Vol. 7, Number 6
cheryl riley, James Freire,
Dr. David Bearman,
Gradi Jordan, Ed Glick,
Sunil K Aggarwal,
Al Byrne, Amanda Reiman,
Jim Greig, Joan Bello,
AAMC El Dorado County CA
AAMC Rhode Island
Cannabinoids as Cancer Hope? - Paul Armentano
“Cannabinoids possess … anticancer activity [and may] possibly represent a new class of anti-cancer drugs that retard cancer growth, inhibit angiogenesis (the formation of new blood vessels) and the metastatic spreading of cancer cells." So concludes a comprehensive review published in the October 2005 issue of the scientific journal Mini-Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry.
Not familiar with the emerging body of research touting cannabis' ability to stave the spread of certain types of cancers? You're not alone.
For over 30 years, US politicians and bureaucrats have systematically turned a blind eye to scientific research indicating that marijuana may play a role in cancer prevention -- a finding that was first documented in 1974. That year, a research team at the Medical College of Virginia (acting at the behest of the federal government) discovered that cannabis inhibited malignant tumor cell growth in culture and in mice. According to the study's results, reported nationally in an Aug. 18, 1974, Washington Post newspaper feature, administration of marijuana's primary cannabinoid THC, "slowed the growth of lung cancers, breast cancers and a virus-induced leukemia in laboratory mice, and prolonged their lives by as much as 36 percent."
Despite these favorable preclinical findings, US government officials dismissed the study (which was eventually published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute in 1975), and refused to fund any follow-up research until conducting a similar –- though secret –- clinical trial in the mid-1990s. That study, conducted by the US National Toxicology Program to the tune of $2 million concluded that mice and rats administered high doses of THC over long periods experienced greater protection against malignant tumors than untreated controls.
Rather than publicize their findings, government researchers once again shelved the results, which only came to light after a draft copy of its findings were leaked in 1997 to a medical journal, which in turn forwarded the story to the national media.
Nevertheless, in the decade since the completion of the National Toxicology trial, the U.S. government has yet to encourage or fund additional, follow up studies examining the cannibinoids’ potential to protect against the spread cancerous tumors.
Fortunately, scientists overseas have generously picked up where US researchers so abruptly left off. In 1998, a research team at Madrid's Complutense University discovered that THC can selectively induce apoptosis (program cell death) in brain tumor cells without negatively impacting the surrounding healthy cells. Then in 2000, they reported in the journal Nature Medicine that injections of synthetic THC eradicated malignant gliomas (brain tumors) in one-third of treated rats, and prolonged life in another third by six weeks.
In 2003, researchers at the University of Milan in Naples, Italy, reported that non- psychoactive compounds in marijuana inhibited the growth of glioma cells in a dose dependent manner and selectively targeted and killed malignant cancer cells.
The following year, researchers reported in the journal of the American Association for Cancer Research that marijuana's constituents inhibited the spread of brain cancer in human tumor biopsies. In a related development, a research team from the University of South Florida further noted that THC can also selectively inhibit the activation and replication of gamma herpes viruses. The viruses, which can lie dormant for years within white blood cells before becoming active and spreading to other cells, are thought to increase one's chances of developing cancers such as Karposis Sarcoma, Burkitts lymphoma, and Hodgkins disease.
More recently, investigators published pre-clinical findings demonstrating that cannabinoids may play a role in inhibiting cell growth of colectoral cancer, skin carcinoma, breast cancer, and prostate cancer, among other conditions. When investigators compared the efficacy of natural cannabinoids to that of a synthetic agonist, THC proved far more beneficial – selectively decreasing the proliferation of malignant cells and inducing apoptosis more rapidly than its synthetic alternative while simultaneously leaving healthy cells unscathed.
Nevertheless, US politicians have been little swayed by these results, and remain steadfastly opposed to the notion of sponsoring – or even acknowledging – this growing body clinical research, preferring instead to promote the unfounded notion that cannabis use causes cancer. Until this bias changes, expect the bulk of research investigating the use of cannabinoids as anticancer agents to remain overseas and, regrettably, overlooked in the public discourse.
Cannabinoids selectively inhibit proliferation and induce death of cultured human glioblastoma multiforme cells. Journal of Neurooncology. 2005
Cannabinoids and cancer. Mini-Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry. 2005
The endogenous cannabinoid, anandamide, induces cell death in colorectal carcinoma cells. Gut. 2005
Cannabinoid receptor as a novel target for the treatment of prostate cancer. Cancer Research. 2005
Antitumor effects of cannabidiol, a nonpsychoactive cannabinoid, on human glioma cell lines. Journal of Pharmacology And Experimental Therapeutics. 2004
Cannabinoids inhibit the vascular endothelial growth factor pathway in gliomas. Cancer Research. 2004
Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) inhibits lytic replication of gamma oncogenic herpesviruses in vitro. BMJ Medicine. 2004
Cannabinoids: potential anticancer agents. Nature Reviews Cancer. 2003
Inhibition of tumor angiogenesis by cannabinoids. The FASEB Journal. 2003
Inhibition of skin tumor growth and angiogenesis in vivo by activation of cannabinoid receptors. Journal of Clinical Investigation. 2003
Anti-tumoral action of cannabinoids: involvement of sustained ceramide accumulation and extracellular signal-regulated kinase activation. Nature Medicine. 2000
Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol induces apoptosis in C6 glioma cells. FEBS Letters. 1998
The endogenous cannabinoid anandamide inhibits human breast cancer cell proliferation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA. 1998
Toxicology and Carcinogenesis Studies of 1 trans-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol in F344N/N Rats and BC63F1 Mice. National Institutes of Health National Toxicology Program, NIH Publication No. 97-3362. 1996.
Antineoplastic activity of cannabinoids. Journal of the National Cancer Institute. 1975
AAMC Directors' Report
KansasProgress has been slow here in Kansas, but awareness is creeping into a few minds. After a few years of working to enlighten our legislators we believe most of them have finally got our message. This past session we had bills in both chambers, but they died in committee as usual.
Our next campaign is the education of voters. Plans are underway to send speakers--especially patients--out to talk to civic groups across the state. This is how LEAP grew into the fine organization it is today. We hope this same approach will work for Kansas patients who continue to suffer needlessly.
There is still much work to be done here--you've probably heard about Crohn's patient Shona Banda's outrageous experience with state authorities after her son challenged a DARE presentation at his school about the harmfulness of marijuana. The boy was detained and he remains in the state's clutches. Meanwhile, his mother has lost access to the only treatment that has ever provided her with significant relief from her debilitating condition. That's what we're still up against in Kansas.
New MexicoWe are still running into opposition from Gov. Martinez and from the Department of Health but we have been able to keep them in check through a series of lawsuits that are now leading to expansion of supply and fewer restrictions on entry to the program. Public acceptance of medical cannabis is through the roof but the medical establishment is way behind the learning curve and some docs are even denying care to patients in the Medical Cannabis Program. I'm hoping that someone who has been denied care will file the first legal challenge against one of these docs. I would be happy to testify pro bono on that one.
On another note, I'm quitting my job and opening Harmony Psychiatric. I will be focusing on restoring balance to endocannabinoid function through diet, exercise, dietary supplementation, mindful awareness and of course Medical Cannabis (No more pharmaceuticals). I've arranged to contract back to my current employer 1 day a week to renew Medical Cannabis cards for the roughly 1,000 patients I currently manage in the program. I'm expecting to bring that number up to 3,000 by the end of the year.
OregonOregon has implemented the medical marijuana dispensary system and as of June 12, there are 310 medical marijuana dispensaries approved. The dispensary directory is available at http://www.oregon.gov/oha/mmj/Pages/directory.aspx
Our adult use of marijuana law goes into effect on July 1. It will be run by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC). Anyone 21 years or older can legally use marijuana, but not in public. You can grow four plants and have 8 ounces of usable marijuana in your home. The legislature is working on rules that will allow the existing dispensaries to sell marijuana to all adults.
UtahUtah failed at a half decent medical bill last year (in addition to our pitiful CBD) - they will be trying again - Senator Mark Madsen is a good one to watch
WashingtonWashington is folding medical into recreational. Medical in Washington is now just limited to derivatives/concentrates. No smokable or even vaporizable marijuana will be sold. The recreational market has cornered the market, and the physicians are being punished for free speech if they talk about marijuana too many times to too many people. In short, medical marijuana in Washington State has been de-incentivized as they put it.
The structure of the recreational law is the same as the old medical marijuana law. Marijuana is still illegal you just get to claim an exemption or exception to the crime. The problem is law enforcement has already figured out that if they don't charge you with the crime you don't get to make an affirmative defense, and because there is no penalty or punishment in the statute for not giving a person an affirmative defense, they get away with it. It amounts to a license to loot you, seize your lights and destroy your marijuana because it is still contraband on a state level. Not my idea of legalization.
They like to say the Wild West days are over here in Washington. I say it’s the same mess it ever was here in Washington.
Alabama: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Arkansas: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Idaho: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Indiana: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Iowa: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Missouri: Considering a medical marijuana law.
North Carolina: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Ohio: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Pennsylvania: Considering a medical marijuana law.
South Carolina: Considering a medical marijuana law.
South Dakota: Medical marijuana petition drive underway.
Tennessee: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Texas: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Wisconsin: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Featured Recipe - Oils Well That Ends Well - A guide to Canny Cooking Oils
You may know all about cannabutter, tincture, and even elixir but how about oil? We’re talking now about oil extracts from whole cannabis (bud, trim, and leaf) that are wonderful in baking, sauces, and marinades.
Most folks think of hash oil when the term oil is mentioned. That is the subject of another entirely different preparation that this author still thinks is problematic.
Just as Cannabinoids go into solution in dairy fat (cannabutter and "mothers milk"), they also go into solution into a variety of oils, most particularly olive oil and canola. These oils are healthy all by themselves. Olive oil is a mono saturated fat while canola is largely unsaturated. Olive oil will give any dish a "flower" like aroma and taste while canola is largely tasteless. I prefer olive oil in stews, sauces, and marinades while canola works best for any baking recipe that calls for oil. Look soon for "Zoot Suit Zucchini Bread" using Canny Canola. Both oils make for a great spread substitute for butter. Ever tried "Canny Toast"? Just dip a small brush into the cannaoil, "paint" your bread and pop into the toaster!
The principles of making "cannaoil" are the same as with making cannabutter. Low and slow is the key. I use a crock pot set on low. I would not try to make oil on the stove since the temperatures get too high and the risk of ruining the Cannabinoids is too great.
500 ml of extra virgin olive oil or canola
100-300 grams of chopped bud trim or 300-600 grams of chopped leaf depending upon the potency and availability of the cannabis.
Using more cannabis can produce stronger oil. The oil will both taste more "canny" and be more potent.
10-20 grams fresh chopped basil and/or thyme (optional for stews and marinades). Be creative. Depending upon the intended use of the oil you can customize your oil. Personally, I love to add dried New Mexico Red Chili flakes.
Heat the oil in a crock pot set on low. Once the oil is mildly hot add the cannabis (and other herbs like basil or thyme) with frequent stirring. Keep the lid covered and continue to stir with a wood spoon every 15 minutes for the next 4-6 hours.
Strain the oil through two layers of cheese cloth into your container squeezing the oil through the cloth. Repeat one or two more times to make sure most if not all of the plant material is gone.
Store the cannaoil in an airtight glass oil jar with a cork stopper or screw top. Keep out of sunlight. Use just as you’d use regular oil. Enjoy!
May 21-23, 2015
West Palm Beach, Florida USA
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