid administration. In both tumor-free and tumor-bearing rats, cannabinoid administration induced no substantial change in behavioral parameters such as motor coordination or physical activity. Food and water intake as well as body weight gain were unaffected during and after cannabinoid delivery. Likewise, the general hematological profiles of cannabinoid-treated rats were normal. Thus, neither biochemical parameters nor markers of tissue damage changed substantially during the 7-day delivery period or for at least 2 months after cannabinoid treatment ended.”

    Guzman’s investigation is the only time since the 1974 Virginia study that THC has been administered to live tumor-bearing animals. (The Spanish researchers cite a 1998 study in which cannabinoids inhibited breast cancer cell proliferation, but that was a “petri dish” experiment that didn’t involve live subjects.)

    In an email interview for this story, the Madrid researcher said he had heard of the Virginia study, but had never been able to locate literature on it. Hence, the Nature Medicine article characterizes the new study as the first on tumor-laden animals and doesn’t cite the 1974 Virginia investigation.

    “I am aware of the existence of that research. In fact I have attempted many times to obtain the journal article on the original investigation by these people, but it has proven impossible.” Guzman said.

    In 1983 the Reagan/Bush Administration tried to persuade American universities and researchers to destroy all 1966-76 cannabis research work, including compendiums in libraries, reports Jack Herer, who states, “We know that large amounts of information have since disappeared.”

    Guzman provided the title of the work — “Antineoplastic activity of cannabinoids,” an article in a 1975 Journal of the National Cancer Institute — and this writer obtained a copy at the UC medical school library in Davis and faxed it to Madrid.

    The summary of the Virginia study begins, “Lewis lung adenocarcinoma growth was retarded by the oral administration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabinol (CBN)” — two types of cannabinoids, a family of active components in marijuana. “Mice treated for 20 consecutive days with THC and CBN had reduced primary tumor size.”

    The 1975 journal article doesn’t mention breast cancer tumors, which featured in the only newspaper story ever to appear about the 1974 study — in the Local section of the Washington Post on August 18, 1974. Under the headline, “Cancer Curb Is Studied,” it read in part:

    “The active chemical agent in marijuana curbs the growth of three kinds of cancer in mice and may also suppress the immunity reaction that causes rejection of organ transplants, a Medical College of Virginia team has discovered.” The researchers “found that THC slowed the growth of lung cancers, breast cancers and a virus-induced leukemia in laboratory mice, and prolonged their lives by as much as 36 percent.”

    Guzman, writing from Madrid, was eloquent in his response after this writer faxed him the clipping from the Washington Post of a quarter century ago. In translation, he wrote:

    “It is extremely interesting to me, the hope that the project seemed to awaken at that moment, and the sad evolution (lastimosa evolucion) of events during the years following the discovery, until now we once again draw back the veil over the anti-tumoral power of THC, twenty-five years later. Unfortunately, the world bumps along between such moments of hope and long periods of intellectual castration.”

    News coverage of the Madrid discovery has been virtually nonexistent in this country. The news broke quietly on Feb. 29, [2000] with a story that ran once on the UPI wire about the Nature Medicine article. This writer stumbled on it through a link that appeared briefly on the Drudge Report web page.

    The New York Times, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times all ignored the story, even though its newsworthiness is indisputable: a benign substance occurring in nature destroys deadly brain tumors.

    THC treated cells – unhealthy cells commit suicide (autophagy)

    Of all interest groups, the Pharmaceutical Industry
    has the highest number of lobbyists  in DC;
    Two for every Congressperson.
    Cannabis has in total… one.
    Here is a reprint of this story as told by Paul Armentano,
    senior policy analyst for the NORML Foundation in Washington, DC. Source

    Unlocking a Cure for Cancer – With Pot

    Who could imagine that cannabis might one day offer hope as a cure for cancer? The United States government, that’s who.

    For the past 30 years, U.S. officials have willfully ignored clinical research indicating that marijuana can inhibit the growth of certain type of malignant tumors. However, the recent publication of a trio of clinical studies and a pair of scientific reviews have effectively blown the lid off “Cancergate,” and revealed that pot’s medical value may be far greater than ever presumed.

    THE EMERGING EVIDENCE

    Last year, five scientific journals published prominent articles trumpeting cannabinoids (compounds in marijuana) as potential anti-cancer agents.

    These include:

    • Clinical trial data published in January 2003 issue of the Journal of the American Society of Clinical Investigation that found cannabinoids significantly inhibit skin tumor growth in mice. Investigators of the study concluded, “The present data indicate that local cannabinoids administration may constitute an alternative therapeutic approach for the treatment of non-melanoma skin cancer.”
    • Clinical trial data published in the March 2003 issue of The FASEB Journal that found that the “local administration of a non-psychoactive cannabinoid inhibits angiogenesis (tissue growth) of malignant gliomas (brain tumors).”
    • A clinical review in the October 2003 issue of the prestigious journal Nature Reviews Cancer that concluded that cannabinoids’ “favorable drug safety profile” and proven ability to inhibit tumor growth make them desirable agents in the treatment of cancer. According to the review’s author, tumors inhibited by cannabinoids include: lung carcinoma, glioma, thyroid epithelioma, lymphoma/leukemia, skin carcinoma, uterus carcinoma, breast carcinoma, prostate carcinoma, and neuroblastoma (a malignant tumor originating in the autonomic nervous system or the adrenal medulla and occurring chiefly in infants and young children).
    • Clinical trial data published in the November 2003 issue of the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics that found the administration of the cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD) inhibits the growth of human glioma cells both in vitro (e.g., a petri dish) and in animals in a dose-dependent manner. Investigators concluded, “Non-psychoactive CBD produce[s] a significant antitumor activity both in vitro and in vivo, thus suggesting a possible application of CBD as an antineoplastic agent (something which prevents the growth of malignant cells.)”
    • And finally, a clinical review in the December 2003 issue of the journal Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Targets that summarized “the demonstrated antitumor actions of cannabinoids,” and elaborated on “possible avenues for the future development of cannabinoids as antitumor agents.”

    AND SUBSEQUENT MEDIA BLACKOUT

    Despite these stunning findings, media coverage of them in North America has been virtually non-existent. As noted by Richard Cowan, editor of the website MarijuanaNews.com, “The New York Times, The Washington Post and Los Angeles Times all ignored this story, even though its newsworthiness is indisputable: a benign substance occurring in nature destroys deadly brain tumors.”

    Why the media blackout? For starters, all of these studies were conducted overseas. And secondly, not one of them has been acknowledged by the U.S. government.

    U.S. KNEW IN ’74… AND AGAIN IN ’96!

    This wasn’t always the case. In fact, the first ever experiment documenting pot’s anti-tumor effects took place in 1974 at the Medical College of Virginia at the behest of the U.S. government. The results of that study, immortalized in an August 18, 1974 Washington Post newspaper feature, were that “THC slowed the growth of lung cancers, breast cancers and a virus-induced leukemia in laboratory mice, and prolonged their lives by as much as 36 percent.”

    Despite these favorable preliminary findings, U.S. government officials banished the study, and refused to fund any follow up research until conducting a similar – though secret – study in the mid-1990s. That study, conducted by the U.S. National Toxicology Program to the tune of $2 million concluded that mice and rats administered high doses of THC over long periods had greater protection against malignant tumors than untreated controls. However, rather than publicize their findings, government researchers shelved the results – which only became public one year later after a draft copy of its findings were leaked in 1997 to the journal AIDS Treatment News, which in turn forwarded the story to the national media.

    Nevertheless, in the nearly eight years since the completion of the National Toxicology trial, the U.S. government has yet to fund a single additional study examining pot’s potential as an anti-cancer agent.

    SCIENCE IGNORED NO MORE

    Fortunately, researchers at Madrid, Spain’s Complutense University, School of Biology have generously picked up where U.S. researchers so abruptly left off. 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. A commentary to the study noted that the results were the first to convincingly demonstrate that cannabis-based treatments may successfully combat cancer.

    Today, Guzman believes that enough favorable clinical evidence exists supporting pot’s anti-cancer properties to warrant clinical trials in humans. “The scientific community has gained substantial knowledge of the palliative and anti-tumor actions of cannabinoids during the past few years,” Guzman wrote in the October 2003 issue of Nature Reviews Cancer. “Anti-tumor compounds should selectively affect tumor cells [and] it seems that cannabinoids can do this, as they kill [malignant] tumor cells but do not affect their non-transformed counterparts and might even protect them from cell death. … As cannabinoids are relatively safe compounds, it would be desirable that clinical trials using cannabinoids … could accompany [ongoing] laboratory studies to allow us to use these compounds in the treatment of cancer.” Guzman concludes the article by noting that the Spanish Ministry of Health recently approved a human clinical trial – the first ever – aimed at investigating the effects of intracranially administered THC on the life expectancy of volunteers suffering from malignant brain tumors.

    “Cannabinoid research continues to show tremendous potential in the treatment of cancer,” summarizes University of Southern California professor Mitch Earleywine, author of the book Understanding Marijuana: A New Look at the Scientific Evidence. However, he laments that the “vast majority of this work originates outside the United States, often in countries that lack our economic and scientific advantages. Let’s hope that our drug policy won’t stymie the battle against the second leading cause of death in America.”

    Indeed. Let’s not add a potential treatment for cancer to the ever-growing list of victims of pot prohibition.

    August 17, 2004

    You might also enjoy:

    I smoke pot and I like it by Will Wilkinson of the CATO Institute