The U.S. government still maintains that cannabis has no accepted medical uses in order to keep it classified as a Schedule 1 drug. Yet, 18 states and Washington DC have legalized the use of medical marijuana and the US Government itself holds patents on its many medical uses.
One of those proven medical uses of marijuana is to defeat cancer. Several studies have decisively shown that cannabis is an effective treatment for cancer. A Harvard study revealed that cannabis use reduced tumor growth by half.
Less scientific experiments conducted by private citizens using Rick Simpson’s hemp oil have also seen astonishing results.
Even the National Cancer Institute now openly acknowledges that cannabis is an effective treatment for cancer stating, “Cannabinoids appear to kill tumor cells but do not affect their nontransformed counterparts and may even protect them from cell death.”
National Institutes of Health (NIH), stated that marijuana “inhibited the survival of both estrogen receptor–positive and estrogen receptor–negative breast cancer cell lines.” The same report showed marijuana slows or stops the growth of certain lung cancer cells and suggested that marijuana may provide “risk reduction and treatment of colorectal cancer.” (Source).
This March, a new patent was applied for by GW Pharma to use cannabanoids for the treatment of prostate, colon, and breast cancer.
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This invention relates to the use of phytocannabinoids, either in an isolated form or in the form of a botanical drug substance (BDS) in the treatment of cancer. Preferably the cancer to be treated is cancer of the prostate, cancer of the breast or cancer of the colon.
The patent application takes conclusions from many studies to support their pursuit in treating cancer with cannabis:
Researchers however have discovered that some cannabinoids, including THC and cannabidiol (CBD) are able to promote the re-emergence of apoptosis so that some tumours will heed the signals, stop dividing, and die. The process of apoptosis is judged by observation of several phenomena including: reduced cellular volume, condensation of nuclear chromatin, changes in distribution of phospholipids in plasma membrane phospholipids, and cleavage of chromatin into DNA fragments called DNA ladders.
Another method by which tumours grow is by ensuring that they are nourished: they send out signals to promote angiogenesis, the growth of new blood vessels. Cannabinoids may turn off these signals as well.
Cannabinoids have been shown to have an anti-proliferative effect on different cancer cell lines. The cannabinoids THC, THCA, CBD, CBDA, CBG and CBC and the cannabinoid BDS THC and CBD were tested on eight different cell lines including DU-145 (hormone-sensitive prostate cancer), MDA-MB-231 (breast cancer), CaCo-2 (colorectal cancer) and C6 (glioma cells). The data for each cannabinoid in each different type of cancer varied but generally the best data were observed with CBD or CBD BDS. The IC50 values for all the cannabinoids on the DU-145 were quite high inferring that none of the cannabinoids tested were particularly effective in the inhibition of hormone-insensitive prostate cancer (Ligresti, 2006).The patent is specifically seeking permission to create and sell a cannabis extract in the same vein as Rick Simpson’s oil in that it has a high concentration of cannabanoids and THC. As such, their goal is to produce a botanical drug substance (phytocannabinoid) with over 80% CBDs, CBLs and THC.
Although cannabis has proven health benefits when smoked or juiced raw, it is the high concentration of these active compounds that seems to show the greatest promise in defeating cancer.
This represents the 25th patent that GW Pharma has applied for to use cannabanoids for treatment of various ailments and diseases like neuropathic and general pain, epilepsy, nausea and motion sickness, cholesterol control, anti-psychotic, and inflammatory bowel disease.
If cannabis was only effective at treating these ailments it should be considered a miracle drug. Yet, if it’s also indisputably proven to be an alternative cancer treatment, what can’t this plant do?