by Martin A. Lee
August 10, 2012
Research shows THC and
found only in marijuana
don't just soothe symptoms;
they can shrink tumors
and slow the spread of cancer.
The following is an
excerpt from Acid Dreams author Martin A. Lee's new
Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana - Medical,
Recreational, and Scientific (2012):
scientific studies in several countries show THC and other
compounds found only in marijuana are effective not only for
cancer symptom management (pain, nausea, loss of appetite,
fatigue, and so on), but they confer a direct antitumoral effect
Animal experiments conducted by Manuel Guzmán at Madrid’s
Complutense University in the late 1990s revealed that a
synthetic cannabinoid injected directly into a malignant brain
tumor could eradicate it. Reported in Nature Medicine, this
remarkable finding prompted additional studies in Spain and
elsewhere that confirmed the anticancer properties of
Guzmán’s team administered pure THC
via a catheter into the tumors of nine hospitalized patients
with glioblastoma (an aggressive form of brain cancer) who had
failed to respond to standard therapies.
This was the first
clinical trial assessing the antitumoral action of
on human beings, and the results, published in the British
Journal of Cancer, were very promising. THC treatment was
associated with significantly reduced tumor cell proliferation
in all test subjects.
Guzmán and his colleagues found that THC and its synthetic
emulators selectively killed tumor cells while leaving healthy
cells unscathed. No
Big Pharma 'chemotherapy' drugs could induce
apoptosis (cell death) in cancer cells without trashing the
Up to 90 percent of advanced cancer patients suffer
cognitive dysfunction from “chemo brain,” a common side effect
of corporate cancer meds that indiscriminately destroy brain
matter, whereas cannabinoids are free-radical scavengers that
protect brain tissue and stimulate brain cell growth.
There is mounting evidence that cannabinoids may “represent a
new class of anticancer drugs that retard cancer growth, inhibit
angiogenesis [the formation of new blood vessels] and the
metastatic spreading of cancer cells,” according to the
scientific journal Mini-Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry.
scientists around the world have documented the anticancer
properties of cannabinoid compounds for various malignancies,
including (but not limited to):
at the University of Wisconsin found that the
administration of the synthetic cannabinoid
WIN-55,212–2, a CB-1and CB-2 agonist, inhibited prostate
cancer cell growth and also induced apoptosis.
researchers demonstrated that THC triggers cell death in
tumors of the colon, the second leading cause of cancer
deaths in the United States.
French scientists determined that cannabinoids
selectively increased apoptosis in pancreatic cell lines
and reduced the growth of tumor cells in animals, while
ignoring normal cells.
at the Pacific Medical Centers in San Francisco found
that THC and other plant cannabinoids inhibited human
breast cancer cell proliferation and metastasis and
shrank breast cancer tumors. 1.3 million women worldwide
are diagnosed yearly with breast cancer and a half
million succumb to the disease.
researchers at the University of Rostock reported that
THC and a synthetic cannabinoid suppressed the invasion
of human cervical carcinoma into surrounding tissues by
stimulating the body’s production of TIMP-1, a substance
that helps healthy cells resist cancer.
Investigators at St. George’s University and
Bartholomew’s Hospital in London found that THC acts
synergistically with conventional antileukemia therapies
to enhance the effectiveness of anti-cancer agents in
vitro (in a test tube or petri dish). Scientists had
previously shown that THC and cannabidiol were both
potent inducers of apoptosis in leukemic cell lines.
Korean researchers at the Catholic University in
Seoul, WIN-55,212–2, the synthetic cannabinoid, reduced
the proliferation of stomach cancer cells.
researchers noted that the administration of synthetic
cannabinoids “induced a considerable growth inhibition
of malignant tumors” on the skin of mice.
Cancer of the bile
administration of THC inhibits bile-duct cancer cell
proliferation, migration, and invasion and induces
biliary cancer cell apoptosis, according to experiments
conducted at Rangsit University in Patum Thani,
and Kaposi’s sarcoma
at the University of South Florida ascertained that THC
thwarts the activation and replication of the gamma
herpes virus. This virus increases a person’s chances of
developing cancers such as Hodgkin’s, non-Hodgkin’s
lymphoma, and Kaposi’s sarcoma.
scientists at the University of Palermo found that a
synthetic cannabinoid caused programmed cell death in
University scientists reported that THC cuts tumor
growth in common lung cancer in half and “significantly
reduces the ability of the cancer to spread.” Lung
cancer is the number one cancer killer in the world.
More Americans die of lung cancer each year than any
other type of cancer.