Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Dr Internet Prescribes Cannabis to Cure Cancer

A while back, I wrote about low-dose naltrexone, being  promoted on the internet to cure multiple conditions, including all autoimmune diseases, and HIV/AIDS.  Research into the possibility of this actually being true was in very, very rudimentary stages.

Today, I found this delight on Facebook:
 https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/s480x480/528815_10150973418628381_1556364586_n.jpg

What's the truth?

Well, looking for some reliable research on the net, what I've found is that there is research being done - it's even started on mice. It's a very long way from clinical trials on humans.

One of the allegations I saw on Facebook, was that there was a cover-up.  Clearly that's not true, because the actual research is out there for people to read.

There are lots of personal "stories" anecdotal evidence of people using this product - and getting good results, but there's nothing to say it's the cannabis that caused the good results or the standard medical treatment people were already taking.


In mice and petri dishes, cannabinols have been shown to do things like cause cell death, and stop blood flow to tumour cells. These things might be useful in some future cancer treatment derived from these chemicals. There are also early signs of there being unwanted effects from the chemicals - including encouraging some cancer cells to grow.

There has been one clinical trial (trial with human patients), which was with patients with advanced brain cancer. Most of the patients had some response to the drug, but all died within a year.



The lesson, as with LDN, is that just because something is promising in early research, doesn't mean it's instantly a cure.

It certainly doesn't mean it's safe to use - especially, it doesn't mean it's safe to use in humans.  It doesn't mean that there's any knowledge whatsoever as to what dangerous interractions it might have with other drugs. It means it's worth more investigation. Hopefully, that research will take us closer to actual cures.

References:

Cancer Research UK: Science Blog Update: Cannabis, Cannabinoids and Cancer - the Evidence So Far http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2012/07/25/cannabis-cannabinoids-and-cancer-the-evidence-so-far/
International Cannabinoid Research Society http://cannabinoidsociety.org/
MailOnline: Boy with Brain Cancer is "cured" after secretly being fed medical marijuana by his father.  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1383240/Boy-brain-cancer-cured-secretly-fed-medical-marijuana-father.html  (Note, in this case the boy was not just taking marijuana, but also the standard chemotherapy that is usually used to cure this kind of cancer.)
PubMed (List of Cannabinoid/Cancer Research papers) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=cannabinoid%20cancer



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