It’s official: the National Cancer Institute (NCI) has posted information on its website that confirms what anyone who reads articles on natural health has long known: cannabis can help treat cancer.
It is true that cannabis is on Schedule 1 of the Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) list in accordance with the Controlled Substances Act—the same Schedule on which heroin and LSD are listed.
Recently, marijuana came up for review to move to Schedule 2, which includes cocaine and methamphetamine. The difference between Schedules 1 and 2 is that 1 includes drugs that have high potential for abuse and no medicinal value and those on 2 are defined with potential for abuse but do have medicinal value (meth has medicinal value?!). The appeal was rejected and marijuana remains on Schedule 1. (1)
The NCI post gives a brief list of the possible therapeutic effects of cannabis on cancer and the history of its use in North America, glossing over its vast applications for the prevention and treatment of illness and that it was politicized in the early part of the 20th century, when the DEA decreed it an illegal drug (against the advice of the American Medical Association).
An interesting admission:
“Researchers have studied how cannabinoids act on the brain and other parts of the body. Cannabinoid receptors (molecules that bind cannabinoids) have been discovered in brain cells and nerve cells in other parts of the body. The presence of cannabinoid receptors on immune system cells suggests that cannabinoids may have a role in immunity.” (2)
That’s a pretty big deal, as the status of the immune system is a key determinant for the development of illness.
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Yet this finding has not hit the mainstream media.
Clinical trials of the use of cannabis on humans to treat cancer have been strictly limited due to the lack of funding for a Schedule 1 substance. The scientific community has conducted tens of thousands of trials on rodents with exceptionally powerful positive results. Until cannabis is rescheduled, it’s feared this trend will continue.
Individual reports of cannabis cancer cures abound but many people reject first-hand accounts in the absence of empirical scientific evidence. In this way, cannabis is kept in the group of anecdotal remedies and there it may stay.
Item 7 in the NCI’s article:
“Have any clinical trials (research studies with people) of Cannabis or cannabinoid use by cancer patients been conducted?
“No clinical trials of Cannabis as a treatment for cancer in humans have been found in the CAM on PubMed database maintained by the National Institutes of Health [NIH].”
Note that this is not a “no”—it is a carefully qualified response.
The statement may be true (we have not examined all of the almost 15,000 cannabis studies published by the NIH), however, successful human trials have been published elsewhere, such as the British Journal of Cancer in which cannabis was found to arrest brain cancer. (3)
One study that is published by NIH found that cannabis inhibited tumor cells and prevented metastasis in human breast cancer patients’ tissues. (4) Other studies on human cells have produced similar results. (5)
NCI’s FAQ acknowledge the body of scientific evidence that has found cannabis to be efficacious in treating many human conditions, however, it is stressed that the Food and Drug Administration has not approved its use for any direct or peripheral cancer treatment. Only 2 methods of administration of cannabis are listed, the connotation being that those are the only possibilities: eating and smoking. Smoking is a turn-off for many so you lose a bunch of potentially interested people there. Not mentioned is cannabis-infused coconut oil, which can be either ingested or applied topically. (6)
All this begs the question as to why—with such overwhelming evidence—it’s taken so long for the U.S. government to announce what alternative health has long-since known. Add to “modern” medicine’s conclusions the millennia previously, during which cannabis was used for multiple maladies. (7)
Consider that the pharmaceutical industry generates over $100 BILLION A YEAR in revenue from cancer treatment drugs…how much does it cost to grow a marijuana plant? (8)