U.S. Agency Admits Marijuana May Help Malignant Brain Tumors
Credit: abodftyh
April 20, 2015

Glioma tumors are devastating, so it's encouraging that at least one government agency is acknowledging reality, Via VICE News:

Researchers have been studying the medical benefits of marijuana for years, but this month marks the first time the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), a research group funded by the US government, has acknowledged that cannabis extracts may help kill certain cancer cells and reduce the size of others.

NIDA quietly revised a page on its website titled, "DrugFacts: Is Marijuana Medicine?" this month to state that, "Evidence from one cell culture study suggests that purified extracts from whole-plant marijuana can slow the growth of cancer cells from one of the most serious types of brain tumors."

The update acknowledges research published last November in the journal Molecular Cancer Therapies by scientists from St. George's, University of London. The researchers found that THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in weed, and cannabidiol, an extract, caused "dramatic reductions" in the growth of glioma tumors in mice. Glioma accounts for 80 percent of malignant brain tumors in humans.

"We've shown that cannabinoids could play a role in treating one of the most aggressive cancers in adults," Dr. Wai Liu, lead author of the study, wrote in an op-ed for the Huffington Post last year. Previous studies have shown that THC may have anti-tumor benefits, but the wrong dose can potentially increase the size of tumors.

Marijuana's legal status and the stigma surrounding the plant have significantly hindered scientific research of its potential benefits. It is still considered a Schedule I controlled substance, alongside heroin, LSD, ecstasy, and other drugs the US government says have "no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse."

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