According to an update on the website for the National Cancer Institute(NCI), the US Government is now acknowledging that cannabis kills cancer cells. After decades of science-defying denial, the US government has accepted the research that supports medical cannabis for cancer.
The Telegraph reported that the update will provide “further ammunition for pro-legalization campaigners.” The acknowledgment of the evidence is a great step, however, the NCI still claims more evidence is needed.
The National Cancer Institute’s website lists the anti-tumor activity recorded in preclinical trials. The update reports “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.”
Going further, the NCI also acknowledges the importance of CBD for chemo treatment. The report adds “A laboratory study of cannabidiol (CBD) in human glioma cells showed that when given along with chemotherapy, CBD may make chemotherapy more effective and increase cancer cell death without harming normal cells. Studies in mouse models of cancer showed that CBD together with delta-9-THC may make chemotherapy such as temozolomide more effective.”
Similarly, the NCI also found THC effective. “A laboratory study of delta-9-THC in hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer) cells showed that it damaged or killed the cancer cells. The same study of delta-9-THC in mouse models of liver cancer showed that it had antitumor effects. Delta-9-THC has been shown to cause these effects by acting on molecules that may also be found in non-small cell lung cancer cells and breast cancer cells.”
The institute also found that CBD and THC can work together. “A laboratory study of cannabidiol (CBD) in human glioma cells showed that when given along with chemotherapy, CBD may make chemotherapy more effective and increase cancer cell death without harming normal cells. Studies in mouse models of cancer showed that CBD together with delta-9-THC may make chemotherapy such as temozolomide more effective.” The website also lists other uses including benefits for colon cancer and breast cancer.
It’s certainly nothing new for medical cannabis activists. Last April, the data was preceded by research from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The NIDA recognizes that “marijuana can kill certain cancer cells and reduce the size of others.”
The NIC has a $1.4 billion budget. Most of that money is wasted on drug addiction research. Whether it’s because of big pharma influence or public interest, the US government is now interested in the development of medical cannabis. The statement is exciting because the NCI has spent most of its time promoting the negative image of cannabis. It’s time we ask ourselves which is more dangerous for cancer patients- using cannabis or NOT using cannabis.