by D.L. Sletrab
Medical Justice – Medical Marijuana
Chemical in Marijuana May Prevent Breast Cancer From Spreading
November 19, 2008 – One of the non-psychoactive chemical that occurs naturally in the marijuana plant may prevent breast cancer from spreading, according to a study published in the journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics.
Researchers found that a chemical called cannabidiol (CBD) affects the activity of a gene known as Id-1 in patients with hormone-independent breast cancer. In embryos, Id-1 is responsible for helping cells grow and spread, but is supposed to remain inactive in adults. In human adults, it is found only in metastatic cancer cells, or cancer cells that are spreading throughout the body.
“When the Id-1 genes wake up, they are very bad,” said senior researcher Pierre Yves-Desprez. “They push the cells to behave like embryonic cells and grow. They go crazy, they proliferate, they migrate.” That is why this discovery is so important. Whether or not these non-addictive compounds find their way into the body in a beneficial way is yet to be discovered so stay tuned. The current research indicates the substance needs to concentrated to have full effect.
According to Desprez, shutting off the activity of Id-1 can make cancer far less lethal. Tumors, Desprez says, can be “removed easily by surgery,” but if the cancer is spreading then the disease becomes much more difficult to contain. “Id-1 is like an orchestra conductor,” Desprez said. “If you shoot the violinist, the orchestra just continues to play.”
“In this case, you shoot the conductor, and the whole orchestra is going to stop,” he said. We are getting ever more perceptive in our methodology in the treatment of aggressive cancers.
Because CBD occurs in only very small quantities in the cannabis plant, the researchers do not recommend smoking marijuana as a cancer treatment. To be effective, CBD will either have to be artificially synthesized or extracted and concentrated. However I’m sure some folks will try to self-medicate. (They are also self prescribing but them human nature always looks for justifications to desired actions of preference.)
The chemical’s major advantage, according to the researchers, is its apparent non-toxicity.
“Right now we have a limited range of options in treating aggressive forms of cancer,” co-author Sean D. McAllister said. “Those treatments, such as chemotherapy, can be effective but they can also be extremely toxic and difficult for patients. This compound offers the hope of a non-toxic therapy that could achieve the same results without any of the painful side effects.”
The researchers also expressed hope that CBD will also prove effective against other cancers that rely on Id-1, including brain, colon and prostate cancer. Time and research will tell.
It is well past time for government to get out of the drug business other than to protect us from harmful substances and fraudulent business practices. The drug business is best left to the following three regulators.
- The drug companies who should not be protected, approved or disapproved by any legislation or government regulation. Reason: This opens the door to lobbyists who then in turn buy power with their money.
- The physicians who must take responsibility to make sure they “do no harm” in their prescriptions. Physicians should be seeing even people who take drugs for recreational purposes.
- Pharmacists who must dispense the controlled substances.
- Law enforcement only when they find someone dealing in controlled substances that is not a pharmacist. Let us get rid of the street pharmacists who do not provide liability, purity and health monitoring.
- Attorneys who must go after any of the players who break outside the system. There are plenty of product liability lawyers out there. Gives them something beneficial to do. We need to change many of our drug laws from criminal infractions to civil infractions. It will save the taxpayers a lot of money and free up law enforcement to ensure security of the people.
- Finally, let each State make their own rules as to which substances require what types of regulation.
The heavy hand of the Federal Government needs to focus on more important things that they can be successful with. The war on drugs has been a horrible failure that has filled up our prison systems and drained taxpayer’s pocketbooks. Any 13 year old can get whatever they want from a street pharmacist and they can do it 24x7x365.
The States can decide how much tax they want to put on recreational substances and charge street pharmacists with failure to pay the recreational sales taxes and failure to have a license to sell drugs.
This is why we need the following three solutions as soon as possible:
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