(Natural News) A recent study published in International Journal of Oncology revealed that cannabinoids, the active chemical in cannabis, can destroy leukemia cells either alone or in combination with other cancer treatments. The scientific community has long-established that cannabinoids may show potential in cancer treatment, with certain varieties known to promote cell death, curb cell growth, and inhibit tumor-inducing blood vessel development. In order to evaluate the compound’s efficacy against leukemia, a team of researchers at the St George’s, University of London studied cancer cells in a laboratory and tested various combinations of cannabinoids and chemotherapy drugs such as cytarabine and vincristine.
The study revealed that the cannabiniod varieties cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) eliminated leukemia cells when used alone. The research team also found that combining the two cannabiniod variants resulted in increased treatment potency. In addition, the study revealed that adding cannabinoids following an initial dose of chemotherapy lead to better overall outcomes against the blood cancer. This means that a similar effect can be achieved by using lower chemotherapy doses, the researchers said. Lower doses of chemotherapy may equate to lower risk of treatment-related side-effects in patients, the experts added.
According to the research team, combining chemotherapy with cannabinoid treatment fared better than either chemotherapy alone or cannabidiol/THC combination. However, the experts noted that greater treatment potency was observed only when cannabinoid treatment was added after the initial chemotherapy, but not the other way around.
“We have shown for the first time that the order in which cannabinoids and chemotherapy are used is crucial in determining the overall effectiveness of this treatment. These extracts are highly concentrated and purified, so smoking marijuana will not have a similar effect. But cannabinoids are a very exciting prospect in oncology, and studies such as ours serve to establish the best ways that they should be used to maximise a therapeutic effect,” lead researcher Dr. Wai Liu said in ScienceDaily.com.
The current findings were reflective of a 2013 study, also carried out by Dr. Liu, which demonstrated the compound’s potential in combating leukemia. As part or research, the oncologist tested six cannabinoid variants, either independently or in conjunction with each other, against leukemia cells. The researcher found that the compounds spurred significant declines in cancer cell viability and simultaneously inhibited all phases of the cell cycle.
“There’s quite a lot of cancers that should respond quite nicely to these cannabis agents. If you talk about a drug company that spent billions of pounds trying to develop these new drugs that target these pathways, cannabis does exactly the same thing – or certain elements of cannabis compounds do exactly the same thing – so you have something that is naturally produced which impacts the same pathways that these fantastic drugs that cost billions also work on. By using these drugs in combination with each other we can actually get an enhanced effect, and what that means is that we can – after doing some further studies – take this into the clinic and hopefully get the medication that can be used in patients in the next 12 to 18 months,” study author Wai Liu said in USNews.com.
However, the health expert cautioned that the compounds may not work on all types of cancer. According to Dr. Liu, it is currently unclear whether smoking marijuana will produce similar benefits in patients. He also noted that he will not recommend smoking marijuana to treat leukemia as it remains uncertain how various chemicals interacts inside a patient’s body. (Related: Cannabis oils found to naturally treat certain types of cancer)
There is nothing quite so horrendous and heartbreaking as a baby with a malignant brain tumor, especially for parents and family. But at the same time, there is little as joyous and uplifting as seeing those tumors go away – and without the costly "assistance" of the corporate medical industry.
Recently, the father of an eight-month-old baby decided he would shun traditional radiation treatment and chemotherapy and instead push for an alternative treatment using cannabis oil. The baby's physician, Dr. William Courtner, who was initially skeptical earlier in his career about medical cannabis, has since seen such impressive results with it that he's not a big believer and a staunch advocate.
And the baby, by the way, was a huge reason for his conversion.
"They were putting cannabinoid oil on the baby's pacifier twice a day, increasing the dose... And within two months there was a dramatic reduction, enough that the pediatric oncologist allowed them to go ahead with not pursuing traditional therapy," Courtney said in an interview with The Huffington Post.
At four months the tumor had completely disappeared, and after eight months of treatment, the brain architecture and tissues were completely normal, making the toddler a "miracle baby" in Courtney's words.
The physician further noted that successful application of cannabis in this case means that "this child, because of that, is not going to have the long-term side effects that would come from a very high dose of chemotherapy or radiation... currently the child's being called a miracle baby, and I would have to agree that this is the perfect response that we should be insisting is frontline therapy for all children before they launch off on all medications that have horrific long term side effects."
Long before voters in some states have approved ballot measures legalizing marijuana for recreational use (it is still against federal law, by the way), many states permitted the use of pot to treat various medical conditions – from cancers and asthma to neurodegenerative diseases and autoimmune disorders.
This makes sense, because numerous studies have shown that cannabis has incredible healing qualities, and that is particularly true for cancers. Indeed, as we have reported, the National Cancer Institute has documented more than two dozen studies on how incredible the healing power of cannabis is.
In animal tests, for instance, researchers have found that cannabis is effective in treating two forms of highly lethal liver cancer – hepatic adenoma tumors and hepatocellular carcinoma.
We reported further:
Benign tumors in other organs, such as the pancreas, testes, uterus and mammary and pituitary glands, were diminished as well. Several reviews also found that cannabinoids appear to encourage cancer cell death (apoptosis), while preserving normal cells. Moreover, cannabis induces programmed cell death in breast cancer cell lines and offers protection against both colorectal and lung cancer.
And, as the Free Thought Project has noted, even the mainstream media appears to be admitting to the fact that cannabis has wonderful medical qualities. As CNN has reported, there are at least 10 medical conditions cannabis appears to relieve.
Also, the network's chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, says it's time for a "medical marijuana revolution." What's more, he said based on his research for a series of documentaries on medical marijuana, there is growing support among varied political constituencies and the medical community for Congress to reschedule marijuana from Class 1 (narcotic) to something much more benign (and fitting).
Dr. Gupta is right – there is so much that is truly revolutionary about cannabis and marijuana, especially when it comes to treating cancer, so much that you'd be simply amazed.
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