The Feds Finally Recognize the Anti-Cancer Potential of Cannabis – 36 Years Too Late!

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by Paul Armentano: It’s
Not A Matter of ‘Should We Legalize Marijuana’ — It’s A Matter of
‘HowWeLegalize’

 

 
 

Scientific
trials have for decades documented
the anti-cancer properties of cannabis and its constituents. Yet
it took until this week for the website of the National Institute
of Cancer, a component of the U.S. government’s National Institutes
of Health, to finally acknowledged the herb’s therapeutic utility
for patients living with disease or suffering from the adverse side-effects
of cancer treatment.

In a newly
added section to the website, entitled "Cannabis and Cannabinoids,"
the Institute states:

Cannabinoids
may cause antitumor effects by various mechanisms, including induction
of cell death, inhibition of cell growth, and inhibition of tumor
angiogenesis and metastasis. Cannabinoids appear to kill tumor
cells but do not affect their nontransformed counterparts and
may even protect them from cell death.

…The
potential benefits of medicinal cannabis for people living with
cancer include antiemetic effects, appetite stimulation, pain
relief, and improved sleep. In the practice of integrative
oncology, the health care provider may recommend medicinal cannabis
not only for symptom management but also for its possible direct
antitumor effect.

It’s a
stunning acknowledgment, given that the NIH is a branch of the very
same government that presently maintains that the cannabis plant
and all of its naturally-derived components have "no
accepted medical use
." Yet it also begs the question: Where
has the National Institute of Cancer been all these years?

After all,
the anti-tumor activity of cannabinoids were initially
documented
in 1975! That’s right; it’s taken 36 years
for the Institute to get
with the program
.

Hopefully it
won’t take them another 36 years to demand that the Feds finally
assess whether these preclinical
results
are replicable in human trials.

Paul Armentano
[send him mail] is the deputy
director of NORML and the NORML Foundation. He is also the co-author
of the new book Marijuana
Is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People To Drink?
(Chelsea
Green Publishing, 2009).

The
Best of Paul Armentano

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