Federal government admits cannabis has value in fighting cancer

By Oscar Pascual |

The federal government has acknowledged marijuana’s medicinal value in treating cancer.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI), a federal agency that primarily addresses the research and training needed to diagnose and treat cancer, now provides information on how cannabis may be an effective treatment on its official website, Cancer.gov, reported the Metro.

NCI recently added a fairly thorough guide on medical marijuana‘s effectiveness in treating cancer to its site.

he webpage points out the the myriad uses for cannabidiol (CBD), which can render numerous benefits that include anti-inflammatory relief, the blocking of cancer cell growth and blood vessels that supply tumors, and promoting antiviral activity.

The government website also cites several studies supporting cannabis use to manage the side effects of cancer and chemotherapy treatment, which they say helps curb nausea and vomiting, stimulates appetite, provides pain relief, and helps as an aid for stress and sleep.

If all that wasn’t helpful enough, the guide even provides a list of current states with medical cannabis laws, in case anyone was thinking of becoming a marijuana refugee.

The surprising new information provided by NCI cites research from a November 2014 study conducted by researchers at St. George’s University of London. The information was also used by fellow federal agency NIDA, which recently admitted that cannabis can help shrink brain tumors.

“We’ve shown that cannabinoids could play a role in treating one of the most aggressive cancers in adults. The results are promising… it could provide a way of breaking through glioma [tumors] and saving more lives,” said the study’s author, Dr Wai Liu. “Recent animal studies have shown that marijuana can kill certain cancer cells and reduce the size of others. Evidence from one animal study suggests that extracts from whole-plant marijuana can shrink one of the most serious types of brain tumours. Research in mice showed that these extracts, when used with radiation, increased the cancer-killing effects of the radiation.”

NCI’s new look on pot continues a trend in the government turning towards a more favorable view of cannabis. Aside from NIDA’s acknowledgment of medical marijuana use to treat brain tumors, federal agencies have approved studies on marijuana’s effects on PTSD, as well as the process of growing larger amounts of stronger marijuana for research purposes.

Photo credit: Flickr.com/eggrole