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There Is No Scientific Evidence That Cannabis Cures Cancer In Humans – Yet.

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cannabis oil in syringe

Cannabis Oil

Most of the evidence concerning cannabis and cancer is in vitro or in vivo (animals). There is virtually none in humans, only human cell lines in petri dishes. There is no evidence of a curative effect. The only clinical trial was purified THC fed directly into glioma brain tumours in nine patients. Eight showed some benefit but all were dead within one year.

The evidence almost certainly will come but it does not yet exist and may require specific extracts, concentrates or other processes to produce reliable, consistent, clinical results.

This is a pre-publication extract from ‘Medicinal Cannabis:The Evidence’, the most comprehensive and up to date review of the evidence on medicinal cannabis, shortly to be published by CLEAR.

Studies And Clinical Trials

Cancer

The anti cancer properties of THC, CBD, CBG and other cannabinoids are well established.  Scientists have been investigating them since the early 1970s and more than 1100 papers on cannabinoids and cancer have been published. (42)

It is also well established that cannabis helps with the side effects of cancer treatments, particularly nausea and lack of appetite. (43,44,45,46)

Cannabis may also help alleviate anxiety, depression, insomnia and mood disorders in cancer patients.  However, some patients may find exactly the opposite results (47)

A very large quantity of anecdotal reports detail remarkable results with cannabis oil on many different forms of cancer. (48) One of the most important properties of cannabis as a cancer therapy is that it is non-toxic and even if little therapeutic effect is achieved, it causes little harm.

On balance, while there is good evidence of anti cancer properties in vitro (human cell lines) and in vivo (animal) studies, there is little evidence of actual results in humans except in the treatment of basal cell carcinoma (49). However, few would disagree that the palliative value of cannabis is of great benefit to many cancer patients. (50)

Clinical trials are underway on cancer pain (51) and the treatment of glioma brain cancer (52).

These selected studies indicate the evidence currently available.

Cannabinoids and cancer: potential for colorectal cancer therapy. Biochem Soc Trans. 2005. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16042581 (53)

A pilot clinical study of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol in patients with recurrent glioblastoma multiforme, British Journal of Cancer, 2006 http://www.nature.com/bjc/journal/v95/n2/full/6603236a.html (54)

Cannabinoids for Cancer Treatment: Progress and Promise. Cancer Res. 2008. http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/68/2/339 (55)

Cannabidiol Induces Programmed Cell Death in Breast Cancer Cells by Coordinating the Cross-talk between Apoptosis and Autophagy. Mol Cancer Ther., 2011. http://mct.aacrjournals.org/content/10/7/1161.long (56)

The intersection between cannabis and cancer in the United States. CROH, 2011. http://www.croh-online.com/article/S1040-8428(11)00231-9/fulltext (57)

Cannabinoids: a new hope for breast cancer therapy? Cancer Treat Rev. 2012 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22776349 (58)

Towards the use of cannabinoids as antitumour agents. Nat Rev Cancer. 2012 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22555283 (59)

Cannabis Extract Treatment for Terminal Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia with a Philadelphia Chromosome Mutation. Case Rep Oncol. 2013. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3901602/ (60)

Non-hallucinogenic cannabinoids are effective anti-cancer drugs. Anticancer Research, 2013. http://www.sgul.ac.uk/news/news/study-shows-non-hallucinogenic-cannabinoids-are-effective-anti-cancer-drugs (61)

Cannabidiol as potential anticancer drug. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2013. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22506672%20 (62)

Cannabis, cannabinoids and cancer – the evidence so far. Cancer Research UK, 2014. http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2012/07/25/cannabis-cannabinoids-and-cancer-the-evidence-so-far/ (63)

The Combination of Cannabidiol and Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol Enhances the Anticancer Effects of Radiation in an Orthotopic Murine Glioma Model. Mol.Cancer.Ther. 2014. http://mct.aacrjournals.org/content/13/12/2955 (64)

References

42. PubMed search term ‘cannabinoid cancer’ http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=cannabinoid%20cancer

43. Cannabis and Cannabinoids. National Cancer Institute, 2014 http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/cam/cannabis/healthprofessional/page5

44. Cannabinoids in medicine: A review of their therapeutic potential. JEthPharm, 2006. http://www.ww.ufcw770.org/sites/all/themes/danland/files/CannabinoidsMedMetaAnalysis06.pdf

45. Review on clinical studies with cannabis and cannabinoids 2005-2009. IACM 2010. http://www.cannabis-med.org/data/pdf/en_2010_01_special.pdf

46. Medical marijuana for cancer. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, 2014. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.3322/caac.21260/abstract

47. Cannabis and Cannabinoids. National Cancer Institute, 2014 http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/cam/cannabis/healthprofessional/page5

48. Cannabis Oil Testimonials. Cure Your Own Cancer, 2014. http://www.cureyourowncancer.org/testimonials.html

49. Physician’s documentation confirms successful treatment of basal cell carcinoma resulted from the application of a topical cannabis extract. Cannabis Science, 2011. http://www.cannabisscience.com/2011/499-cannabis-science-provides-physician-s-documentation-that-confirms-successful-treatment-of-skin-cancer

50. Cannabis in Palliative Medicine: Improving Care and Reducing Opioid-Related Morbidity. AM J HOSP PALLIAT CARE, 2011. http://ajh.sagepub.com/content/28/5/297

51. Third phase III Sativex cancer pain trial commences http://www.gwpharm.com/Third%20phase%20III%20Sativex%20cancer%20pain%20trial%20commences.aspx

52. GW Pharmaceuticals Commences Phase 1b/2a Clinical Trial for the Treatment of Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) http://is.gd/Wac81a

53. Cannabinoids and cancer: potential for colorectal cancer therapy. Biochem Soc Trans. 2005. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16042581

54. A pilot clinical study of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol in patients with recurrent glioblastoma multiforme, British Journal of Cancer, 2006 http://www.nature.com/bjc/journal/v95/n2/full/6603236a.html

55. Cannabinoids for Cancer Treatment: Progress and Promise. Cancer Res. 2008. http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/68/2/339

56. Cannabidiol Induces Programmed Cell Death in Breast Cancer Cells by Coordinating the Cross-talk between Apoptosis and Autophagy. Mol Cancer Ther., 2011. http://mct.aacrjournals.org/content/10/7/1161.long

57. The intersection between cannabis and cancer in the United States. CROH, 2011. http://www.croh-online.com/article/S1040-8428(11)00231-9/fulltext

58. Cannabinoids: a new hope for breast cancer therapy? Cancer Treat Rev. 2012 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22776349

59. Towards the use of cannabinoids as antitumour agents. Nat Rev Cancer. 2012 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22555283

60. Cannabis Extract Treatment for Terminal Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia with a Philadelphia Chromosome Mutation. Case Rep Oncol. 2013. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3901602/

61. Non-hallucinogenic cannabinoids are effective anti-cancer drugs. Anticancer Research, 2013. http://www.sgul.ac.uk/news/news/study-shows-non-hallucinogenic-cannabinoids-are-effective-anti-cancer-drugs

62. Cannabidiol as potential anticancer drug. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2013. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22506672%20

63. Cannabis, cannabinoids and cancer – the evidence so far. Cancer Research UK, 2014. http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2012/07/25/cannabis-cannabinoids-and-cancer-the-evidence-so-far/

64. The Combination of Cannabidiol and Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol Enhances the Anticancer Effects of Radiation in an Orthotopic Murine Glioma Model. Mol.Cancer.Ther. 2014. http://mct.aacrjournals.org/content/13/12/2955

Written by Peter Reynolds

March 25, 2015 at 9:29 am

The BBC Finally Wakes Up To the Potential Of Medicinal Cannabis.

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bbc cannab headerSome people think the BBC is right wing and others think it’s run by a bunch of commie subversives.  Personally I’d say it’s soft left, mumsy, pro-status quo.  It supports the establishment and that means it’s always been negative about cannabis.  If it isn’t joining in the demonisation of us – the three million psychotic axe murderers that use cannabis regularly in the UK – then it takes a jokey, sarcastic, snide angle.

Alistair Leithead.

Alistair Leithead

So the release of a short news video report today ‘Can cannabis oil cure serious diseases like cancer?’ is a big step forward.  Even better, it’s fronted by Alastair Leithead, a credible, intelligent journalist, not by some ‘celebrity doctor’ or the ‘addiction expert’ Professor John Marsden, who presented the disgraceful and misleading ‘America’s Stoned Kids’ in 2012, where he tried to pin adolescents with cannabis problems on Colorado’s legalisation even though it hadn’t even come into force at the time.

Professor

Professor John Marsden

Mark my words, this is a step change, a seminal moment.

Perhaps, at last, the UK media will start treating medicinal cannabis seriously as has been happening in America and Australia for many years.  We’ve already seen some local newspapers publishing intelligent articles and the Daily Mail has jumped on the bandwagon of sensationalist stories about treating childhood epilepsy.  All we need now is The Times, The Guardian and the Sundays to give it the attention it deserves.  The Daily Telegraph has become the new home of ‘reefer madness’, with appalling distortion of science, more tabloid than a tabloid.  But we don’t need it anymore, it’s made itself irrelevant.

bbc cannabis oil 2bbc cannabis oilSo watch this short video.  It includes interviews with Kat Arney of Cancer Research UK, a woman who is cancer free after rejecting chemotherapy and only using cannabis oil and a sceptical Professor David Agus, who is entirely correct that there is no credible scientific evidence yet available that cannabis cures cancer.

It’s coming though.  CLEAR is about to publish the most comprehensive, up to date paper ‘Medicinal Cannabis:The Evidence’.  A leading pharmacologist is about to publish a paper supporting a move of cannabis from schedule one to schedule two and various clinical trials are coming to fruition.

All the more reason to be optimistic that the next Parliament will have no option but to introduce long-overdue reform.

A Vision Of The Future Of Cannabis.

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Written by Peter Reynolds

March 6, 2015 at 8:49 pm

Channel 4 Drugs Live. How To Cause Confusion About Cannabis.

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Hash

Hash

What is this ‘hash’ that looks like weed and this ‘skunk’ that isn’t cannabis?

Channel 4’s ‘Drugs Live:Cannabis On Trial‘ played fast and loose with facts, terminology and ethical considerations.

Cannabis

Cannabis

To be fair, I greatly enjoyed the programme (well I would wouldn’t I) and there was some fascinating science. Particularly about how the brain responds to music when you’re high and about how CBD protects the ‘salience network’, the key to motivation.  This gives weight to the theory of an ‘amotivational syndrome’.

In a week’s time though, all that most of the public will remember is Jon Snow saying that using ‘skunk’ was more terrifying than being in a war zone and his distorted reporting of the recent study by which he implied that 25% of people who use ‘skunk’ will become psychotic.

So I am left with very mixed feelings.  The pre-publicity was a disgrace: inaccurate, misleading, unethical  – words I have already published and I stand by them.

The brazen misuse of the terms ‘skunk’ and ‘hash’ is an appalling error of judgement by Channel 4, Renegade Pictures and yes, sadly, by two scientists for whom I have the greatest  of respect: Professors Val Curran and David Nutt.

Why would you choose to use the same word as the gutter press chooses to demonise cannabis? ‘Skunk’ is a scary word and what it really means is a sativa dominant strain with a modest THC content of 8% and only traces of CBD.

As for hash, it also has a specific meaning: the compressed resin, derived from the plant by sieving or by hand rubbing.  By definition a more concentrated form of cannabis, yet the programme claimed exactly the opposite.

A far better, more accurate, more scientific and informative shorthand would have been to describe the cannabis as low CBD, high CBD and placebo.

Surely, whether we agree or disagree with their evidence, we are entitled to expect precision and accuracy from scientists?

The fundamental problem with this programme was that there were no cannabis experts present, only detached academics and scientists or cannabis users who were hardly well informed or articulate.  I did of course volunteer but for some reason the producers saw fit to exclude anyone from the cannabis campaign or anyone who has both in depth knowledge and real experience.

Unfortunately, this programme will go the same way as all those other earnest endeavours, ‘The Union’, ‘The Culture High’, ‘In Pot We Trust’, etc – all very enjoyable, self-affirming and satisfying but all preaching to the choir. I’ll be interested to see what the viewing figures were for last night’s programme.

Professor David Nutt and his Harm Index.

Professor David Nutt and his Harm Index.

The best bit was David Nutt’s final conclusion. On his scale of harms, even low CBD cannabis (the demon ‘SKUNK’)  is less harmful than alcohol, heroin, crack, meth, cocaine, tobacco and speed.  After the study he concludes that high CBD cannabis is the least harmful drug of all.

Channel 4 Cannabis Programme. Irresponsible, Unethical, Misleading.

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Jon Snow Cannabis experiment sensationalismThe pre-publicity for next week’s programme ‘Drugs Live: Cannabis on Trial’ has been nothing but a repeat of 1930s ‘Reefer Madness’. See ‘Jon Snow gets the inside dope on skunk’ for his commentary and a video.

It is tragic that respected journalists, Jon Snow and Matthew Paris, both of whom have been intelligent opponents of the disastrous drugs war, have been duped and manipulated into being used as sensationalist propaganda by an unscrupulous production company, Renegade Pictures.  After Channel 4’s prejudicial and hate-mongering programme, Benefits Street, one would have hoped that its editors would have learned lessons and resolved to take a more responsible approach.

David Abraham, CEO, Channel 4

David Abraham, CEO, Channel 4

I have been in correspondence with Renegade Pictures, with UCL, which is responsible for ethical approval of the study and with Jon Snow.  Today I have written to the Chief Executive of Channel 4.

David Abraham
Chief Executive
Channel 4
124, Horseferry Road
London
SW1P 2TX

Dear Mr Abraham,

Drugs Live: Cannabis on Trial. Due for broadcast 3rd March 2015

There are compelling reasons why you should halt the broadcast of this programme in its present form. It is grossly irresponsible, deeply unethical and highly misleading.

I write as the elected leader of more than 320,000 supporters of cannabis law reform. CLEAR represents more people than all other UK drugs policy groups combined. I have made repeated attempts to engage with the producers of this programme, Renegade Pictures, but apart from one acknowledgement my correspondence has been ignored. This is an open letter which will be published on the CLEAR website.

A comprehensive complaint will be made to OFCOM if the programme is broadcast in its present form and I am already in touch with UCL on the question of ethics. At this stage I want to draw to your attention to conclusive evidence of the unethical basis of this programme.

The study being conducted by Professors Curran and Nutt is important science. However, it is not original and the outcome is a foregone conclusion. It is well established in other research and widely understood that CBD moderates the psychoactive effects of THC.

The cannabis used in the programme is not ‘skunk’ as claimed, it is a ‘haze’ variety produced by Bedrocan BV, the Netherlands government official producer of medicinal cannabis. It is prescribed as medicine by doctors in Holland, Belgium, Italy, Germany and Canada.

I would refer you to the Netherlands Office for Medicinal Cannabis, which regulates Bedrocan products. It publishes guidelines for medical professionals which can be seen here: BEDROCAN GUIDELINES

On using a vapouriser these state:

“Inhale a few times until the desired effect is reached or until psychological side-effects occur. Wait 5-15 minutes after the first inhalation and wait between inhalations.”

If you now observe the ludicrous overdose that Jon Snow and Matthew Paris were subjected to, you will understand how gravely irresponsible is the conduct of the programme’s producers.

Aside from the impact on the individuals concerned, this programme will present a highly misleading and false impression of the use of cannabis which millions of British people participate in every day.

I urge you to take prompt action and stop the broadcast of this programme in its present form.

Kind regards,

yours sincerely,

Peter Reynolds

 

‘Skunk’ Drives Tabloids And Politicians Mad.

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Tom Chivers, Ian Dunt and Jonathan Liebling expose the dreadful reporting of the latest cannabis harms study from the husband and wife team of Professor Sir Robin Murray and Dr Marta Di Forti.

The British tabloid press has long been engaged in the corruption of our society and successive governments’ ability to deal with drugs policy by its sensationalism, distortion and dishonesty.

In fact the worst offender now is the Daily Telegraph, a tabloid in everything except format. It now eclipses the Mail newspapers for inaccurate, misleading and distorted reporting on all aspects of drugs policy. Its science and medicine writers are either deliberately engaged in deception or utterly incompetent. Virtually every story it publishes on drugs these days has to be retracted but you never hear about it because it’s buried in a tiny, tiny correction.

Here’s what happened to its ridiculous claim recently “cannabis as addictive as heroin”

DT headline 071014

The Mail newspapers can’t resist the stories about the miraculous medicinal benefits of cannabis because they make such good sensationalism. So although they still publish hogwash, like this latest distortion, they’ve actually become more balanced almost by mistake.

Why is the British press so incompetent and/or malevolent on drugs? Is it anything to do with the £800 million pa that the alcohol industry spends on press advertising? I don’t know. Maybe it just likes to appeal to the fast dwindling band of bigots that actually buy newspapers these days.

We are a laughing stock across the world for the idiocy of our press and government, particularly in respect of cannabis. In Canada and Israel, hospitals provide elderly patients with cannabis vapourisers on trollies, so strong is the evidence for its beneficial effects on aging and dementia. Here of course we prefer to let them lie in their own excreta while feeding them with scaremongering nonsense, distortion and exaggeration of scientific studies.

Sugar, peanuts, hay fever remedies, aspirin, paracetamol and traffic fumes cause far more health harms than cannabis.

In Colorado, in 2014, $44 million in cannabis tax revenue was ringfenced for schools and hospitals. Since legalisation, crime and fatal traffic accidents are down 15%, murder is down 50%.

Far too sensible for Britain isn’t it? And it’s the work of our gutter press that prevents such progress here because politicians still give newspapers far too much respect.

The Monstrous, Cruel and Ignorant Health Minister Of Jersey.

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Deputy Anne Pryke

Deputy Anne Pryke

“It would be irresponsible to allow the importation of cannabis into Jersey.  I could not support a proposition to issue a special licence to an individual for the possession of illegal cannabis in its raw form, where neither the quality nor composition of the product, its safety, dosage or levels of individual use could be effectively monitored and I would urge members to vote firmly against this proposition.”

Deputy Anne Pryke, September 2014

Jersey is in an enviable position regarding medicinal cannabis.  As a Crown dependency the island has constitutional rights of self-government and judicial independence. It is within the power of Deputy Pryke, the Minister of Health, to issue a licence for Bedrocan medicinal cannabis to be imported from Holland where it is grown legally for medicinal purposes under the regulation of the Dutch government.

A formal States petition has been delivered and Deputy Montford Tadier (the Jersey equivalent of an MP) has requested that an import licence be issued for his constituent, Evelyn Volante who suffers from ulcerative colitis.  See a video about her use of medicinal cannabis here. You see above the disgraceful, monstrous, cruel and ignorant words which Deputy Pryke has spoken in response.

Now these are strong words.  Too strong for the people at Politics Jersey, where my description of this politician’s conduct met with wide support but then I was kicked out by the admin team who described it as a “personal attack” and an “insult”.

I repeat my description of Deputy Pryke’s conduct as monstrous and cruel. If we cannot call out politicians for actions they take or words they speak in their official capacity then what sort of democracy do they have in Jersey?

To deny anyone access to a medicine that is proven by science to treat a serious medical condition is monstrous and cruel in any and all circumstances.  This is a self-evident truth which renders Deputy Pryke unfit to hold any office in government, particularly that of Minister of Health.

Deputy Pryke’s words are also astonishingly ignorant.  It is clear that she has been negligent in her duty properly to consider the evidence relating to cannabis and ulcerative colitis.

Cannabis works for all forms of inflammatory bowel disease because the bowel contains CB1 and CB2 receptors which when modulated by cannabis turn off inflammation. Thus it provides more than simply palliative relief.  It actually treats the cause of the conditions.  For all intents and purposes it is a cure.

Bedrocan cannabis, as approved and regulated by the Dutch government’s Bureau voor Medicinale Cannabis, is strictly quality controlled and its composition and safety are at least as well proven as any pharmaceutical product.  As for levels of individual use, this is the same as with any medicine and is controlled by the amount prescribed.

1. The best evidence of all is Ms Volante’s own experience.  She already uses cannabis, illegally, and it works better for her than the highly toxic and debilitating pharmaceutical medicines which are offered by her doctor.

2. There is a vast quantity of anecdotal evidence and personal experience from thousands of people around the world using cannabis effectively to treat ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and other forms of inflammatory bowel disease.  Deputy Pryke could spend 15 minutes on Google.

3.  Many peer reviewed studies show positive benefits and few adverse side effects from treating ulcerative colitis with cannabis.  The following are just a small selection

Esposito G et al. Cannabidiol in inflammatory bowel disease: a brief overview. Phytotherapy Research 2012 July; doi:10.1002/ptr.4781
Lahat A et al. Impact of cannabis treatment on the quality of life, weight and clinical disease activity in inflammatory bowel disease patients: a pilot prospective study. Digestion 2012; 85(1): 1-8
Lal S et al. Cannabis use amongst patients with inflammatory bowel disease. European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology 2011 Oct; 23(10): 891-96
Naftali T et al. Treatment of Crohn’s disease with cannabis: an observational study. Israel Medical Association Journal 2011 Aug; 1(8): 455-58

4. GW Pharmaceuticals is presently conducting phase II clinical trials into cannabis for ulcerative colitis.

5. The Meir Medical Center in Israel is also conducting clinical trials and claims 90% of patients achieve significant clinical benefit with no side effects.

 

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