More big changes with the drive to cure cancer occurred last week. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has admitted that Cannabis is effective at combating cancer and kills cancer cells without damaging normal healthy cells. ”Studies in mice and rats have shown that cannabinoids may inhibit tumor growth by causing cell death, blocking cell growth, and blocking the development of blood vessels needed by tumors to grow. Laboratory and animal studies have shown that cannabinoids may be able to kill cancer cells while protecting normal cells." Cancer.gov. Unlike harmful treatments like chemotherapy that are well known for their harmful effects.
Cannabis, and more importantly Delta-9-THC, is able to stop the growth of cancer by turning off the Ld-1 gene that is primarily responsible for the growth of cancer cells. Breast cancer cells have been treated with cannabis and found to have a much lower reproductive rate afterward. "A laboratory study of cannabidiol (CBD) in estrogen receptor positive and estrogen receptor negative breast cancer cells showed that it caused cancer cell death while having little effect on normal breast cells. Studies in mouse models of metastatic breast cancer showed that cannabinoids may lessen the growth, number, and spread of tumors.” Cancer.gov
This is good news for cancer patients, and in the wake of president Obama loosening up restrictions on cannabis's legal status, new cannabis cancer research programs should increase dramatically. The biggest problem facing researchers in the past has been cannabis being labeled a Schedule 1narcotic drug and having no medical usefulness. Luckily times are changing on a federal level, as more politicians and governing bodies are recognizing the potential of cannabis to heal and provide medical research.
The next few year will be exciting to watch, cannabis research is opening up, and cancer patient will have access to more and better treatments. Remember to keep the pressure on your local officials to change unfair and restrictive cannabis laws. We are making a difference and every one of you counts!