Marijuana Offers Hope For Battling Colon Cancer

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Marijuana's incredible medical potential becomes increasingly clear with every new study:

Raymond DuBois and colleagues at the University of Texas in Houston discovered that a key receptor for cannabinoids, which are found in marijuana, is turned off in most types of human colon cancer.

Without this receptor, a protein called survivin, which stops cells from dying, increases unchecked and causes tumour growth.

To better understand the role that the receptor, called CB1, plays in cancer progression, the researchers manipulated its expression in mice that had been genetically engineered to spontaneously develop colon tumours.

"When we knocked out the receptor, the number of tumors went up dramatically," says DuBois. Alternatively, when mice with normal CB1 receptors were treated with a cannabinoid compound, their tumours shrank. [New Scientist]

The body of evidence showing that THC may effectively treat tumors is already extensive, so there's nothing particularly surprising about this latest research. Rather, it provides yet another opportunity to point out just how much damage our government has done in the course of its relentless and fraudulent campaign to convince everyone that the marijuana plant is incredibly dangerous rather than incredibly helpful.

Imagine what we might have achieved if our nation's efforts over the past thirty years had been focused on identifying the plant's benefits rather than exaggerating its harms and vilifying its users.
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Prohibition Kills

According to Wikipedia, colorectal cancer kills 655,000 people per year throughout the world. 16,000 victims die of it yearly in the UK, and there are 56,000 such deaths per year in the United States.

Given these latest research results on CB1 cannabinoid receptors, perhaps the death rate for colorectal cancer should be added to the other mortality figures already associated with cannabis prohibition, such as those that occur in police raids and U.S. street wars.

As if imprisonment for drug offenses isn’t bad enough, clearly, with such huge numbers of mortal victims, prohibition itself is far more dangerous than the illicit drugs it pretends to control through arrest and incarceration.

Giordano

Try some complete coverage

So how does marijuana prevent colon cancer? You missed this other part in the article:

Treating the cells with decitibine – a demethylating drug already approved for use in humans – removed the chemical group and the gene began making the receptor. Drugs that mimic marijuana might then activate the receptor, although DuBois did not test this.

So there is no conclusion here and in fact another drug can already do what was being researched. Call me unconvinced that legalizing the smoking of dope will bring down cancer.

You miss the point...

Decitbine opens the CB1 pathway, it is not what stops tumor progression. There's where the cannibinoids come into play.

Legalizing/decriminalizing "dope" is far overdue for so many reasons. Don't be stupid.

Clue—Not Cure

I think what the research really provides is an essential clue necessary for understanding the etiology of colorectal cancer.  Now that the presence of the CB1 receptor in thwarting colorectal cancer is better understood, further R&D will lead to a more effective treatment and possibly a cure.

What is unfortunate is that the CB1 role was not known earlier.  With a disease as fast as cancer, time is critical.

No one can overlook the fact that research on the medical benefits of cannabis was and is deliberately thwarted by the NIDA and DEA.  This is why much of the cannabis research of this type is performed overseas. The U.S. federal agencies consistently refuse to cooperate with qualified researchers wanting to do cannabis research that might reflect well on cannabis by denying funding and by permanently delaying research approvals.  The deadly result is it took until now to know about the role of the depletion of CB1 receptors in colorectal cancer.

The DEA, NIDA, ONDCP, et al., must be held responsible for the colorectal cancer deaths that will occur as a consequence of the preposterous time delay they engineered into a research process that otherwise would have provided the clue much earlier.  The short and sweet of it is that due to their shortsighted, ideologically-based legal restrictions, they join the company of Hitler, Stalin and Mao as mass murderers.

Giordano

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