Smoking Marijuana Does Not Cause Lung Cancer

“New research shows here seems to be something in pot that actually undermines cancer, instead of causing it. — and the media are doing their best to ignore it.
There is a groundswell of attention in the news to marijuana’s role in causing and preventing various types of cancers. Last week, AlterNet published an article from the Marijuana Policy Project about a new study finding that pot smokers have a lower risk of head and neck cancers than people who don’t smoke pot…
Smoking pot doesn’t cause lung cancer. In fact, the study found that cigarette smokers who also smoked marijuana were at a lower risk of contracting lung cancer than tobacco-only smokers…

You’d think it would have been very big news in June 2005 when UCLA medical school professor Donald Tashkin reported that components of marijuana smoke somehow prevent them from becoming malignant.

 In other words, something in marijuana exerts an anti-cancer effect!”


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Marijuana Unlikely to Cause Head, Neck, or Lung Cancer – WebMD

“Marijuana, unlike tobacco and alcohol, does not appear to cause head, neck, or lung cancer, says a researcher from Johns Hopkins Medical School in Baltimore who presented findings from a study here recently at a meeting of internal medicine physicians.

There has been an ongoing debate about whether marijuana is as dangerous as tobacco in terms of cancer development. Daniel E. Ford, MD, tried to sort out the evidence by the lifestyles — including marijuana, tobacco, and alcohol use — of 164 persons who were newly diagnosed with head, neck, or lung cancer compared to a group of 526 healthy persons living in the same area. The average age of patients was 49, while the average age of the healthy volunteers was 44. The cancer patients were all treated at four Baltimore-area hospitals, and the “controls” (healthy comparison group) were selected from a large group of people living in the Baltimore area who had been participating in an ongoing study. Ford tells WebMD that he wanted to find out whether the cancer patients were more likely to smoke marijuana or tobacco or to drink than were the healthy volunteers.

According to Ford, he thought he would find an association between marijuana use and cancer, but “that the association would fall away when we corrected for tobacco use. That was not the case. The association was never there.” And that surprised him because of the way marijuana is smoked: deep inhalations, with the smoke held in for effect. “It seemed natural that there would be some connection,” he tells WebMD.

Based on these findings, Ford says that cancer prevention efforts should “remain focused on tobacco and alcohol, two known carcinogens.””


Update from WebMD:

“Pot Smoking Not Linked to Lung Cancer

Study Shows No Increased Risk for Even the Heaviest Marijuana Smokers.
People who smoke marijuana do not appear to be at increased risk for developing lung cancer, new research suggests.While a clear increase in cancercancer risk was seen among cigarette smokers in the study, no such association was seen for regular cannabis users.Even very heavy, long-term marijuana users who had smoked more than 22,000 joints over a lifetime seemed to have no greater risk than infrequent marijuana users or nonusers.”


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Medical Marijuana Inc Announces Positive Developments in Recent Studies Using Cannabidiol (CBD) Compound; NBC News, ABC News and Huffington Post Report California Pacific Medical Center’s Findings That CBD Stops Metastasis in Aggressive Cancers – The Wall Street Journal

“Medical Marijuana Inc Announces Positive Developments in Recent Studies Using Cannabidiol (CBD) Compound; NBC News, ABC News and Huffington Post Report California Pacific Medical Center’s Findings That CBD Stops Metastasis in Aggressive Cancers

SAN DIEGO, May 28, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Medical Marijuana Inc (OTC Pink:MJNA) is pleased to inform shareholders and the general public of recent developments in the research involving Cannabidiol (CBD) and other Phyto-cannabinoids.

The Following is taken from a Huffington Post interview with Dr. McAllister and Dr. Desprez:

A pair of scientists at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco has found that a compound derived from marijuana could stop metastasis in many kinds of aggressive cancer, potentially altering the fatality of the disease forever.

“It took us about 20 years of research to figure this out, but we are very excited,” said Pierre Desprez, one of the scientists behind the discovery, to The Huffington Post. “We want to get started with trials as soon as possible.”

The Daily Beast first reported on the finding, which has already undergone both laboratory and animal testing, and is awaiting permission for clinical trials in humans.

Desprez, a molecular biologist, spent decades studying ID-1, the gene that causes cancer to spread. Meanwhile, fellow researcher Sean McAllister was studying the effects of Cannabidiol, or CBD, a non-toxic, non-psychoactive chemical compound found in the cannabis plant. Finally, the pair collaborated, combining CBD and cells containing high levels of ID-1 in a petri dish.

“What we found was that his Cannabidiol could essentially ‘turn off’ the ID-1,” Desprez told HuffPost. The cells stopped spreading and returned to normal.

“We likely would not have found this on our own,” he added. “That’s why collaboration is so essential to scientific discovery.”

Desprez and McAllister first published a paper about the finding in 2007. Since then, their team has found that CBD works both in the lab and in animals. And now, they’ve found even more good news.

“We started by researching breast cancer,” said Desprez. “But now we’ve found that Cannabidiol works with many kinds of aggressive cancers–brain, prostate–any kind in which these high levels of ID-1 are present.”

Desprez hopes that clinical trials will begin immediately.

“We’ve found no toxicity in the animals we’ve tested, and Cannabidiol is already used in humans for a variety of other ailments,” he said. Indeed, the compound is used to relieve anxiety and nausea, and, since it is non-psychoactive, does not cause the “high” associated with THC.

While marijuana advocates will surely praise the discovery, Desprez explained that it’s not so easy as just lighting up.

“We used injections in the animal testing and are also testing pills,” he said. “But you could never get enough Cannabidiol for it to be effective just from smoking.”

Additional Information:

Dr. McAllister & CBD Research

Dr. Sean McAllister says that he is ready to begin testing CBD on humans to evaluate anti-cancer properties. Dr. McAllister and colleague Pierre Desprez, PhD from California Pacific Medical Center have previously mentioned, “Cannabidiol offers hope of a non-toxic therapy that could treat aggressive forms of cancer without any of the painful side effects of chemotherapy.” “We found that this one compound, CBD, had a specific effect on metastatic cancer cells, very aggressive tumor cells. CBD in animal studies has been used to ‘switch off’ a specific gene regulator.” Dr. McAllister explains: “We find when you treat with CBD, you down regulate the expression of this protein and that inhibits the disease process.” Dr. McAllister and Dr. Desprez have developed a synthetic version of CBD, which they say targets a specific gene in the body related to the spread of cancer (metastasis). Article:

Additional Cannabidiol Information

ABC News-

Huffington Post- html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000003&ir=Weird%20News

US. National Cancer Institute age4

Additional Dr. McAllister Publications

Additional Published Material on Cannabidiol (CBD)”


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Marijuana mouth spray for cancer patients tough to abuse – NBC

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“The medical marijuana drug Sativex, which could be approved in the United States in the coming years as a treatment for pain relief, has little potential for abuse, experts say.

The British pharmaceutical company GW Pharmaceuticals is currently testing the drug, which is delivered as a mouth spray and called Sativex, in clinical trials. The company plans to seek U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for the drug as a treatment for cancer pain when the trials are completed, likely sometime in 2014, a spokesperson for GW Pharmaceuticals told MyHealthNewsDaily.

The active ingredients in Sativex, known as cannabinoids, are derived from the cannabis plant. It is the first marijuana-based drug to be made by extracting the compounds from the plant, rather than synthesizing them. Two other drugs, Marinol and Cesamet, based on synthetic cannabinoids, were approved by the FDA in the 1980s.”


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Bay Area Researchers Claim Cannabis Can Cure Cancer

“Marijuana has been used for medicinal purposes–relieving stress and pain and fighting hunger and nausea–for centuries if not millennia. But now, a pair of doctors in San Francisco claim that they’ve compiled reliable data showing that a certain compound in cannabis–cannabidiol–may actually cure cancer.”

Bay Area Researchers Claim Cannabis Can Cure Cancer

“Unlike THC, the ingredient in marijuana that makes you feel stoned, cannabidiol is a non-toxic compound of the plant that has no psychoactive qualities, and it’s been the focus of an ongoing series of trials at the San Francisco-based California Pacific Medical Center. There, physicians Sean McAllister and Pierre Desprez claim they’ve successfully used cannabidiol to fight animal genes involved in the spread of cancer. Now they hope to be allowed to conduct anti-cancer research using cannabidiol on actual humans.”
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The endocannabinoid system and its therapeutic exploitation.

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“The term ‘endocannabinoid’ – originally coined in the mid-1990s after the discovery of membrane receptors for the psychoactive principle in Cannabis, Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol and their endogenous ligands – now indicates a whole signalling system that comprises cannabinoid receptors, endogenous ligands and enzymes for ligand biosynthesis and inactivation. This system seems to be involved in an ever-increasing number of pathological conditions. With novel products already being aimed at the pharmaceutical market little more than a decade since the discovery of cannabinoid receptors, the endocannabinoid system seems to hold even more promise for the future development of therapeutic drugs. We explore the conditions under which the potential of targeting the endocannabinoid system might be realized in the years to come.”

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Active Component Of Marijuana Has Anti-Cancer Effects, Study Suggests

“Guillermo Velasco and colleagues, at Complutense University, Spain, have provided evidence that suggests that cannabinoids such as the main active component of marijuana (THC) have anticancer effects on human brain cancer cells.

In the study, THC was found to induce the death of various human brain cancer cell lines and primary cultured human brain cancer cells by a process known as autophagy.

Consistent with the in vitro data, administration of THC to mice with human tumors decreased tumor growth and induced the tumor cells to undergo autophagy. As analysis of tumors from two patients with recurrent glioblastoma multiforme (a highly aggressive brain tumor) receiving intracranial THC administration showed signs of autophagy, the authors suggest that cannabinoid administration may provide a new approach to targeting human cancers.”

“Cannabinoid action induces autophagy-mediated cell death through stimulation of ER stress in human glioma cells”


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Cannabidiol Inhibits Growth and Induces Programmed Cell Death in Kaposi Sarcoma–Associated Herpesvirus-Infected Endothelium

“Kaposi sarcoma is the most common neoplasm caused by Kaposi sarcoma–associated herpesvirus (KSHV). Current treatments for Kaposi sarcoma can inhibit tumor growth but are not able to eliminate KSHV from the host. When the host’s immune system weakens, KSHV begins to replicate again, and active tumor growth ensues. New therapeutic approaches are needed.

Cannabidiol (CBD), a plant-derived cannabinoid, exhibits promising antitumor effects without inducing psychoactive side effects. CBD is emerging as a novel therapeutic for various disorders, including cancer.

In this study, we investigated the effects of CBD both on the infection of endothelial cells (ECs) by KSHV and on the growth and apoptosis of KSHV-infected ECs, an in vitro model for the transformation of normal endothelium to Kaposi sarcoma….

Cannabidiol (CBD) was first isolated in 1940. It is a major component of the plant Cannabis sativa, which is also the source of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC). Due to its multiple biological activities, CBD has been identified as a potential clinical agent. Moreover, CBD affects these activities without the psychoactive side effects that typify Δ9-THC. Recent studies have documented the potential antitumorigenic properties of CBD in the treatment of various neoplasms, including breast cancer, lung cancer, bladder cancer, glioblastoma,and leukemia.CBD induces these effects through a variety of mechanisms and signaling pathways

CBD has been evaluated clinically for the treatment of various conditions, including anxiety, psychosis, and pain. In contrast to other members of the cannabinoid family, CBD has a strong safety profile and induces no psychotropic effects.Therefore, it has become an attractive agent in the search for new anticancer therapies.Our current study demonstrated that CBD preferentially enhanced apoptosis and inhibited the proliferation of KSHV-infected endothelial cells. This selective targeting of KSHV-induced neoplasia suggests that CBD may have a desirable therapeutic index when used to treat cancer. Moreover, a recent study demonstrated that CBD can be delivered effectively by nasal and transdermal routes, which may be particularly valuable for the treatment of Kaposi sarcoma oral or skin lesions.”

Full text:

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The CB1/CB2 receptor agonist WIN-55,212-2 reduces viability of human Kaposi’s sarcoma cells in vitro.

“Kaposi’s sarcoma is a highly vascularized mesenchymal neoplasm arising with multiple lesions of the skin. Endogenous cannabinoids have been shown to inhibit proliferation of a wide spectrum of tumor cells. We studied the effects of cannabinoids on human Kaposi’s sarcoma cell proliferation in vitro.

 To do so, we first investigated the presence of the cannabinoid receptors CB(1) and CB(2) mRNAs in the human Kaposi’s sarcoma cell line KS-IMM by RT-PCR and, subsequently, the effects of the mixed CB(1)/CB(2) agonist WIN-55,212-2 (WIN) on cell proliferation in vitro. WIN showed antimitogenic effects on Kaposi’s sarcoma cells…

  In view of the antiproliferative effects of cannabinoids on KS-IMM cells, one could envision the cannabinoid system as a potential target for pharmacological treatment of Kaposi’s sarcoma”

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Kaposi Sarcoma.

“Kaposi sarcoma (KS) is a low-grade vascular tumor associated with Kaposi sarcoma herpesvirus/human herpesvirus 8 (KSHV/HHV8) infection. Kaposi sarcoma lesions predominantly present at mucocutaneous sites, but may involve all organs and anatomic locations. Recognized epidemiologic-clinical forms of KS include classic, African (endemic), AIDS-associated (epidemic), and iatrogenic KS. New clinical manifestations have been described, such as antiretroviral therapy-related KS regression or flares. Kaposi sarcoma lesions evolve from early (patch stage) macules into plaques (plaque stage) that grow into larger nodules (tumor stage). Newer histologic variants include anaplastic, hyperkeratotic, lymphangioma-like, bullous, telangiectatic, ecchymotic, keloidal, pyogenic granuloma-like, micronodular, intravascular, glomeruloid and pigmented KS, as well as KS with sarcoidlike granulomas and KS with myoid nodules. Latency-associated nuclear antigen (HHV8) is the most specific immunohistochemical marker available to help distinguish KS from its mimics. Since KS remains one of the most common AIDS-defining malignancies, it is important that pathologists be able to recognize KS and its contemporary manifestations.”

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