(HUFFINGTON POST) A pair of scientists at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco has found that a compound derived from marijuana could stop metastasis in many kinds of aggressive cancer, potentially altering the fatality of the disease forever.
“It took us about 20 years of research to figure this out, but we are very excited,” said Pierre Desprez, one of the scientists behind the discovery, to The Huffington Post. “We want to get started with trials as soon as possible.”
The Daily Beast first reported on the finding, which has already undergone both laboratory and animal testing, and is awaiting permission for clinical trials in humans.
Desprez, a molecular biologist, spent decades studying ID-1, the gene that causes cancer to spread. Meanwhile, fellow researcher Sean McAllister was studying the effects of Cannabidiol, or CBD, a non-toxic, non-psychoactive chemical compound found in the cannabis plant. Finally, the pair collaborated, combining CBD and cells containing high levels of ID-1 in a petri dish.
(REASON) In a promotional video released yesterday, President Obama “calls” actor Kal Penn, the former Associate Director of Public Engagement for the Obama administration, and tells him to get ready for the DNC Convention. On a split screen, Penn is seen with his Harold and Kumar co-star John Cho. The two are watching cartoons, surrounded by pizza boxes, soda, candy, and other junk food. The none-too-subtle suggestion is that, like the characters in the Harold and Kumar films, Cho and Penn are stoned.
BuzzFeed’s Zeke Miller says it is “perhaps the most direct appeal ever for the pothead vote”–as if all it takes to seduce marijuana users is a hastily made video that characterizes smokers as junkfood gobblers with pubescent attention spans.
What’s more insulting is that Obama would wink and nod at marijuana use for political gain while federal agents under his control raid the homes and businesses of people who operate state-legal medical marijuana businesses, threaten to seize the assets of landlords who rent to medical marijuana businesses, raid the homes and threaten the children of men and women who sell marijuana paraphenelia, and continue to obfuscate and denounce research that shows the medical uses of marijuana.
This video isn’t an appeal, it’s a half-hearted reach-around.
(CBS) Add one more data point to the decades-old debate over marijuana legalization: A new study concludes that casual pot smoking – up to one joint per day – does not affect the functioning of your lungs.
The study, published in the Jan. 11 edition of Journal of the American Medical Association, also offered up a nugget that likely will surprise many: Evidence points to slight increases in lung airflow rates and increases in lung volume from occasional marijuana use.
Air flow is the amount of air someone can blow out of their lungs one second after taking the deepest breath possible. The volume measure is the total amount of air blown out once someone has taken the deepest breath possible.
Association Between Marijuana Exposure and Pulmonary Function Over 20 Years
The study of 5115 men and women took place over two decades between March 26, 1985 and August 19, 2006 in 4 American cities: Birmingham, Chicago, Oakland, Calif., and Minneapolis.
“With marijuana use increasing and large numbers of people who have been and continue to be exposed, knowing whether it causes lasting damage to lung function is important for public-health messaging and medical use of marijuana,” according to one of the study’s co-authors, Stefan Kertesz. “At levels of marijuana exposure commonly seen in Americans, occasional marijuana use was associated with increases in lung air flow rates and increases in lung capacity.”
He added that those increases, though not large, nonetheless were statistically significant. “And the data showed that even up to moderately high-use levels — one joint a day for seven years — there is no evidence of decreased air-flow rates or lung volumes,” he said.
The study by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham was released Tuesday by the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Echo of past findings
The findings echo results in some smaller studies that showed while marijuana contains some of the same toxic chemicals as tobacco, it does not carry the same risks for lung disease. It’s not clear why that is so, but it’s possible that the main active ingredient in marijuana, a chemical known as THC, makes the difference. THC causes the “high” that users feel. It also helps fight inflammation and may counteract the effects of more irritating chemicals in the drug, said Dr. Donald Tashkin, a marijuana researcher and an emeritus professor of medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. Tashkin was not involved in the new study.
Study co-author Dr. Stefan Kertesz said there are other aspects of marijuana that may help explain the results.
Unlike cigarette smokers, marijuana users tend to breathe in deeply when they inhale a joint, which some researchers think might strengthen lung tissue. But the common lung function tests used in the study require the same kind of deep breathing that marijuana smokers are used to, so their good test results might partly reflect lots of practice, said Kertesz, a drug abuse researcher and preventive medicine specialist at the Alabama university.
Roughly equal numbers of blacks and whites took part, but no other minorities. Participants were periodically asked about recent marijuana or cigarette use and had several lung function tests during the study.
Overall, about 37 percent reported at least occasional marijuana use, and most users also reported having smoked cigarettes; 17 percent of participants said they’d smoked cigarettes but not marijuana. Those results are similar to national estimates.
On average, cigarette users smoked about 9 cigarettes daily, while average marijuana use was only a joint or two a few times a month — typical for U.S. marijuana users, Kertesz said.
The authors calculated the effects of tobacco and marijuana separately, both in people who used only one or the other, and in people who used both. They also considered other factors that could influence lung function, including air pollution in cities studied.
The analyses showed pot didn’t appear to harm lung function, but cigarettes did. Cigarette smokers’ test scores worsened steadily during the study. Smoking marijuana as often as one joint daily for seven years, or one joint weekly for 20 years was not linked with worse scores. Very few study participants smoked more often than that.
Like cigarette smokers, marijuana users can develop throat irritation and coughs, but the study didn’t focus on those. It also didn’t examine lung cancer, but other studies haven’t found any definitive link between marijuana use and cancer.
(Steve Elliott) There’s yet another study now that concludes marijuana users are better drivers, especially when compared with those who use alcohol behind the wheel. Twenty years of study has concluded that marijuana smokers may actually be getting a bad rap and that they may actually have fewer accidents than other drivers.
(Activist Post) Thanks to the available findings of a 2006 study showing that cannabis actually reduces the number of cancer cells, medical marijuana users can now feel even better about the widely abolished pain relief ingredient found in the plant.
The relationship between marijuana and cancer has always been up for debate, but with the use of a specially crafted oil made from the buds of the Cannabis Sativa plant, scientists confirmed that the plant’s primary psychoactive chemical tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) destroys any and all malignant cancer cell growths in several patients.
Details on the marijuana and cancer prevention connection aren’t exactly known, but further, more extensive testing will reveal exactly what may be causing this seemingly miracle cure.
Back in 2006, the study was developed by a team of medical researchers at the Virginia Commonwealth University’s Pharmacology and Toxicology department on leukemia patients. The researchers essentially outlined that if taken daily for an extended period of time, cannabis oil actually reverses the growth of cancer and possibly leads to remission in the patient – with zero added side effects.
Typically when a leukemia patient enters a hospital for admission and treatment, they are given a very extensive chemotherapy treatment, usually paired with a radiological treatment. Instead of considering any possible treatment involving marijuana and cancer, doctors use these not only ineffective, but also dangerous treatments. Cannabis, on the other hand, as shown in the study, has virtually no side effects. It is especially safe and effective when administered in a clean, medically sound environment and in the form of oil.
Other studies have been made over the past decades much like this one: Manuel Guzman located in Madrid, Spain discovered that cannabinoids substantially inhibit the growth of tumors in a variety of lab animals. In the study he also found that not one of these tested animals endured any kind of side effects seen in many similar chemotherapy treatments.
It is becoming increasingly clear that you can sidestep any of the misery associated with traditional cancer treatments and embrace the potent, effective healing powers of THC – not to forget about the positive attributes surrounding cannabis’ other primary cannabinoid, cannabidiol (CBD).
If the results don’t appeal to you, then maybe the 2,500 total studied patients throughout these 37 controlled studies will blow the lid off the myth that cannabis is and can only be used as a “dangerous” drug. None of the patients reported any kind of adverse side effects from the use of THC-based medication – further adding to the benefits of medical marijuana and strengthening the positive connection between marijuana and cancer.
The real irony in the situation here? The combined governments of the world are the primary authority behind more than 30 studies like these completed throughout the years – and they have kept them secret from the general public. It wouldn’t be very conducive for our government if word got out that a schedule 1 narcotic could actually help people.
(THE HILL) Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said President Obama is making a “grave mistake” by cracking down on medical marijuana dispensaries that are legal in some states.
“It’s unfair and will hurt innocent people,” Frank told The Hill.
Frank, a longtime supporter of more liberal rules on marijuana, said he is “very disappointed” that Obama isn’t sticking with his campaign promise to let state laws rule on the medical use and distribution of the drug.
“I think it’s bad politics and bad policy,” Frank said. “I’m very disappointed. I think it’s a grave mistake.”
Liberal supporters of the president have decried federal action against marijuana dispensaries in states like California and Colorado, where the use and sale of the drug is permitted in some cases.
Federal officials have raided more than 100 medical marijuana businesses since 2009, when Attorney General Eric Holder wrote that those in compliance with state law would not be a federal priority, according to reports.
The president defended his administration’s actions in an interview with Rolling Stone released this week.
“What I specifically said was that we were not going to prioritize prosecutions of persons who are using medical marijuana,” Obama said, adding that he can’t “nullify congressional law.”
Obama sought to clarify the administration’s position this week.
“I never made a commitment that somehow we were going to give carte blanche to large-scale producers and operators of marijuana,” Obama said, “and the reason is, because it’s against federal law.”
Frank said he has told Obama personally that he is “making a mistake on this,” though he doubts medical marijuana will be an issue for the president in the 2012 campaign.
“Not against Mitt Romney,” Frank said of the presumptive GOP nominee.
The White House did not respond to a request for comment.
Police officers in New York are “manufacturing” criminal offenses by forcing people with small amounts of marijuana to reveal their drugs, according to a survey by public defenders.
Under New York law, possession of 25g or less of marijuana [merely] brings a $100 fine. Only when the drugs are in public view are the police permitted to make an arrest for drug possession. One in three respondents said police had forced them to take the marijuana out of pockets or from under clothes and produce it into public view.
In September last year, Kelly issued an order to officers not to arrest people caught with small amounts of marijuana. But the number of those arrested increased after the order was made. In all, about 50,000 people were arrested in 2011 for marijuana possession.
Reasons police stopped people who they subsequently arrested for marijuana included “furtive movements,” “suspicious bulges,” “being in a high crime area” and “other.” Legal experts and criminal justice scholars have claimed that stop and frisks-and the drug arrests that often result from them-routinely lead to fourth amendment violations and serve as pipeline for the nation’s bloated prison system.