Marijuana and Cancer
There’s a newfangled cop in town, and the medical marijuana industry may be facing a major upheaval.
How much — and how fast — Attorney General Jeff Sessions may impact federal marijuana enforcement is the question.
Sessions’ decisions will influence how medical marijuana is made available, and the consequences could be disastrous for cancer patients.
Marijuana has been an ingredient in herbal remedies for centuries and scientists have found many biologically active elements in pot.
Currently, the US Drug Enforcement Administration includes marijuana as a Schedule I drug which means, under federal law, marijuana cannot be legally prescribed, possessed or sold.
Different compounds in pot act differently on the human body. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), for instance, helps relieve pain and nausea as it acts as an antioxidant.
Scientists at San Francisco’s California Medical Center discovered a compound in 2012 that could halt the spread of various types of aggressive cancer. The discovery could change the face of cancer and its treatment radically.
The discovery is the pinnacle of 20-years of study by Pierre Desprez, a molecular biologist, and Sean McAllister.
The duo collaborated in an experiment combining CBD (Cannabidiol) with cells holding high levels of ID-1 in a petri dish. Without CBD, the ID-1 cancer cells would reproduce and spread. The pair discovered that CBD caused the ID-1 cells to stop spreading and return to normal.
Initially, Desprez and McAllister found through experimentation that CBD worked on breast cancer cells in animals.
Now, they have discovered CBD works with other aggressive cancers including brain and prostate.
American Cancer Society
The ACA supports continued research on marijuana for cancer patients. The Society also says the classification of marijuana blocks researchers and impedes scientific studies.
While the ACA has not taken a stand on legalization of marijuana for medical purposes while it pushes the results of more research, it does lobby Congress for more access to medical marijuana in studies.
As with other drugs, medical marijuana may cause side effects.
Some individuals experience increased heart rate, dizziness, and fainting. The drug may also cause drowsiness as well as mood changes.
Older persons could have more trouble with side effects and are typically started on smaller doses.