Sunday, May 27, 2012
Clinical Proof Supports Users Claims That THC Kills Cancer
In 1974, researchers at the Medical College of Virginia were given funding by the National Institute of Health (NIH) to study the effects of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on the immune system. Working on the assumption that they would find evidence to support the NIH's contention that THC damaged the immune system, the researchers discovered instead that the compound was shrinking tumors in the mice they were using for their tests. This was the first known study that showed that THC was possibly the cancer breakthrough the world was looking for.
The Virginia study was abruptly cut short by the FDA and the results of were suppressed. It wasn't until 1998 that a research group led by Dr. Manuel Guzman at Complutense University, Spain discovered the same thing. This time, they were able to complete their study and publish their results. The study concluded that THC shrank tumors through an anti-angiogenesis action. Angiogenesis is the process of forming new blood vessels. Cancer cells require a blood supply in order to grow and spread. THC prevented the growth of blood vessels and thus destroyed the tumors.
In addition, they discovered that THC worked directly on the cancer by modulating key signal pathways and inducing cell death. For reasons that are still obscure, cancer cells grow into tumors because they are "programmed" for immortality. Unlike normal, healthy cells, they do not receive signals to die after they have divided and replicated. THC somehow repaired that deficit and induced cell death. As a result, the tumors shrank.
A later study, headed by Maria Salazar, also of Complutense University, came to the same conclusions. This study emphasized the ability of THC to induce autophagy. The literal translation of autophagy is "self eat." In the biological sciences, it refers to a phenomenon whereby cells digest themselves and die. Cancer researchers have been studying autophagy for decades, because this is how normal cells die, but cancer cells are not programmed to go through this process. Instead, they continue to divide and live. This is why cancer ultimately spreads so quickly: the tumor grows exponentially as cells divide.
There have been other clinical studies as well. In every case, THC is proven to be an effective treatment for cancer. If it weren't for the taboo against the psychoactive effects of cannabis, it is likely that it would already be in widespread use as a cure for cancer. Even though decades of research have debunked the theory that cannabis, when used medicinally, leads to addiction, criminal behavior or mental illness, the authorities continue to dig in their heels and it remains a Schedule 1 restricted substance.
There are signs of change, though. Increasing numbers of clinical studies are being undertaken and medical marijuana is being legally used in many U.S. states as a palliative. The more that people use it therapeutically, the more they discover about its remarkable value as a medicine. Perhaps the scales are about to tip and cancer sufferers will have access to the one proven cure for cancer without having to resort to breaking the law. There is a natural treatment for cancer. Come see for yourself.
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