Mounting evidence shows ‘cannabinoids’ in marijuana slow cancer growth, inhibit formation of new blood cells that feed a tumor, and help manage pain, fatigue, nausea, and other side effects.
Cristina Sanchez, a young biologist at Complutense University in Madrid, was studying cell metabolism when she noticed something peculiar. She had been screening brain cancer cells because they grow faster than normal cell lines and thus are useful for research purposes. But the cancer cells died each time they were exposed to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the principal psychoactive ingredient of marijuana.
Instead of gaining insight into how cells function, Sanchez had stumbled upon the anti-cancer properties of THC. In 1998, she reported in a European biochemistry journal that THC “induces apoptosis [cell death] in C6 glioma cells,” an aggressive form of brain cancer.
Subsequent peer-reviewed studies in several countries would show that THC and other marijuana-derived compounds, known as “cannabinoids,” are effective not only for cancer-symptom management (nausea, pain, loss of appetite, fatigue), they also confer a direct antitumoral effect.
A team of Spanish scientists led by Manuel Guzman conducted the first clinical trial assessing the antitumoral action of THC on human beings. Guzman administered pure THC via a catheter into the tumors of nine hospitalized patients with glioblastoma, who had failed to respond to standard brain-cancer therapies. The results were published in 2006 in the British Journal of Pharmacology: THC treatment was associated with significantly reduced tumor cell proliferation in every test subject.
Bipolar patients with a history of cannabis use demonstrate superior neurocogitive performance compared to patients with no history of use, according to clinical data published online in the journal Psychiatry Research.
Investigators at The Zucker Hillside Hospital in Long Island, NY, along with researchers at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City compared the performance of 50 bipolar subjects with a history of cannabis use versus 150 bipolar patients with no history of use on a battery of standardized cognitive measures. Patient groups did not differ regarding age, racial background, or highest education level achieved. Bipolar patients with a history of cannabis use had similar age at onset as did patients who did not consume cannabis.
Researchers found that subjects with a history of cannabis use exhibited better neurocognitive performance than that of non-users, but they did not differ significantly on estimates of premorbid IQ.
Authors reported, “Results from our analysis suggest that subjects with bipolar disorder and history of (cannabis use) demonstrate significantly better neurocognitive performance, particularly on measures of attention, processing speed, and working memory. These findings are consistent with a previous study that demonstrated that bipolar subjects with history of cannabis use had superior verbal fluency performance as compared to bipolar patients without a history of cannabis use. Similar results have also been found in schizophrenia in several studies.”
They concluded, “These data could be interpreted to suggest that cannabis use may have a beneficial effect on cognitive functioning in patients with severe psychiatric disorders. However, it is also possible that these findings may be due to the requirement for a certain level of cognitive function and related social skills in the acquisition of illicit drugs.”
On today’s episode of NORML SHOW LIVE we spoke live with Richard Lee, founder of Oaksterdam University. Click this link to hear the interview.
Richard told me he’s doing as well as can be expected when federal agents violate your home and business. He tells us the nature of the federal warrants that were served Monday in early morning raids.
Richard was “treated well” by the authorities – “they didn’t even break anything,” he told us – and he was not arrested, though that possibility still exists.
Six organizations looking to reform U.S. drug laws urged President Barack Obama to halt raids on medical marijuana providers following the raid on Oaksterdam University in California.
“Our coalition represents the views of tens of millions of Americans who believe the war on medical marijuana patients and providers you are fighting is misguided and counterproductive,” Drug Policy Alliance, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, Marijuana Policy Project, National Cannabis Industry Association, National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, and Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) wrote in a letter to the President.
Oaksterdamn University, which trained people to work in the booming medical marijuana industry, was raided by federal agents on Monday.
New York City has the dubious — and well-earned — reputation as the world’s marijuana arrest capital, with more than 50,000 people being arrested for pot possession there last year alone at an estimated cost of $75 million. It also has a mayor, Michael Bloomberg, who has famously said he smoked marijuana and enjoyed it, yet who presides over a police force that has run roughshod over the state’s marijuana decriminalization law in order to make those arrests, almost all of which are of members of the city’s black and brown minority communities.
Claiming states’ rights, entrapment, and constitutional violations, NORML attorneys file suit in four CA districts to challenge the federal assault on legal weed.November 8, 2011 |
NORML Attorneys Matt Kumin, David Michael, and Alan Silber, have filed suit (read here) in the four federal districts in California to challenge the Obama Administration’s recent crackdown on medical marijuana operations in the Golden State. Aided by expert testimony from NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano and research from California NORML Director Dale Gieringer, the suits seek an injunction against the recent federal intrusion into state medical marijuana laws at least and at most a declaration of the unconstitutionality of the Controlled Substances Act with respect to state regulation of medical marijuana
The NORML attorneys allege the federal government has engaged in entrapment of California patients and their caregivers. They point to the courts’ dismissal of County of Santa Cruz, WAMM et al. v. Eric Holder et al.where the Department of Justice (DOJ) “promised a federal judge that it had changed its policy toward the enforcement of its federal drug laws relative to California medical cannabis patients.” So after 2009, California providers had reason to believe that the federal government had changed its policy. The legal argument is called ‘judicial estoppel’, which basically means that courts can’t hold true to a fact in one case and then disregard it in another.
*and you might never die from it