People have been using and cultivating cannabis (marijuana) for a variety of purposes for centuries.
In fact, the oldest written record of cannabis for medicinal purposes dates back to 2727 B.C. by the Chinese Emperor, Shen Nung.
Ancient Egyptians used it to treat glaucoma and inflammation; the Greeks touted its powers to treat ear aches and swelling—even early Americans used the plant to treat depression.
By 1850, the potent therapeutic properties of the cannabis plant had made their way into the U.S. Pharmacopeia, where it was cited to treat: “neuralgia, tetanus, typhus, cholera, rabies, dysentery, alcoholism, opiate addiction, anthrax, leprosy, incontinence, gout, convulsive disorders, tonsillitis, insanity, excessive menstrual bleeding, and uterine bleeding,” among other things.
Despite the seemingly irrefutable evidence of its medicinal value dating back thousands of years, and by almost every culture, by the late 1930s, the US federal government had prohibited both therapeutic and recreational use of the plant.
Since then, it has taken almost a century of legal challenges and ongoing testing to bring cannabis and its healing abilities back into the medical forefront.
Currently, there are over 20,000 published reviews and studies with respect to the cannabis plant and its potent and therapeutically powerful cannabinoids—almost 33 percent of which have been published in the last four years.
Cannabis oil is associated with 187 diseases and 77 different pharmacological actions ranging from insomnia, epilepsy, diabetes, stroke, and brain injury to asthma, dementia, fibromyalgia, ADHD, and almost every type of cancer.
One of the most interesting studies is a 2014 study published in the Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology that revealed that cannabis essentially contains a compound that may kill brain cancers that neither chemotherapy or radiation can touch! (1)
From all the studies on cannabis, researchers know there are over 60 cannabinoids in cannabis, but according to several studies, a specific one, cannabidiol (CBD)—also one of the most abundant ones—”has been found to inhibit and/or kill a wide range of cancers in the animal model, including gliobastoma (a difficult-to-treat type of brain cancer), breast, lung, prostate, and colon cancer.”
What has researchers very excited, however, is that the cannabinoids in cannabis also have the ability to inhibit the stem-like regeneration of cancer cells.
This is very important because cancer stem cells, which are unlike regular tumor cells, are capable of breaking off from an existing lesion or tumor and then forming a new colony of tumor cells.
And while radiation and chemotherapy may be able to ultimately reduce the size of a tumor, in doing so, they also enhance the remaining post-treatment lesion or tumor with more cancer stem cells, and in some cases, these treatments may even transform non-cancer stem cells into cancer stem cells, which of course, not only defeats the purpose but also makes matters much worse for the patient.
Unfortunately, though, even with all of this scientific proof and knowledge, medical marijuana is still only legal in a few states but both politicians and supporters in the medical community continue to fight for its blanket acceptance based on the significant and continued positive research.