Indian Oncologists Demand Cannabis Ban Lift

Top oncologists of Bengaluru want to see the current ban on cannabis lifted so they and others can conduct scientific research regarding the plant’s medicinal effectiveness in treating or possibly even curing those stricken with cancer.

These same oncologists have vowed to lobby with the Centre with hopes of lifting the prohibition on cannabis, which in turn would permit them to fully investigate the plant. They’re quick to point out that a number of states in the United States have passed laws that permit the use of cannabis for both medicinal and recreational dedications, following numerous anecdotal and scientific confirmations that the plant’s derivatives do indeed offer a healing touch to individuals that are suffering with cancer.

The oncologist’s interest in cannabis research was aroused during recent debates on tobacco farming. They feel that the government’s persuading of farmers to cultivate tobacco crops is obtuse, especially considering the fact that its use is the primary basis of a range of different types of cancer.

Dr. Vishal Rao, surgical oncologist, HCG Enterprises, would like to see the government shift their focus to a plant genus that can actually help people as opposed to making them ill.

“We are encouraging cultivation of tobacco that causes various types of cancer. At the other end, we are ignoring the medicinal properties of a plant that can help cancer patients. We are not even able to take up research as procurement of the plant is illegal in India, whereas oncologists in 21 states of the US are prescribing derivatives of cannabis for cancer treatment,” Dr. Rao affirmed.

In addition, Dr. Rao elucidated to how published research has shown that treatments involving highly-concentrated forms of isolated cannabinoids have the ability to stop the blood supply to cancerous tumors, which will cause them to stop growing or even reduce in size.

“Cancer cells are hungry cells, once there is break in the blood supply, they shrink due to lack of glucose. It is also helpful in reducing nausea and vomiting sensation for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy,” Dr. Rao explained.

Dr. B S Ajai Kumar, chairman of HCG Enterprises, says that although he and his colleagues are eager to examine the medicinal values of cannabis, India is way behind in regards to researching the medicinal benefits that the cannabis plant has to offer in comparison to other countries around the globe, and he’d like to see the government rectify the situation by legalizing the plant for the purpose of scientific research and medicinal use.

“We want to take up research on medicinal benefits of cannabis derivatives. But to take it up we need the plants, which is not available in India. We are approaching the government with a proposal to legalize medicinal use of cannabis,” Dr. Kumar avowed.

And even though they’re ready to support the legalization of cannabis for medical research purposes and medicinal dedications, the oncologists make it clear-cut that they are not for encouraging recreational use of marijuana.

“Isolated compounds in cannabis have medicinal properties. In the US, it is also used for treating Alzheimer’s, Glaucoma and multiple sclerosis. Currently, there is a lack of understanding of the topic even among the medical fraternity, and even speaking about it is avoided. We have to overcome that,” Dr. Rao said.

I’m looking forward to the day when cannabis is no longer taboo and is as common as aspirin. Lord knows it safer!