Monday, August 31, 2009
see also an interview with Producer Adam Scorgie
New Research Shows Here Seems to Be Something in Pot That Actually Undermines Cancer, Instead of Causing It. -- And the Media Are Doing Their Best to Ignore It.
One in three Americans will be afflicted with cancer, we are told by the government ( as if it's our immutable fate and somehow acceptable ). Cancer is the second-leading cause of death in the U.S. and lung cancer the leading killer among cancers.
You'd think it would have been very big news in June 2005 when UCLA medical school professor Donald Tashkin reported that components of marijuana smoke -- although they damage cells in respiratory tissue - -- somehow prevent them from becoming malignant. In other words, something in marijuana exerts an anti-cancer effect!
Tashkin has special credibility. He was the lead investigator on studies dating back to the 1970s that identified the components in marijuana smoke that are toxic. It was Tashkin et al. who published photomicrographs showing that marijuana smoke damages cells lining the upper airways. It was the Tashkin lab's finding that benzpyrene - -- a component of tobacco smoke that plays a role in most lung cancers -- is especially prevalent in marijuana smoke. It was Tashkin's data showing that marijuana smokers are more likely than non-smokers to cough, wheeze, and produce sputum.
Tashkin reviewed his findings in April 2008, at a conference organized by "Patients Out of Time," a reform group devoted to educating doctors and the public ( as opposed to lobbying politicians ). Some 30 MDs and nurses got continuing medical education credits for attending the event, which was held at Asilomar, on the Monterey Peninsula.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse, which supported Tashkin's marijuana-related research over the decades, readily gave him a grant in 2002 to conduct a large, population-based, case-controlled study that would prove definitively that heavy, long-term marijuana use increases the risk of lung and upper-airways cancers.
What Tashkin and his colleagues found, however, disproved their hypothesis. ( Tashkin is to marijuana as a cause of lung cancer what Hans Blix was to Iraq's weapons of mass destruction -- an honest investigator who set out to find something, concluded that it wasn't there, and reported his results. )
Tashkin's team interviewed 1,212 cancer patients from the Los Angeles County Cancer Surveillance program, matched for age, gender, and neighborhood with 1,040 cancer-free controls. Marijuana use was measured in "joint years" ( number of years smoked times number of joints per day ).
It turned out that increased marijuana use did not result in higher rates of lung and pharyngeal cancer, whereas tobacco smokers were at greater risk the more they smoked. Tobacco smokers who also smoked marijuana were at slightly lower risk of getting lung cancer than tobacco-only smokers.
These findings were not deemed worthy of publication in "NIDA Notes." Tashkin reported them at the 2005 meeting of the International Cannabinoid Research Society. They were published in the October 2006 issue of Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention.
Without a press release from NIDA calling attention to its significance, the assignment editors of America had no idea that "Marijuana Use and the Risk of Lung and Upper Aerodigestive Tract Cancers: Results of a Population-Based Case-Control Study" by Mia Hashibe1, Hal Morgenstern, Yan Cui, Donald P. Tashkin, Zuo-Feng Zhang, Wendy Cozen, Thomas M. Mack and Sander Greenland was a blockbuster story.
I suggested to Eric Bailey of the L.A. Times that he write up Tashkin's findings -- UCLA provided the local angle if the anti-cancer effect wasn't enough. Bailey said his editors wouldn't be interested for some time because he had just filed a marijuana-related piece. The Tashkin scoop is still there for the taking!
Tashkin Defends His Findings
Investigators from New Zealand recently got widespread media attention for a study contradicting Tashkin's results. "Heavy cannabis users may be at greater risk of chronic lung disease - -including cancer- compared to tobacco smokers," is how BBC News summed up the New Zealanders' findings.
The very small size of the study -79 smokers took part, 21 of whom smoked cannabis only- was not held against the authors. In fact, the small New Zealand study was given much more coverage by the corporate press than the large UCLA study that preceded it.
The New Zealand study was portrayed as the latest word on this important subject. As if scientific inquiry were some kind of tennis match and the truth just gets truthier with every volley.
Tashkin criticized the New Zealanders' methodology in his talk at Asilomar: "There's some cognitive dissonance associated with the interpretation of their findings. I think this has to do with the belief model among the investigators and -I wish they were here to defend themselves- the integrity of the investigators... They actually published another paper in which they mimicked the design that we used for looking at lung function."
Tashkin spoke from the stage of an airy redwood chapel designed by Julia Morgan. He is pink-cheeked, 70ish, wears wire-rimmed spectacles. "For tobacco they found what you'd expect: a higher risk for lung cancer and a clear dose-response relationship. A 24-fold increase in the people who smoked the most... What about marijuana? If they smoked a small or moderate amount there was no increased risk, in fact slightly less than one. But if they were in the upper third of the group, then their risk was six-fold... A rather surprising finding, and one has to be cautious about interpreting the results because of the very small number of cases -- fourteen-- and controls -- four."
Tashkin said the New Zealanders employed "statistical sleight of hand." He deemed it "completely implausible that smokers of only 365 joints of marijuana have a risk for developing lung cancer similar to that of smokers of 7,000 tobacco cigarettes... Their small sample size led to vastly inflated estimates... They had said 'it's ideal to do the study in New Zealand because we have a much higher prevalence of marijuana smoking.' But 88 percent of their controls had never smoked marijuana, whereas 36% of our controls ( in Los Angeles ) had never smoked marijuana. Why did so few of the controls smoke marijuana? Something fishy about that!"
Strong words for a UCLA School of Medicine professor!
As to the highly promising implication of his own study -that something in marijuana stops damaged cells from becoming malignant-- Tashkin noted that an anti-proliferative effect of THC has been observed in cell-culture systems and animal models of brain, breast, prostate, and lung cancer. THC has been shown to promote apoptosis ( damaged cells die instead of reproducing ) and to counter angiogenesis ( the process by which blood vessels are formed --a requirement of tumor growth ). Other antioxidants in cannabis may also be involved in countering malignancy, said Tashkin.
Much of Tashkin's talk was devoted to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, another condition prevalent among tobacco smokers. Chronic bronchitis and emphysema are two forms of COPD, which is the fourth-leading cause of death in the United States. Air pollution and tobacco smoke are known culprits. Inhaled pathogens cause an inflammatory response, resulting in diminished lung function. COPD patients have increasing difficulty clearing the airways as they get older.
Tashkin and colleagues at UCLA conducted a major study in which they measured lung function of various cohorts over eight years and found that tobacco-only smokers had an accelerated rate of decline, but marijuana smokers -even if they smoked tobacco as well- experienced the same rate of decline as non-smokers.
"The more tobacco smoked, the greater the rate of decline," said Tashkin. "In contrast, no matter how much marijuana was smoked, the rate of decline was similar to normal."
Tashkin concluded that his and other studies "do not support the concept that regular smoking of marijuana leads to COPD."
Breathe easier, everybody.
Editor's Note: There is a groundswell of attention in the news to marijuana's role in causing and preventing various types of cancers. Last week, AlterNet published an article from the Marijuana Policy Project about a new study finding that pot smokers have a lower risk of head and neck cancers than people who don't smoke pot. Earlier this year, the corporate media pounced on a study suggesting that men who had been using marijuana at least once per week and who had started smoking pot prior to age 18 had an elevated risk of testicular cancer known as nonseminoma, which makes up fewer than half of one percent of all cancer cases among men.
Head, neck and testicular cancers are of course quite serious ailments to deal with, but what about cancer of the most obvious organ at risk with pot smoking, the lungs? Where's the science on that? The article below by Fred Gardner, editor of the medical marijuana research quarterly journal O'Shaughnessy's, shares the results of a major medical study the media completely ignored, and his conclusions are quite blunt on the matter: Smoking pot doesn't cause lung cancer. In fact, the study found that cigarette smokers who also smoked marijuana were at a lower risk of contracting lung cancer than tobacco-only smokers.
Source: NORML- http://www.mapinc.org/norml/v09/n820/a09.htm
Sunday, August 30, 2009
"Ideally, this development will lead to drugs that bind to and activate the THC receptor, but are devoid of the side effects that limit the usefulness of marijuana," said Lakshmi A. Devi of the Department of Pharmacology and Systems Therapeutics at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York and one of the senior researchers involved in the study. "It would be helpful to have a drug that activated or blocked the THC receptor, and our findings raise the possibility that this will lead to effective drugs with fewer side effects."
Scientists made their discovery by first extracting several small proteins, called peptides, from the brains of mice and determining their amino acid sequence. The extracted proteins were then compared with another peptide previously known to bind to, but not activate, the receptor (THC) affected by marijuana. Out of the extracted proteins, several not only bound to the brain's THC receptors, but activated them as well.
"The War on Drugs has hit very close to home," said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. "Last year, scientists found that our skin makes its own marijuana-like substance. Now, we see that our brain has been making proteins that act directly on the marijuana receptors in our head. The next step is for scientists to come up with new medicines that eliminate the nasty side of potâ€”a better joint, so to speak."
1.Ivone Gomes, Julia S. Grushko, Urszula Golebiewska, Sascha Hoogendoorn, Achla Gupta, Andrea S. Heimann, Emer S. Ferro, Suzanne Scarlata, Lloyd D. Fricker, and Lakshmi A. Devi. Novel endogenous peptide agonists of cannabinoid receptors. FASEB J, DOI: 10.1096/fj.09-132142
Adapted from materials provided by Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.
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Marijuana kills pain by activating a set of proteins known as cannabinoid receptors, which can also regulate appetite, inflammation, and memory. The body also has chemicals known as endocannabinoids that naturally activate these same receptors, namely N-arachidonoyl ethanolamine (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG).
These natural components of the cannabinoid system remain the focus of intense efforts to develop new treatments not only for chronic pain, but also for obesity, anxiety, and depression. However, until the new paper (citation below) specific methods to study 2-AG signaling have been lacking.
AEA's activity has been well understood for years. In past research, Cravatt and his team identified an enzyme called fatty acid amide hydrolase, or FAAH, that breaks down AEA, effectively reducing its pain killing activity. A number of compounds are now in clinical development that target and breakdown FAAH, allowing AEA to build up, reducing pain. However, FAAH does not control 2-AG metabolism in vivo, and therefore, the potential biological functions and therapeutic potential of this second endocannabinoid have remained largely unknown.
Teasing out 2-AG's specific impacts have proven challenging. Comparable to FAAH, an enzyme called monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) breaks down 2-AG. But, despite numerous attempts, no group had been able to develop a chemical that inhibits MAGL specifically.
"The toolsselective and efficacious MAGL inhibitorsjust weren't there, " says Jonathan Long, a graduate student of the Scripps Research Kellogg School of Science and Technology who is a member of the Cravatt lab and a first author of the new paper.
But now, a MAGL-specific inhibitor is finally available, thanks to the lab's new work. Key to this success was Activity-Based Protein Profiling, a unique chemical technique the group devised and has used fruitfully in other inhibitor hunts. This system enables the rapid engineering and testing of chemical compounds against many members of enzyme families, in hope of finding effective and selective inhibitors.
For this project, the group developed about 200 compounds and found that one was a highly effective block for MAGL. The scientists dubbed the compound JZL184, named after Long's initials and the order in the series of potential inhibitors tested. JZL184 effectively blocks only MAGL among more than 40 related brain enzymes, which opened the door for the first definitive study of 2-AG's activity.
A New View of 2-AG
Unlike increased AEA, which causes only reduced pain sensation, the team found that MAGL inhibition using JZL184, and the resulting increase in 2-AG concentration, not only reduced pain in mice, but also induced other effects associated with the cannabinoid receptors, namely hypothermia and decreased movement.
"This really does suggest a sort of segregation of labor, if you will," says Cravatt of the differential effects of elevating AEA versus 2-AG as part of the overall function of the cannabinoid system. "That, I think, is a truly unique result."
While treatments based on inhibiting FAAH show great promise for controlling pain, manipulating MAGL levels could also be a boon for treatment development, especially if 2-AG's other effects, such as hypothermia, can be managed.
"There are so many different types of pain," Cravatt says, "that it's possible some types could be more effectively treated with one treatment than another."
This research was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Helen L. Dorris Child and Adolescent Neuro-Psychiatric Disorder Institute, and the Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology.
1. Long et al. Selective blockade of 2-arachidonoylglycerol hydrolysis produces cannabinoid behavioral effects. Nature Chemical Biology, Online November 24, 2008; DOI: 10.1038/nchembio.129
Adapted from materials provided by Scripps Research Institute, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.
Marijuana-inspired Painkiller? New Chemical Pathway Discovered
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Saturday, August 29, 2009
Bipolar affective disorder is often poorly controlled by prescribed drugs. Cannabis use is common in patients with this disorder and anecdotal reports suggest that some patients take it to alleviate symptoms of both mania and depression. We undertook a literature review of cannabis use by patients with bipolar disorder and of the neuropharmacological properties of cannabinoids suggesting possible therapeutic effects in this condition. No systematic studies of cannabinoids in bipolar disorder were found to exist, although some patients claim that cannabisrelieves symptoms of mania and/or depression. The cannabinoids Dgr9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) may exert sedative, hypnotic, anxiolytic, antidepressant, antipsychotic and anticonvulsant effects. Pure synthetic cannabinoids, such as dronabinol and nabilone and specific plant extracts containing THC, CBD, or amixture of the two in known concentrations, are available and can be delivered sublingually. Controlled trials of these cannabinoids as adjunctive medication in bipolar disorder are now indicated.
C. H. Ashton, P. B. Moore, P. Gallagher, A. H. Young
Friday, August 28, 2009
The research found there were no rises in cases of schizophrenia or psychoses diagnosed in the UK over nine years, during which the use of the drug had grown substantially.
Pro-cannabis campaigners seized on the results as supporting the legalising of cannabis, and claimed the report had been suppressed.
But the leading expert behind the study said it could be too low-key to re-ignite the debate on whether restrictions should be removed from soft drugs.
From their base at the Harplands Psychiatric Hospital in Hartshill, the four experts reviewed the notes of hundreds of thousands of patients at 183 GP practices throughout the country to look for any changing rate in cases of schizophrenia.
The work had been set up to see if earlier forecasts from other experts had been borne out, that the mental disorder would soar through the growing popularity of cannabis.
Published in the Schizophrenia Research journal, a paper on the study said: "A recent review concluded that cannabis use increases the risk of psychotic outcomes.
"Furthermore an accepted model of the association between cannabis and schizophrenia indicated its incidence would increase from 1990 onwards.
"We examined trends in the annual psychosis incidence and prevalence as measured by diagnosed cases from 1996 to 2005 and found it to be either stable or declining.
"The casual models linking cannabis with schizophrenia and other psychoses are therefore not supported by our study."
The research was conducted by Drs Martin Frisher and Orsolina Martino, from the department of medicines management at Keele University; psychiatrist Professor Ilana Crome, from the Harplands academic unit, who specialises in addiction; and diseases expert Professor Peter Croft, pictured below, from the university's primary care research centre.
Its findings come shortly after the Government reclassified cannabis from Class C to Class B, which invokes heavier penalties.
Yet Dr Frisher revealed last night that the study had been partly commissioned by the Government's advisory committee on the misuse of drugs.
He said: "We concentrated on looking into the incidence of schizophrenia during those years and not specifically at cannabis use.
"It was relatively low-key research so I don't believe it will re-ignite the debate on whether the drug should be legalised."
Hartshill-based Dilys Wood, national co-ordinator of the Legalise Cannabis Alliance, said that so far the report had been published in medical journals and would have a far-reaching reaction if it surfaced more widely.
She added: "I believe that if it had found a causal link between cannabis and schizophrenia it would have been all over the press.
"The public needs to know the truth about drugs; not more Government-led propaganda."
And Alliance press officer Don Barnard said: "It is hard to believe the then Home Secretary Jacqui Smith did not know of this very important research when deciding to upgrade cannabis to Class B."
The team said a number of alternative explanations for the stabilising of schizophrenia had been considered and while they could not be wholly discounted, they did not appear to be plausible.
Thursday, August 27, 2009, 09:20
To confirm the arrangements which will govern the protest activity planned by your organisation (Nimbin Hemp Embassy) to take place on Monday and Tuesday, 7th and 8th of September 2009 in the Sydney CBD
Timings: Assemble 8am outside the Power House Museum, Harris Street, Ultimo and hold a rally in relation to raising issues concerning the regulating of cannabis for medical use. Pamphlets to be handed out. Disperse by 6pm each day.
It is anticipated the number of participants will not exceed 50 persons at each assembly point.
from within that number the organisation “Nimbin Hemp Embassy ” are to nominate marshalls to guide and maintain a level of control over the gathering
all marshalls are to be readily identifiable to police
all participants are to obey the lawful directions of police
The assembly are not to encroach upon the roadway.
participants are not to block footpaths, stairs or entry or exit points so as to obstruct the free movement of other pedestrians or traffic.
participants are not to block the entrance to any building at any time
participants are not to engage in criminal or anti social behaviour
reasonable use of a small, portable public address system is permitted
reasonable use of hand held megaphones by marshalls is also permitted
use of an inflatable `Big Joint’ is permitted, however, must not block pedestrian traffic or encroach on the roadway.
The assembly will disperse by 6.00pm.
Small banners are to be used only and are not to contain offensive language or obscene slogans or pictures during the event/rally.
The NSW Police Force considers the burning of any article, flag or effigy a public safety hazard. The Police Force reserves the right to take any such action/s as may be necessary to ensure the safety of participants. The general public and police officers, should such activity occur.
The event/rally organiser is to ensure that no damage is occasioned to public or private property. Should such damage occur, the organizer to the best of his/her ability is to assist police in identifying those responsible for such damage.
The organiser is to assist Police identify any persons responsible for commission of any offence.
Notification of the protest activity to the Power House Museum must be completed prior to the activity by contacting them by phone or email.
The Duty Officer for that date, working from City Central Police station will contact you a short time prior to the protest activity commencing.
Reprinted information from NSW Police in the interest of public safety. Nimbin HEMP Embassy.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
It is absolutely amazing the diversity of materials we are using these days as building materials for our homes and business. As we move further into a world looking for sustainability and ways not to damage the environment around us the ideas are coming hot and heavy about even newer materials. Considering that in the US buildings account for thirty-eight percent of the CO2 emissions the demand for carbon neutral and/or zero footprint building the demand for building materials to meet these needs will only increase.
One new (to the United States) material that is getting a lot of attention is from a UK-based business, Lhoist Group, and their Tradical® Hemcrete® concrete substitute. This a product made from mixing hemp, lime and water and is 7x as strong as normal concrete as well as being carbon negative.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
The ICRS is a scientific association with over 400 members, all active researchers in the field of endogenous, plant-derived and synthetic cannabinoids and related bioactive lipids.
The mission of the ICRS is to: foster cannabinoid research, to promote exchange of information and ideas about cannabis and the cannabinoids through the organization of scientific meetings; to encourage financial support from funding agencies and industries; to facilitate liasons between funding agencies, industry and the academic community, and to serve as a source of reliable information on the chemistry, pharmacology, toxicology and the behavioral, psychological and social effects of cannabis and the cannabinoids (ICRS By-Laws, adopted June 1992).
The ICRS was formally incorporated as a scientific research society in 1991. Prior to that, Symposia were organized by various researchers in the field since 1970. Membership in the Society has risen from about 50 members, in its first year, to 458 in 2008.
"Throughout my life I have been fascinated and amazed by life, always wondering what it is and how it works. Modern molecular biology and far from equilibrium thermodynamics have provided me with answers that I find very satisfying. Simply and simplistically put, it is natural for the flow of energy and matter to act "creatively". This fact of physics serves as the central theme for all courses that I teach. It provides a scientific basis for understanding life and death, health and disease. I hope you will enjoy and benefit from this approach."Read more from Dr Melamede
What is ADD / ADHD?
Individuals with ADHD essentially have problems with self-regulation and self-motivation, predominantly due to problems with distractibility, procrastination, organization, and prioritization. It is a chronic condition, beginning in early childhood and persisting throughout a person’s lifetime. It is estimated that up to 70% of children with ADHD will continue to have significant ADHD-related symptoms persisting into adulthood, resulting in a significant impact on education, employment, interpersonal relationships, and in social settings.
In layman’s terms, ADHD is a condition in which the brain can not efficiently “ignore” unimporant stimuli. Essentially, a person not suffering from ADHD will have an easier time remaining focused on a specific project and ignore distractions while an ADHD brain is more prone to distraction due to its inability to ignore stimuli.
Current research has shown that certain strains of marijuana can provide focus to people with ADHD and many people have successfully used marijuana as a replacement to other medications (such as Ritalin or Methylphenidate).
Marijuana Facts and Resources:
- The potential role of phytotherapy for ADHD – Phytotherapy Review & Commentary
Very lengthy and heavily cited article discussing the use of plants to treat ADHD.
- References on Cannabinoids Science and ADHD
Large list of references and studies showing the interaction of cannabinoids, cannabinoid receptors in the brain, and their relationship with ADHD.
- How Cannabinoids Improve ADHD?
List of symptoms of ADHD which can be treated or improved with the use of marijuana. Includes citations and studies.
- Videos on Marijuana and ADHD
Nice compiled list of videos ranging from doctors and experts to technical explanations of the inner-workings of ADHD and the relationship to cannabinoid receptors.
- Marijuana and ADD Therapeutic uses of Medical Marijuana in the treatment of ADD
Well-cited research paper supporting the use of medical marijuana to treat ADD.
- Cannabis ‘Scrips to Calm Kids?
Article from FOX News examining the success of marijuana as an ADHD medication rather than the use of synthetic drugs which come with their own risks.
- Cannabis effective in animal model of hyperactivity disorder
Short snippet of research about the use of marijuana and hyperactive rats.
- THC normalized impaired psychomotor performance and mood
Article discussing research that showed marijuana–specifically THC–improved the driving ability of persons with ADHD. Another source locate here.
- Moderate cannabis use has a positive effect on treatment for cocaine dependence in patients with comorbid ADHD and cocaine dependence
Article discussing research showing improved results for cocaine dependent ADHD patients using marijuana. It is worth noting that Ritalin is very similar to cocaine.
- Cannabis improves symptoms of ADHD
Case report showing how cannabis can improve the symptoms of ADHD patients. Link to original PDF here.
- ADHD by Ryan P
A very detailed account of how marijuana helped one ADHD man.
- Testimonies from Doctors and Patients
A large list of testimonies from patients as well as physicians in support of the use of marijuana for ADHD.
- Recipe For Trouble
48 Hours Special on a mother who prefers to treat her ADHD child with marijuana rather than synthetic drugs.
- Posts from users at Marijuana.com regarding ADD/ADHD:
-ADHD and Medical Marijuana
-My Life with ADD/ADHD – Success Story
-Marijuana and ADHD – Success Story
Lobbyists to ambush Rudd with giant joint
IF Prime Minister Kevin Rudd can't stop giggling, feels paranoid or overly hungry when he visits Lismore hospital, he'll know exactly what's to blame.
It could be the subliminal influence of a 10-metre inflatable joint, which drug legalisation lobbyists will use to try to get the prime minister's attention during his visit tomorrow.
Members of the Nimbin Hemp Embassy will gather outside the hospital with their trusty mascot, hoping to talk to Mr Rudd about what they say is a health issue - legalising cannabis in Australia.
The group's president Michael Balderstone says he hopes to appeal to Mr Rudd's Christian sense of compassion.
"I think he is a compassionate man and he is a Christian and what would Jesus say – we're talking about the best pain-relieving herbs on the planet," he said.
Mr Balderstone said young people in Nimbin are constantly targeted in police raids and suffer permanent consequences. Nimbin has become a centre for alternative culture after a new generation of people decided to settle there following the Aquarius Festival in 1973.
"I live and work in Nimbin and we've become this big backpacker place and ... (police) are busting a lot of young people," he said.
"And it's making no difference and they're just all getting criminal records for life.
"Politicians are quite sheltered in a way and what's going on out here in the street is a huge culture of people who have lost respect for the system, because these laws have criminalised them and made something that makes them feel good into an illicit act."
Mr Rudd has previously said he has never smoked marijuana and takes a tough line on drugs.
Well, that only took a month.
Earlier today Reuters News Wire finally took the time to report that lifetime marijuana use is associated with a reduced risk of head and neck cancer. That’s according to the findings of a population-based case control study of some 1,000 subjects, published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research.
But you already know this because NORML initially posted the news in July.
To review, here is what the study found:
Authors reported, “After adjusting for potential confounders (including smoking and alcohol drinking), 10 to 20 years of marijuana use was associated with a significantly reduced risk of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma … [as was] moderate weekly use.”
Subjects who smoked marijuana and consumed alcohol and tobacco (two known high risk factors for head and neck cancers) also experienced a reduced risk of cancer, the study found.
“This association was consistent across different measures of marijuana use (marijuana use status, duration, and frequency of use). … Further, we observed that marijuana use modified the interaction between alcohol and cigarette smoking, resulting in a decreased HNSCC risk among moderate smokers and light drinkers, and attenuated risk among the heaviest smokers and drinkers.“
Notably, Reuters‘ writers took a much more skeptical view of the study’s findings, as evident by the headline:
Could smoking pot cut risk of head, neck cancer?
via Reuters Health
Strange that Reuters would frame their headline in the form of a question. After all, the study’s authors expressed no such reservations, concluding in the final line of their abstract, “Our study suggests that moderate marijuana use is associated with reduced risk of HNSCC (head and neck cancer).”
Reuters skepticism continues:
It’s unclear why marijuana would prevent cancer, if in fact the study is borne out by others, but the authors note that chemicals in pot called cannabinoids have been shown to have potential antitumor effects. Other studies have linked marijuana use to a reduced risk of some cancers, such as cancer of the prostate, and now head and neck cancer.
… Overall, however, research on the effects of marijuana on human health is mixed. Some studies have suggested the drug can increase a person’s risk of heart attack or stroke and cause some cancers such as lung cancer.
Let’s take things one at a time, shall we. First, it’s hardly ‘unclear’ as to why marijuana would be cancer-preventive. To quote the scientific journal Nature Reviews Cancer from 2003:
Cannabinoids: potential anticancer agents
via Nature Reviews Cancer
Cannabinoids inhibit tumor growth in laboratory animals. They do so by modulating key cell-signaling pathways, thereby inducing direct growth arrest and death of tumor cells, as well as by inhibiting tumor angiogenesis and metastasis. Cannabinoids are selective anti-tumor compounds, as they can kill tumor cells without affecting their non-transformed counterparts.
Reuters unnamed author(s) further add the caveat: “if in fact the study is borne out by others.” News flash: this study was performed precisely because pot’s cancer preventive effects had been “borne out in others,” such as this:
Study finds no cancer-marijuana connection
via The Washington Post
The largest study of its kind has unexpectedly concluded that smoking marijuana, even regularly and heavily, does not lead to lung cancer. … “We hypothesized that there would be a positive association between marijuana use and lung cancer, and that the association would be more positive with heavier use,” he said. “What we found instead was no association at all, and even a suggestion of some protective effect.”
Reuters further states: “Other studies have linked marijuana use to a reduced risk of some cancers, such as cancer of the prostate, and now head and neck cancer.” Notably, the wire service failed to include that cannabinoids also have documented anti-cancer fighting abilities in the treatment of: brain cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, skin cancer, and pancreatic cancer — just to name a few.
And finally, Reuters obligatorily adds that pot’s effects on health are ‘mixed,’ alleging that “some studies have suggested the drug can increase a person’s risk of heart attack or stroke and cause some cancers such as lung cancer.” Ah yes, the ever elusive “some studies.”
Well, as for cannabis smoking and lung cancer, that claim was rebutted by the largest study of its kind, profiled above. As for the alleged risk of “heart attack or stroke,” a large-scale population study by Kaiser Permanente reported “no association of marijuana use with cardiovascular disease hospitalization or mortality.”
That said, I’m all for the media espousing skepticism regarding claims about cannabis. Of course, were the MSM to apply this same attitude to the federal government’s claims about marijuana and pot prohibition, we wouldn’t have to suffer through stories like these, now would we?
Mainstream Media Finally Does Its Job (Sort Of) — It Only Took Four Weeks!
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The Australian Hemp Party is looking for brave Australians that support cannabis reform. Now is the time to stand up and make a change for a better stronger Australia, cannabis legalization will provide thousands of new jobs, bring the economy out of a disastrous debt cause by the global economic crisis, Our environmental changes will surpass those of any other country its time for Australians to lead the way, Will you stand up and be counted.
Please don't join the HEMP Party unless you are willing to confirm your membership to AEC officials on the phone. If you are unfindable or unwilling to confirm membership, don't join, because it stuffs it up for the rest of us. Sorry, but that's how it works. Give us as many ways to contact you as possible to make it easier to confirm your membership with the AEC.
LETS DO IT!
To join the HEMP Party you may not already be a member of another Australian political party. You must be currently enrolled to vote. Because the membership will be verified to ensure it is a legitimate political party with a genuine membership, you must be prepared to keep your electoral details up to date, and answer any query from the Australian Electoral Commission as to the correctness of those details. Twenty lucky members will be queried by the AEC to verify our membership.
Without a sitting member a party must re-register for each election. For registration to be successful, members must be committed, otherwise registration will probably fail. Please be strong. Please register, and keep your address up to date.
Print them out. Fill them in, matching your voter registration details. Then...
FEDERAL MEMBERSHIP FORM
Return the form to: Mr G. Askey, 9 Frank Street,Lismore, NSW 2480 or HEMP Party, 51 Cullen Street, Nimbin, NSW 2480.
NSW MEMBERSHIP FORM
Return the form to: HEMP Party, 51 Cullen Street, Nimbin, NSW 2480.
NSW Councils MEMBERSHIP FORM
Return the form to: Mr G. Askey, 9 Frank Street,Lismore, NSW 2480 or HEMP Party, 51 Cullen Street, Nimbin, NSW 2480.
South Australian MEMBERSHIP FORM
Return the form to: SA Hemp, PO Box 1019, Kent Town, SA 5071.
1. Membership is open to all people who;
1) are eligible to be enrolled on the AEC electoral role
2) support the aims and objectives of the HEMP Party
3) agree to accept the rules and regulations of the HEMP Party
2. To become a member of the HEMP Party;
1) complete the authorised form
2) pay any fee prescribed by the Federal Council
3) be accepted by a resolution of the Federal Council
4) a person may not be a member of more than one State Branch of the HEMP Party
Authorised by: Mr G. Askey, for the HEMP Party, 9 Frank Street,Lismore, NSW 2480.
Monday, August 24, 2009
6 years after stopping all illicit drug use I undertook treatment to rid myself of dreaded Hep Contracted during my drug use. Interferon and Ribovarin well needless to say the side affects destroyed me i had no where to turn except to my past i started using cannabis again very weary at first but with great success it helped me through the major discomfort of the hep C treatment and i found my back pain significantly reduce. After treatment obtained full time work again as an IT Technician and i continued to use cannabis for 2 - 3 more months then decided that i had better stop.
The only reason was it is too expensive and we (me and my wife) still believed a lot of propaganda so i stopped for 6-8 months and started having a bit of a bad time with life really my back hurt all the time i couldn't exercise because of it i had to quit my job i got fat so i decided to smoke again and it brought me back from the brink of reality's destruction upon my life right back up.
End Cannabis Prohibition Legalize Cannabis in Australia
The study gave huge doses of THC to rats and mice by stomach tube, and looked for cancers and other evidence of toxicity. First there were small toxicity studies, which used enough THC to kill some of the animals; later, two-year studies were run in both rats and mice, using doses which were still much higher than those of marijuana smokers. The two-year studies tested THC in several hundred rats and several hundred mice.
In rats, those given THC had a clear survival advantage over the untreated controls; this effect was statistically significant in all dose groups, and in both males and females. In mice (which were given much larger doses than the rats relative to body weight) there was no survival difference among the groups -- except that those given the highest dose (which was close to the lethal dose for mice) had worse survival.
In both mice and rats, in both males and females, "the incidence of benign and malignant neoplasms ... were decreased in a dose-dependent manner" -- meaning that the more THC the animals were given, the fewer tumors they developed.
The treated animals weighed less than the controls (even though both ate about the same amount of food); the researchers speculated that the lower body weight may have partly accounted for the increased survival and reduced tumors in the THC-treated animals.
The doses were large enough to cause seizures and convulsions in many of the animals, especially when they were dosed or handled. These did not start immediately, but after many weeks, depending on the dose. The researchers looked for brain lesions in animals which had seizures, but found none.
No evidence of carcinogenic activity in the rats, but there was "equivocal evidence" of one kind of thyroid tumor in the mice -- with no evidence of a dose-dependent response. Other tumors were less common in the treated animals than in the controls -- except in one case, which the toxicologists believed was due to the fact that the treated animals lived longer, and therefore had more opportunity to develop tumors.
The report includes a professionally objective review of the biological effects, possible toxicities, and possible medical uses of THC and marijuana.
The title of the report is "NTP Technical Report on the Toxicology and Carcinogenesis Studies of 1-Trans-Delta(9)-Tetrahydrocannabinol (CAS No. 1972-08-3) in F344/N Rats and B6C3F(1) Mice (Gavage Studies)." Over 35 researchers contributed to this study, and 12 others reviewed their work; several institutions, including the National Toxicology Program and SRI International, were involved. The document we received is report NTP TR 446, NIH Publication No. 94-3362, of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. ("NTP" stands for National Toxicology Program, which is made up of four Federal agencies within Health and Human Services.) Each page of the draft is stamped "not for distribution or attribution." In addition to the 126-page document we have reviewed here, there are 11 appendices, which we have not seen.
According to the draft, the report will be available from NTP Central Data Management, 919/541-1371. AIDS TREATMENT NEWS requested a copy of the final report when it is ready, and also requested a copy of the draft. Now that the existence of the report has become publicly known, we have heard that draft copies are being sent if requested -- despite the notice on each page not to distribute them.
It would be wrong to interpret this study as showing a beneficial or protective effect of marijuana. The animals were given very large doses, resulting in substantially lower body weight, which may itself have caused much of the survival and tumor improvements. Also, this study used THC, not marijuana smoke -- which like any smoke contains many chemicals, some of which are likely to be harmful.
But the study does provide strong evidence that there is no significant cancer risk (if any at all) from the main psychoactive ingredient of marijuana; any such risk would be from incidental substances in the smoke. And if there is such a risk, the modern high-potency marijuana would likely reduce it, by reducing the amount of smoke required to obtain the desired effect.
Also, there is no known case of any human death from overdose of marijuana or THC, or from any other acute toxicity of these substances -- a remarkable safety record, compared with alcohol, aspirin, or many other common drugs. (The toxicology report does not say there have been no deaths, but the authors listed none, after doing an exhaustive survey of the literature.)
The literature review on the effects of THC and marijuana shows how medical research has been politically skewed (although the paper itself does not state this point). There are almost no studies of possible medical uses of marijuana, but many studies looking for possible harm. Any positive findings, therefore, can be used to support the drug war -- while negative findings (those which fail to show any effect) are usually ignored. Although many doctors and patients have reported important medical benefits, scientific studies of medicinal use have seldom been allowed to happen, since positive findings could challenge the official public-relations tactic of demonization. The drug war itself has controlled the medical research agenda, since it controls legal access to marijuana. Like most permanent wars, it strives for self preservation.
The newly available Federal toxicology study provides the best evidence yet that the risks of THC are small. What other drug would increase life expectancy of rats when given in huge overdoses daily for two years? The recent Federal attacks on medical marijuana -- against doctors and desperately ill patients -- are needlessly cruel, and bizarrely inappropriate to scientific and medical understanding.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Cannabis College - Oaksterdam University prepares its students for future work in the cannabis industry.
( WASHINGTON, D.C.) - A study just published online by the journal Neurotoxicology and Teratology suggests that marijuana may protect the brain from some of the damage caused by binge drinking.
The study, by researchers at the University of California San Diego, used a type of high-tech scan called diffusion tensor imaging to compare microscopic changes in brain white matter.
The subjects were students aged 16-to-19, divided into three groups: binge drinkers (defined as having five or more drinks at one sitting for boys or four or more for girls), binge drinkers who also smoked marijuana, and a control group who had very little or no experience with either alcohol or drugs.
As expected, the binge-drinking-only group showed evidence of white matter damage in eight regions examined, as demonstrated by lower fractional anisotropy (FA) scores. But in a finding the researchers describe as "unexpected," the binge-drinking/marijuana group had lower FA scores than the controls in only three of eight regions, and in seven regions the binge-drinking/marijuana group had higher scores -- indicating less damage -- than the binge drinkers who did not use marijuana.
Brain white matter tracts were "more coherent in adolescents who binge drink and use marijuana than in adolescents who report only binge drinking," the researchers wrote.
"It is possible that marijuana may have some neuroprotective properties in mitigating alcohol-related oxidative stress or excitotoxic cell death," as has already been shown in lab and animal studies.
"This study suggests that not only is marijuana safer than alcohol, it may actually protect against some of the damage that booze causes," said Steve Fox, Marijuana Policy Project director of state campaigns and co-author of the new book, "Marijuana Is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink?" (which hit number 14 on the Amazon.com bestseller list). "It's far better for teens not to drink or smoke marijuana, but our nation's leaders send a dangerous message by defending laws that encourage the use of alcohol over marijuana."
REFERENCE: Jacobus, J. et al. "White matter integrity in adolescents with histories of marijuana use and binge drinking." Neurotoxicology and Teratology. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ntt.2009.07.006
Source: MarijuanaPolicy.org, the largest marijuana policy reform organization in the United States. MPP believes that the best way to minimize the harm associated with marijuana is to regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Cannabis Science is entering the pharmaceutical cannabis industry. Recent advances in science have opened the door to develop, produce, and commercialize, a variety of effective whole plant cannabinoid based pharmaceutical products with a wide variety of important applications.
Although cannabis has been used medicinally for thousands of years, until very recently little was known about how it actually worked. Some uses of cannabis are well known, such as alleviating nausea and stimulating the appetite for people with AIDS and cancer.
Other well-known uses include chronic pain, and reducing muscle spasms associated with neuromuscular disorders like MS and spinal cord injuries. Some current uses are poorly understood, such as its effectiveness in alleviating certain autoimmune disorders such a Crohn's Disease.
Our team of scientists will develop more effective ways to produce and commercialize the production of whole plant cannabinoid based pharmaceutical products. Even today new uses for cannabis are being found, such as the recent discovery that topical cannabis preparations can be effective against MRSI, the deadly antibiotic-resistant flesh-eating disease. Other topical applications, which are largely non-psychoactive, would target localized pain, such as arthritis, and burns, but also neuropathic pain, for which there are few effective treatments.
In 2001, an article published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal revealed that, based on self-identified needs, an estimated 2% (or 400,000) Canadian adults were already using cannabis for medical purposes. That number would extrapolate into roughly 4 million in the US. Consequently, we believe that it would not be unreasonable to think that the global medical cannabis market will potentially reach several billion dollars.
Whole Cannabis Pharmaceutical Products on the Market Today
GW has entered into agreement with the German pharmaceutical firm Bayer Healthcare for marketing Sativex® in the UK. This agreement provided GW with millions of dollars in licensing fees and operating capital.
In February of last year, GW Pharmaceuticals sold the rights to develop and market Sativex® for cancer pain in the US to Japanese firm Otsuka Pharmaceutical. Otsuka paid GW a signature fee of $18 million, and may pay up to $273 million in royalties and fees. In addition, Otsuka will bear the costs of all US development activities for Sativex® in the treatment of cancer pain, additional indications, and future formulations. GW and Otsuka will jointly oversee all US clinical development and regulatory activities.
Clearly, Otsuka's willingness to contemplate paying up to a quarter of a billion dollars in royalties and fees for one cannabis-based pharmaceutical with a less than overwhelming efficacy profile indicates that the total market for medical cannabis products is a multi-billion prospect. According to Investec Securities, GW's broker, Sativex® could have peak annual sales of $390m.
Also, in 2005 GW and the Spanish pharmaceutical company Almirall Prodesfarma, S.A. ("Almirall") announced that they had entered into an exclusive agreement for Almirall to market Sativex® in Europe (excluding the UK) … Almiral paid GW a "£12 million signature fee." (approx $20 million at present exchange rates.)
Legalised cannabis and post offices : Where do you stand?
Legalise it and sell in post offices - 19%
Legalise it and sell in licensed outlets - 57%
Do not legalise it - 24%
Total Votes: 2261 Poll date: 06/05/08
I was surprised because i was only reading yesterday that the majority of Australians had dropped support for cannabis legalization , regulation and taxation. The story says that support has dropped but this poll and others have shown differently. see here ABC NEWS
I know this is a rather small poll but i like that because i used to work in Sydney and i found that a lot of very large business men wanted the http://www.smh.com.au set as their homepage on Internet Explorer. Sweet successful upper class promoting cannabis reform, nice.
Australia has shown no real forward movement. Australian Politicians don't care about the facts they don't care about the truth if they did then we wouldn't be stone walled every time we mention Cannabis Legalisation, Stop the war of Cannabis stop the lies legalise it now.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Here’s what he has to say:
A Former Police Chief on New Marijuana Book
I’d like to give you an insider’s perspective on the question of marijuana versus alcohol. By “insider,” I refer to my decades of law enforcement experience, during which time I witnessed firsthand how these two substances affect consumers, their families, and public safety overall. As you can imagine, those of us who have served our communities as officers of the law have encountered alcohol and marijuana users on a frequent if not daily basis, and we know all too well how often one of these two substances is associated with violent and aggressive behavior.
In all my years on the streets, it was an extremely rare occasion to have a night go by without an alcohol-related incident. More often than not, there were multiple alcohol-related calls during a shift. I became accustomed to the pattern. If I was called to a part of town with a concentration of bars or to the local university, I could expect to be greeted by one or more drunks, flexing their “beer muscles,” either in the throes of a fight or looking to start one. Sadly, the same was often true when I received a domestic abuse call. More often than not, these conflicts — many having erupted into physical violence — were fueled by one or both participants having overindulged in alcohol.
… As one who has been entrusted with maintaining the public’s safety, I strongly believe — and most people agree — that our laws should punish people who do harm to others.
… But by banning the use of marijuana and punishing individuals who merely possess the substance, it is difficult to see what harm we are trying to prevent. It bears repeating: From my own work and the experiences of other members of the law enforcement community, it is abundantly clear that marijuana is rarely, if ever, the cause of harmfully disruptive or violent behavior. In fact, I would go so far as to say that marijuana use often helps to tamp down tensions where they otherwise might exist.
Of course, the “new marijuana book” that Norm is referring to is my book (with co-authors Steve Fox and Mason Tvert) Marijuana Is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink? You can read an excerpt from the book today on the Alternet.org website here. Alternet also has posted a comprehensive interview with Steve and I discussing varying aspects of the book’s content and philosophy here.
If you like what you read, consider participating in today’s first-ever marijuana ‘book bomb’, which has helped to propel Marijuana Is Safer’s Amazon sales ranking (as of this writing) to #47!
Is it possible that a book which argues that marijuana is objectively less harmful (to both the user and to society) than alcohol can become #1 on Amazon’s best-seller’s list? Only time will tell, but no doubt more and more Americans are getting the message loud and clear!
Former Seattle Top Cop: Pot Is Safer Than Booze!
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(NaturalNews) Chemotherapy is one of three main treatment protocols of conventional medicine, one which millions of people worldwide have been put through. In fact, virtually all of us know someone who suffered and finally passed on after a futile course of chemotherapy prescribed by his or her doctor. 'Nothing more could be done anyway', we are often told. Lately, a recent study in Britain has raised serious questions about chemotherapy, in particular the role it plays in hastening and even causing the death of late-stage cancer sufferers.
Details and Findings of Study
The study had been carried out by the National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Deaths in Britain, whose members are mostly taken from British medical royal colleges. It had looked at the cases of 600 cancer sufferers in the country who had passed on within 30 days of treatment. The majority of the said patients had already been declared "incurable" by doctors, and had been put on chemotherapy for palliative purposes.
And the study found that about 1 in every 4 of such deaths had either been sped up or even caused by chemotherapy. The study's findings also included the discovery that 2 out of every 5 of the patients had suffered significant poisoning from the treatment.
How Effective is Conventional Cancer Treatment?
The findings of this study would be of little surprise to many; in fact, some would even say chemo must surely have caused or hastened more than a quarter of the deaths. Chemotherapy, after all, as virtually everyone "knows", is a severely toxic treatment method, and a person has to be "strong enough" to withstand it, which is extremely strange and illogical considering that cancer patients already have seriously compromised immune systems. There is, really, nothing intuitively right about the use of chemo to deal with cancer.
But the study's findings do resurface telling questions regarding the efficacy of conventional cancer treatment. Any discourse on conventional versus alternative cancer treatment can stretch for quite a bit. Well regarded cancer researcher Lothar Hirneise, in his book Chemotherapy Heals Cancer and the World is Flat, puts forth what is perhaps an objective, non-dramatic and measured viewpoint on the lack of success of conventional cancer treatment protocols.
He stated: "I would also like to explain an additional bias at the beginning of the book. I am neither for nor against conventional medicine and I am neither for nor against non-conventional medicine. I am exclusively concerned with people's welfare, and whatever contributes to regaining their health is all the same to me. If I have become more and more interested in non-conventional medicine in recent years, this has nothing to do with any prejudices or personal interests, rather it is due to the results of my own research which have convinced me that conventional medicine is not nearly as successful in treating chronic illnesses like cancer, as many patients, unfortunately, still believe."
Here is a side note - interesting and attention-grabbing though its title may be, the book, according to HealingCancerNaturally.com, is not quite what its name suggests it is. Instead, it is said to be "an 'encyclopedic' comparative reference and guide book as well as a fascinating read on both the holistic 'alternative' approaches to healing cancer and the conventional or orthodox allopathic treatment of the variegated forms of this disease".
The (Lack of) Reliability of Conventional Cancer Statistics
When it comes to conventional cancer treatment, another key point to consider is the way its statistics are packaged. In her well-researched and well-written book "Outsmart Your Cancer", Tanya Harter Pierce outlines 6 main ways in which cancer statistics are manipulated to make them look better than they are - she had obtained these findings mainly from the excellent work of Lorraine Day, MD, and Ralph W Moss, PhD.
* "Cure" is defined as being alive 5 years after diagnosis. This means that a person could be very sick with cancer for 5 years and 1 day, after which he or she dies, and still be declared as "cured" by chemotherapy. Isn't this simply playing with words?
* Certain types of cancer and certain groups of people which exhibit poor recovery rates are simply excluded from overall statistics. This artificially raises the average "cure" rate.
* Easily curable cancerous and even pre-cancerous conditions are included in overall statistics. An example for the latter is ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), which was included in and now accounts for a significant portion of breast cancer statistics. This move artificially increases the overall recovery rate.
* Earlier detection is taken to mean longer survival time. This means that a person may die at the exact same point of cancer development as another person, but the former is taken to have lived longer simply by virtue of the fact that his tumor was discovered earlier. In other words, different start points are used. Isn't this merely delusional?
* Patients who fail to "complete" conventional treatment protocols are excluded from overall statistics. This means that if a patient prescribed a 10-course chemotherapy protocol dies after 9 sessions, he is not included as a "failure" case. Control groups, however, play by different rules. This, again, artificially raises cure rates for conventional protocols. Isn't this totally unscientific?
* Adjusting for "Relative Survival Rate". This is perhaps best explained by Dr Moss: "Relative survival rates take into account the 'expected mortality figures'. Put simply, this means that if a person hadn't died of cancer he might have been run over by a truck, and that must be factored into the equation." Once again, this artificially raises the success rates of conventional treatment.
Taking into account the abovementioned, two main questions spring to my mind. Are cancer patients and their families informed of the fine print of cancer statistics when they are advised by their doctors to proceed with conventional cancer treatment, or when they are told that chemotherapy offers a such-and-such percentage of "cure" and is therefore their best (or only) option?
And, if, even after such deliberately deceptive maneuvers, official conventional cancer statistics still read so poorly, how bad exactly would the real statistics read without the blatant manipulation?
Intuitively, we probably know the rough answers.
Ultimately, the choice to go conventional, alternative or a combination of both is a decision which lies and should continue to lie with patients and their families. It will be a sad day when sick people are forced to undergo any particular protocol, especially when, statistically speaking, the method does not even work.
But a fundamental assumption underlying free will is the availability of perfect information, which unfortunately seems far from reality as far as cancer treatment is concerned. In choosing the type of cancer therapy to undergo, the above questions must be seriously considered by those affected. And if certain parties choose to present blinkered perspectives of reality, then it is up to cancer patients and their families to do as much as they can to patch up the remaining portions of that reality which are blocked from their view.
Chemotherapy contributes to a quarter of cancer deaths: study (http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/11/13/2418640.htm)
About the Author
Reuben Chow has a keen interest in natural health and healing as well as personal growth. His website, All 4 Natural Health, offers a basic guide on natural health information. It details simple, effective and natural ways, such as the use of nutrition, various herbs, herb remedies, supplements and other natural remedies, to deal with various health conditions as well as to attain good health. His other websites also cover topics such as depression help, inspiration, as well as cancer research and information.
Cannabis blunts prostate cancer threat: study
Posted Wed Aug 19, 2009 12:01pm AEST
Chemicals in cannabis have been found to stop prostate cancer cells from growing in the laboratory, suggesting marijuana-based medicines could one day help fight the disease, scientists said.
After working initially with human cancer cell lines, Ines Diaz-Laviada and colleagues from the University of Alcala in Madrid also tested one compound on mice and discovered it produced a significant reduction in tumour growth.
Their research, published in the British Journal of Cancer, underlines the growing interest in the medical use of active chemicals called cannabinoids, which are found in marijuana.
Experts, however, stressed that the research was still exploratory and many more years of testing would be needed to work out how to apply the findings to the treatment of cancer in humans.
"This is interesting research which opens a new avenue to explore potential drug targets but it is at a very early stage," said Lesley Walker, director of cancer information at Cancer Research UK, which owns the journal.
"It absolutely isn't the case that men might be able to fight prostate cancer by smoking cannabis," she added.
The cannabinoids tested by the Spanish team are thought to work against prostate cancer because they block a receptor, or molecular doorway, on the surface of tumour cells.
This stops them from dividing.
In effect, the cancer cell receptors can recognise and talk to chemicals found in cannabis, Ms Diaz-Laviada said.
"These chemicals can stop the division and growth of prostate cancer cells and could become a target for new research into potential drugs to treat prostate cancer," she said.
Her team's work with two cannabinoids - methanandamide and JWH-015 - is the first demonstration that such cannabis chemicals prevent cancer cells from multiplying.
Some drug companies are already exploring the possibilities of cannabinoids in cancer, including British-based cannabis medicine specialist GW Pharmaceuticals.
It is collaborating with Japan's Otsuka on early-stage research into using cannabis extracts to tackle prostate cancer - the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men - as well as breast and brain cancer.
Other attempts to exploit the cannabinoid system have met with mixed success.
Sanofi-Aventis was forced to withdraw its weight-loss drug Acomplia from the market last year because of links to mental disorders.
source: ABC News
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Rather than rely on a single text and pretend to defend it as the one true Bible, two different, widely available, and respected Bibles are used to show that the conclusions reached are not a fluke of some spurious translation.
The selection of these versions is arbitrary. Any scholarly study/chain link Bible can be used to reach exactly the same conclusions. These Bible translations were separated by 76 years of intense scholarly research and produced by two independent groups. The two Bibles used for this study are:
The Authorized (King James) Version. Using The Scofield Reference Bible, Copyright 1900,1917 by the Oxford University Press.
The New American Standard Translation. Using the Ryrie Study Bible, Copyright 1976, 1978 by The Moody Bible Institute of Chicago.
Old and New Testament verses are used to show continuity in God's treatment of marijuana. God's mind has not changed.
Primary Old Testament verse is Genesis 1:29. This verse will show us God's intent for all seed-bearing plants, which includes marijuana. Primary New Testament verses are 1 Timothy 4:1-4. These verses show God's contempt and condemnation for those people who are opposed to marijuana in any way.
It is appropriate for us to review these verses in their entirety. For convenience they are reproduced here:
Genesis 1:29. The New American Standard Translation.
Then God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you."
Genesis 1:29. The Authorized Version.
And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
1 Timothy 4:1-4. The New American Standard Translation.
4:1 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons,
4:2 by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron,
4:3 men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods, which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth.
4:4 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected, if it is received with gratitude;
1 Timothy 4:1-4. The Authorized Version.
4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
4:2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
4:3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
4:4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:
The Bible speaks for itself. It clearly says that God created marijuana for our use and says terrible things about those who seek to command abstinence or advocate abstaining from plants which God has created. Criminal sanctions command abstinence and are extreme examples of advocating abstinence.
Let's step back for a moment and consider several reasonable questions as to whether or not these verses apply to the current situation.
Does Genesis 1:29 apply?
Yes. It reveals God's will for all seed-bearing plants. Marijuana is a seed-bearing plant. This is so important that God put it in the very first chapter of the very first book of the Bible.
Do 1Timothy 4:1-4 apply?
Yes. 1 Tim 4:1 Tells us that these verses are a prediction of future events that will happen in later times. Since 1 Timothy was written about two thousand years ago we are certainly living at a later time. (It is beyond the focus of this study, but many Bible students consider this to also be an end times prophecy. If this is so, it may mean that false teachers are running out of time to repent.)
The linkage of these Old and New Testament passages is not out of context. At 1Tim 4:3 the Ryrie study Bible specifically links to Gen. 1:29. Closely observe that in the Authorized Version the word "meat" is used in both the New and Old testament verses, and that the word "food" is used in both passages in the New American Standard Translation. 1Tim4:3 inexorably locks these verses together.
FOOD a word in Gen1:29 worthy of amplification.
Biblically marijuana is a seed-bearing plant. Botanically marijuana it is a herbaceous annual plant. Botanically and scripturally marijuana is a herb, a food. It is one of the finest of foods. Of all the plants in the world the seed of marijuana is second in protein only to soy beans. Marijuana seeds are the only food that provides essential amino acids and essential fatty acids in the ratio that is optimal for the human body. Humans can and have survived in robust health by eating marijuana seeds. The oil that is pressed from the seed has more polyunsaturated essential fatty acids than any other known oil.
Due to the current ungodly prohibition eating marijuana is not economical, it is prohibitively expensive. If it could be legally grown in a garden, and it is easily grown in the poorest of soils, this God-given food and medicine would be readily available and inexpensive. Any hungry or sick and suffering person that could benefit from it would benefit from it without paying either the exorbitant prices caused by its illegality or caused by pharmaceutical company profits. Pharmaceutical companies have not been able to reproduce the divinely complex chemistry of this holy herb. Drug companies ask astronomical prices for a largely ineffective artificial substitute. Jesus said, "You can not serve God and mammon", (Mat 6:24). Mammon is money. The mammon in marijuana prohibition is greed and profit.
Notice, the only condition placed on the use of this God-given plant is that it be received with gratitude. 1 Tim 4:4 "For everything created by God is good and nothing is to be rejected, if it is received with gratitude." If you would like to see grateful people, you will find them wherever marijuana has reduced pain, cured blindness, whose tumors have disappeared, whose depression is vanquished, or have just gathered in happiness to share each others loving company. Jesus said; "by this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another", (John 13:35). Jesus says it is OK to gather in large, loving groups.
Contrary to the contention, "it does not say it is OK to consume it (marijuana) anywhere in scripture". Again review 1Tim4:4. "For everything created by God is good and nothing is to be rejected." This says it is OK, it is good and is not to be rejected.
There are dozen's, if not hundred's, of references from prestigious scientific and medical researchers that prove this God given plant is good for you. Several marijuana cookbooks are in print. There is a considerable amount of additional information on its nutritional value. If you would like references to any of this material, it will be sent to you.
It's time to finish this study with a parting thought. Jesus said " You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free",(John 8:32). It is the intent of this study to assist our walk along the path of truth and freedom.