As mainstream medical science continues to explore the healing properties of cannabis, research indicates the plant has several properties that reduce the risk of cancer in people who smoke it. Some scientists believe cannabis could even be cancer’s proverbial silver bullet.
Most cannabis smokers will admit that while cannabis is great for what ails them, it certainly can’t be good for the insides of their lungs. However, experiments performed at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) suggest smoking cannabis might actually prevent lung cancer.
Dr. Donald Tashkin is a pulmonologist at the UCLA. He has studied the effects of marijuana smoking since the 1980’s. Agencies, institutes and think tanks across the country often reference his work.
He performed a study to determine if there was a link between lung cancer and smoking cannabis. Although marijuana does contain the same chemicals in tobacco that cause cancer, Dr. Tashkin discovered that chemical compounds in cannabis protected the human body from tumor growth.
While patients who smoked tobacco were twenty times more likely to develop lung cancer than non-smokers, cannabis smokers showed no increased risk. Dr. Tashkin believes the THC, one of the psychoactive components within marijuana, kills aging and unhealthy cells before tumors can form.
In another scientific study performed in Spain, research scientists at Madrid's Complutense and Autonoma Universities separated 30 laboratory rats with brain cancer into two groups of 15. One group was given infusions of THC to treat their affliction.
The first untreated group died in two weeks. 9 of the THC-infused rats lived longer than a month, and 3 of the rats were cured. Scientists believe that THC causes cancerous cells to die prematurely, leaving healthy cells unharmed.
In October of 2003 the medical journal Nature Reviews published an article written by world-famous cancer treatment research scientist Dr. Manuel Guzman that discussed in great detail the antitumor effects of cannabinoids.
Cannabinoids are one of the principle chemical compounds found in cannabis.
Dr. Guzman discovered in study after careful study that cannabinoids selectively target cancerous tumors, destroying them, and at the same time even protect non-cancerous cells from harm.
Another study conducted by scientists at the California Pacific Medical Center of San Francisco also found that THC, in many experiments, destroyed cancerous brain cells without harming the healthy ones.
The Italians are also part of the march to cure cancer with cannabis. In July of 1998 research conducted at the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that cannabinoids prevented tumor growth in cells of patients afflicted with breast cancer.
During the 90’s the federal government used $2 million taxpayer dollars to conduct research on cancer in mice and rats. Conducted by the U.S. National Toxicology Program, conclusively determined that THC protected cells from cancer.
Upon reaching this conclusion, the federal government hid the results. The report was leaked to AIDS Treatment News and the results were later published in the national media, but despite the positive results, the federal government has yet to conduct further research.
As the country gets greener with legalization, many people can attest to the beneficial effects of cannabis for treating their symptoms. If more knew about the research that indicates cannabis just might cure cancer, the legalization effort would attract greater numbers.