Feds admit marijuana can shrink brain tumors

By Oscar Pascual |

There are hundreds of nicknames and synonyms for cannabis in the English language, but according to a federal agency report, one name stands out: cancer killer.

According to the Daily Caller, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) issued a revised report on the facts behind medical marijuana. The report included this rather revelatory tidbit of information:

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 tumors. Research in mice showed that these extracts, when used with radiation, increased the cancer-killing effects of the radiation.

The claim comes from a November 2014 study conducted by researchers at St. George’s University of London, where they found that using an extract of whole-plant marijuana rich in both its main psychoactive compound THC as well as its therapeutic compound CBD showed “dramatic reductions in tumor volumes” in high-grade glioma masses — a certain deadly form of brain cancer — in mice.

“We’ve shown that cannabinoids could play a role in treating one of the most aggressive cancers in adults,” said the study’s lead author Dr. Wai Liu in a Huffington Post op-ed earlier this year. “The results are promising…it could provide a way of breaking through glioma and saving more lives.”

Currently, NIDA is the federal agency in charge of approving marijuana research and studies, and also provides pot for research purposes through the only federally-funded cannabis farm located inside the University of Mississippi.

While past efforts were wasted on trying to prove marijuana’s negative effects, NIDA seems to have shifted focus on its medical benefits, as they recently approved further studies on pot’s effects on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, while also providing more potent marijuana strains for research purposes.

Despite NIDA’s recent efforts, medical marijuana research in America is still just expanding at a snail’s pace due to pot’s Schedule I classification.

“The whole process is wrong,” said Andrew Weil, the American doctor and author who conducted the first double-blind clinical trials of marijuana in 1968, in an interview with the Washington Post last year. “There is a great deal of evidence both clinical and anecdotal of its therapeutic effects, but the research has been set way back by government policies.”

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