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  Active Ingredient in Marijuana Kills Brain Cancer
Posted by CN Staff on April 01, 2009 at 15:21:44 PT
HealthDay News 
Source: Forbes Magazine 

medical HealthDay News -- New research out of Spain suggests that THC -- the active ingredient in marijuana -- appears to prompt the death of brain cancer cells.

The finding is based on work with mice designed to carry human cancer tumors, as well as from an analysis of THC's impact on tumor cells extracted from two patients coping with a highly aggressive form of brain cancer.

Explaining that the introduction of THC into the brain triggers a cellular self-digestion process known as "autophagy," study co-author Guillermo Velasco said his team has isolated the specific pathway by which this process unfolds, and noted that it appears "to kill cancer cells, while it does not affect normal cells."

Velasco is with the department of biochemistry and molecular biology in the School of Biology at Complutense University in Madrid. The findings were published in the April issue of The Journal of Clinical Investigation.

The Spanish researchers focused on two patients suffering from "recurrent glioblastoma multiforme," a fast-moving form of brain cancer. Both patients had been enrolled in a clinical trial designed to test THC's potential as a cancer therapy.

Using electron microscopes to analyze brain tissue taken both before and after a 26- to 30-day THC treatment regimen, the researchers found that THC eliminated cancer cells while it left healthy cells intact.

The team also was able, in what it described as a "novel" discovery, to track the signaling route by which this process was activated.

These findings were replicated in work with mice, which had been "engineered" to carry three different types of human cancer tumor grafts.

"These results may help to design new cancer therapies based on the use of medicines containing the active principle of marijuana and/or in the activation of autophagy," Velasco said.

Outside experts suggested that more research is needed before advocating marijuana as a medicinal intervention for brain cancer.

Dr. John S. Yu, co-director of the Comprehensive Brain Tumor Program in the Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, said the findings were "not surprising."

"There have been previous reports to this effect as well," he said. "So this is yet another indication that THC has an anti-cancer effect, which means it's certainly worth further study. But it does not suggest that one should jump at marijuana for a potential cure for cancer, and one should not urge anyone to start smoking pot right away as a means of curing their own cancer."

But that's exactly what many brain cancer patients have been doing, said Dr. Paul Graham Fisher, the Beirne Family director of Neuro-Oncology at Stanford University.

"In fact, 40 percent of brain tumor patients in the U.S. are already using alternative treatments, ranging from herbals to vitamins to marijuana," he said.

"But that actually points out a cautionary tale here, which is that many brain cancer patients are already rolling a joint to treat themselves, but we're not really seeing brain tumors suddenly going away as a result, which we clearly would've noticed if it had that effect. So we need to be open-minded. But this suggests that the promise of THC might be a little over-hoped, and certainly requires further investigation before telling people to go out and roll a joint."

More information:

For additional details on the risks and benefits of marijuana use as it relates to cancer, visit the American Cancer Society.

Newshawk: Cheebs1
Source: Forbes Magazine (US)
Published: April 1, 2009
Copyright: 2009 Forbes Inc.

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Comment #31 posted by JustinK on April 03, 2009 at 09:59:27 PT:

Cannabis DOES cure cancer!
This study only reaffirms the fact that cannabis is indeed the cure for cancer. A man named Rick Simpson has used a highly concentrated cannabis extract medicine known as hemp oil to cure hundreds of people of all types of cancer, including terminal cancer! He has also cured many other diseases, including diabetes, MS, arthritis, pain disorders, mental disorders, and more. In the words of Rick Simpson, "There is no other way to describe this medicine other than a cure-all." With studies like these, that show THC does indeed kill cancer cells, is it any coincidence there is a man who is actually curing cancer with highly concentrated, natural THC?

Please visit to learn more about hemp oil, as well as to watch the documentary about hemp oil, "Run From the Cure". Jack Herer, the most famous cannabis activist in the world, is a strong supporter of Rick, and has a page dedicated to him on his website:

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #30 posted by konagold on April 02, 2009 at 21:45:18 PT
old news

[since this is a repeated story please let me repeat the reply]

in 1975 the report titled the "antioneoplastic activity of cannabinoids" demonstrated the effect cited above

as a parent of a 7 year old who got a terminal diagnosis of an undifferentiated abdominal sarcoma in dec. 1979 with a 3 month life expectancy and who was then asked if I could get any 'grass' by the boys oncologist and who subsequently not only witnessed the control of "uncontrolable dry heaves" in a small boy with over one hundred fresh stitches in his gut after only one hit of 'konagold' administered in Kaipolani Childrens hospital in Honolulu and who also witnessed him gaining a 18 month timespan rather than only 3 prior to passing: I have been outraged ever since I discovered this buried report in 1993

had I known in 1980 of the existence of the then 5 year old report I would have supplied even MORE Cannabis to Ryan

however the stigma stated to Ryan from others undermined his belief of us providing this CANCER CURE to him

I testified repeatedly about Ryan and repeatedly submitted copies of the antineoplastic activity of cannabinoids over 3 legislative sessions and told of our experience in Hawaii's legislature and was subsequently invited to the Governors office when Hawaii became the first state to legalize medicinal Cannabis through the legislature rather than ballot initiative

the Cannabis laws are not only RACIST AND SEXIST [proof: the term 'marijuana' which is Mexican slang-the Racist part- implying it takes two women Mary and Jane to satisfy the sexual desires supposedly resulting from Cannabis-the Sexist part by objectifying women] but cruel and unusual punishment of the sick

shame on any judge cop or jailer who receives any part of their salary to further this evil inhumanity to the PEOPLE

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #29 posted by FoM on April 02, 2009 at 08:13:28 PT
Did you hear what the theme was this year? It is Capitalism. I was surprised.

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #28 posted by FoM on April 02, 2009 at 08:09:38 PT
I was so use to seeing Bush protests sign I kept looking for some on Obama but I didn't see one. I like how the Bobbies handled the crowd. I don't think they even have guns just billy clubs. It's amazing to see that to me.

Years ago when I was posting on Marihemp I had a free forum that I could post pictures and articles on. I covered in detail the WTO in Seattle and to this day those pictures are imprinted in my mind.

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #27 posted by ekim on April 02, 2009 at 08:03:16 PT
where are protest signs
been looking for this news in the sea of protesters in London.

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #26 posted by runruff on April 02, 2009 at 07:44:11 PT
All the high water marks in the war on cannabis have been set by past republicans. [Clinton was a complete sellout, so we won't site him]

I wrote you a long history, right here, illustrating how over the years the rebups got us here and why. Then something happened and it all erased!-drat!

Please do an overview of the last 70 years in question and then you might agree with me.

The modern-day repubs are known for their social engineering and restricting personal freedoms!

eacepaay: means peace in the land where pigs speak Latin.

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #25 posted by GeoChemist on April 02, 2009 at 07:21:34 PT
I agree whole-heartedly
with Runruff. Don't call a pile of s*#t anything but s*#t. What's the difference between a republician and a spastic colon?

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #24 posted by FoM on April 02, 2009 at 06:47:52 PT
It's nice to see you. We are on a roll now that we have a progressive President in office.

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #23 posted by FoM on April 02, 2009 at 05:38:37 PT
Thank you.

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #22 posted by The GCW on April 02, 2009 at 05:17:35 PT
In some ways, You're right; there are Republicans who want to Re-legalize.

And more and more Repubs are changing their minds about cannabis.

And We need them in order to get the job done.

On the other hand, Repubs have stood out as the enemy of cannabis, overall.

We've seen Republican after Republican against any and all issues concerning cannabis for a long time. The Dems have not been so bad as the Repubs, although there are plenty of Dems against the plant too.

It's been an obvious pattern to see so many Repubs against cannabis that it has become easy to think of cannabis prohibition as mostly a Republican baby.


If the shoe fits and they don't like it, they can change shoes.

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #21 posted by AZMMPP2010 on April 02, 2009 at 03:20:24 PT:

Hey man, not cool. This issue is beyond political affiliation. This cuts across all lines because it is fundamentally about freedom, and concerns us all. Pointing fingers and playing the blame game isn't helping any. I know plenty of Republicans who want to legalize it.

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #20 posted by runruff on April 02, 2009 at 02:45:35 PT
I went shopping today for a double standard.
I couldn't find one that felt compfortable so I kept my old single standard integrity. It is worn and broke in real good and I understand it.

Maybe if I shopped where the republicans shop I could find me some nice new double standard morals and integrity?

Any of y'all know where that is?

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #19 posted by AZMMPP2010 on April 02, 2009 at 02:44:55 PT:

A New Renaissance
When I read things like this it reminds me of what scholars of the Renaissance must have felt like after re-discovering the texts of the ancient world. But only now because of the Internet and modern technology is everyone able to know that cannabis is medicine rather than only a handful of shamans and witchdoctors. The spark of knowledge is lighting a brush fire across our great land and across the world, in the mind of the young and the minds of the old. Burn baby, burn!

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #18 posted by SystemGoneDown on April 01, 2009 at 21:27:19 PT
What's Up
Haven't checked in since Obama took office. What's new in the world?

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #17 posted by greenmed on April 01, 2009 at 20:42:18 PT
You're welcome.

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #16 posted by FoM on April 01, 2009 at 20:39:27 PT
Thank you for the link.

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #15 posted by greenmed on April 01, 2009 at 20:25:12 PT
link to JCI article
Here's a link to the original article:

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #14 posted by The GCW on April 01, 2009 at 18:44:30 PT
Cannabis is HUGE.
The leaves of the tree of life are for the healing of the nations. -see the last page of the Bible.

Cannabis has a known history of helping people with brain trauma. If I remember right, the Israeli army and hospitals stock THC or a THC type medication for when people get head injuries because it helps keep the brain from swelling, which is fatal. It gives doctors time to work.

Another brain problem, Alzheimer’s is treated with cannabis. Isn't that a brain / memory disorder.

*kills brain cancer cells, stops swelling, helps Alzheimer’s, etc. etc.

I don't think doctors are simply finding out that cannabis is able to help this or that. What doctors are finding out is what God created the plant for, from the beginning.

And it's not just killing brain cancer cells. The tree of life is for healing the nations with all it's Biblical implications on a Biblical scale.

Cannabis is HUGE.


This is becoming a difficult time to be a cannabis prohibitionist.

Once cannabis is Re-legalized, who will they pick on next?

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #13 posted by FoM on April 01, 2009 at 18:27:46 PT
While I'm sleeping thru the static I have read some conservatives all of a sudden are against the drug war. I really want to know where they were when they were in power?

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #12 posted by FoM on April 01, 2009 at 18:19:28 PT
Thank you.

I believe that the only way we will see change is to work from the bottom up. I put blinkers on and try to sleep thru the static when necessary. I watch the news and let time pass and since all things must pass then I'll get all fired up and ready to go once again.

George Harrison: All Things Must Pass

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #11 posted by Sam Adams on April 01, 2009 at 18:01:48 PT
American conservative
FOM, that is extremely tough luck, my heart goes out to her and your family.

Found this on line.....I'm surprised we still have "conservatives" that are truly conservative in the traditional sense......

personally a little stirring in the media doesn't do much for me at all....if things were really changed why is the CT legislature struggling and constantly watering down a simple decrim bill? We're talking about the one of 2 gay marriage states, they are not a morally conservative state. If they can't pass a simple decrim bill we're nowhere near legal cannabis.

As I've pointed out before, it's easy to pass gay marriage, it doesn't take away any money or power from the government.

Cannabis is a different story, there is a massive government industry that will fight to the death to stop any reform. Hence the growing disconnect between the media and actual state laws

When we see many millions of dollars donated and spent on referendums sweeping the country that's when we'll know the end of prohibition is near. I predict the govt. will not do anything more until they're forced.

In fact all the medical MJ progress we're seeing now is only happening because the biggest state in the US voted for medical MJ in 1995

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #10 posted by FoM on April 01, 2009 at 16:25:55 PT
Non small cell lung cancer. It is a form of lung cancer that is more related to chemical exposure then tobacco if I am getting it right. She is only 47. It's very sad.

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #9 posted by HempWorld on April 01, 2009 at 16:22:37 PT
Marijuana Cures Cancer, Cannabis Cures Cancer!
A utophagy can promote cell survival or cell death, but the molecular basis underlying its dual role in cancer remains obscure. Here we demonstrate that Ä9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main active component of marijuana, induces human glioma cell death through stimulation of autophagy. Our data indicate that THC induced ceramide accumulation and eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2á (eIF2á) phosphorylation and thereby activated an ER stress response that promoted autophagy via tribbles homolog 3–dependent (TRB3-dependent) inhibition of the Akt/mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) axis. We also showed that autophagy is upstream of apoptosis in cannabinoid-induced human and mouse cancer cell death and that activation of this pathway was necessary for the antitumor action of cannabinoids in vivo. These findings describe a mechanism by which THC can promote the autophagic death of human and mouse cancer cells and provide evidence that cannabinoid administration may be an effective therapeutic strategy for targeting human cancers.

Abstract in PDF here:

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #8 posted by Sam Adams on April 01, 2009 at 16:20:46 PT
this news
Wasn't it Bill Hicks that said cannabis should not only be legal it should be mandatory?

That quote comes to mind with this story - could cannabis eventually become a public health story? Cannabinoids added to drinking water supplies instead of fluoride? Cannabis added to the USRDA and sprayed on breakfast cereal? Cannabis fortified milk?

One would think that we'd craft our laws to make cannabis the primary recreational drug of choice and not alcohol and tobacco.

This news means that there should be a direct correlation between cannabis use and cancer - increase cannabis and you decrease cancer, all other things being equal.

FOm sorry to hear of your niece's woes - what is NSCLC?

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #7 posted by FoM on April 01, 2009 at 16:18:43 PT
Yes they are.

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #6 posted by kaptinemo on April 01, 2009 at 16:16:21 PT:

The timing and source should be of interest
Think about it. Would you have seen anything about this published in any American news media prior to the advent of the new Administration?

In fact, we didn't, even though news of the Madrid experiments have been around since 2000. The Spanish experiments have since been replicated in other labs in Europe, such as in Milan in 2003.

Yet...not a peep out of US news media about any of it...until this 'news' broke. Now. With a new Administration at the helm. One that claims to value science as a source of policy decisions...not ideology, ignorance, fear...and just plain spiteful meanness.

Oooh, the times, they are a-changin'..."

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #5 posted by FoM on April 01, 2009 at 16:13:01 PT
Think back to that year (74) if you are old enough to remember that time. We only had news on a couple networks in the evening and if you missed it you missed it. No VCRs either.

Now we have the Internet and news becomes viral instantly. The time is right.

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #4 posted by HempWorld on April 01, 2009 at 16:08:06 PT
It's the same old research, only this time they applied it to live humans in Spain and now they've published the results.

I still wonder though, why science was not allowed to save all the cancer patients that died since 1974, courtesy of the US Gov't and the DEA.

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #3 posted by FoM on April 01, 2009 at 15:51:43 PT
They said it is new research. I hope Senator Kennedy knows about this.

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #2 posted by HempWorld on April 01, 2009 at 15:43:00 PT
We knew this since 1974, but all of a sudden, it
is big news. I wonder why after 'only' 35 years?

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #1 posted by FoM on April 01, 2009 at 15:25:46 PT
Just a Comment
I spent some time on the phone today with my niece who is in the final stages of NSCLC. This news is very bitter sweet to me. I hope we can finally end the war on this wonderfully helpful medicinal herb. There's just no time to waste anymore.

[ Post Comment ]

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