One of the most oft-discussed benefits of marijuana is its use in the treatment of cancer and cancer symptoms or side effects. While most of the reports are anecdotal, more and more research is coming out showing that Cannabis sativa may be the most exciting compound in cancer medicine today. Certainly more study is needed, but the results so far are very promising.
This week, for example, NORML’s Paul Armentano wrote about a study that will be released shortly that showed marijuana inhalation could play a role in tumor regression in brain cancer patients. Armentano writes:
Investigators at the British Columbia Children’s Hospital in Vancouver documented the mitigation of residual tumors in two adolescent subjects who regularly inhaled cannabis. Authors determined that both subjects experienced a “clear regression” of their residual brain tumors over a three-year-period.
“Neither patient received any conventional adjuvant treatment” during this time period, investigators wrote. “The tumors regressed over the same period of time that cannabis was consumed via inhalation, raising the possibility that cannabis played a role in tumor regression.”
Researchers concluded, “Further research may be appropriate to elucidate the increasingly recognized effect of cannabis/cannabinoids on gliomas (brain cancers).”
Further research is indeed necessary if we want to find the true medical potential of this plant. Unfortunately, such study is highly discouraged by government organizations, unless the focus of that study is on the potential harms of marijuana. The scientific community, however, is very eager to explore the possibilities of cannabinoid medicine.
Interestingly, the National Cancer Institute recently added a section to their website called “Cannabis and Cannabinoids” to provide patients and researchers with information on marijuana and cancer treatment options. I’ll take that as a good sign.
(Special thanks to Paul Armentano and Sanho Tree)