The human body has natural cannabinoid receptors, we make these compounds naturally and cannabinoids are integral to supporting our optimal health when produced in appropriate amounts.
Cannabis has a history of traditional use as a botanical medicine. The term medical marijuana refers to the use of whole, unprocessed plant and pure extract to treat disease or improve a symptom.
To qualify, the product must be sourced from a medicinal grade cannabis plant meticulously grown without the use of toxic pesticides and fertilizers.
The cannabis plant has over 400 chemicals and at least 60 different cannabinoids that the human body is equipped to respond to. The 2 primary ones are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the latter is the psychoactive component in marijuana.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, notable scientific study results led to the creation of 2 US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved medications containing cannabinoid chemicals in pill form, but not the use of the whole plant as opposed to single ingredients.3
Movement of CBD Oil on and off the list of Schedule 1 drugs may indicate an underlying struggle between research results and the desire to harness financial potential in pill form.
CBD and THC are both cannabinoids that interact with receptors found in the human brain, but they have dramatically different effects.
- CBD is non-psychoactive, which means a user does not experience the high effect recieved from consuming or smoking marijuana.
- THC is the chief psychoactive component in the plant primarily responsible for creating the high associated with recreational use.
While the unidentified patient in the UK patient experienced a reduction in tumor size using just CBD Oil, an in vitro study from the University of London, published in Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, used both THC and CBD to yield impressive results in alleviating pain, restoring the appetite and shrinking brain tumors.
The study found THC and CBD in combination with radiation were able to shrink tumors to a greater extent than radiation alone. Interestingly, using just one of the compounds or radiation alone had a negligible effect on the treatment of the brain tumors.
The findings suggest patients may not need a lot of THC to bind the cannabinoid receptor in the brain cell, as in small doses it can retain anti-cancer properties without psychoactive side effects. Senior study author Wai Liu, PhD, says the trick is to find the right balance.
Dr. Liu told Medical Daily:1
“We think that the cannabinoids are hitting a number of cell signaling pathways, which primes them to the effects of irradiation. Pretreatment with the cannabinoids seems to interfere with the ability of the tumor cell to repair the DNA-damaging effects of irradiation.
We think this is due to the different pathways that these cannabinoids hit. Specifically, THC works via receptors, whilst CBD may not need them; consequently, using them together results in a ‘priming’ effect in tumor cells, making them more sensitive to the ‘cell killing’ effects of irradiation.”
This study also supports the results from others.
In Y 2009, researchers in Spain discovered THC kills brain cancer cells through a process known as autophagy. The initial discovery was made in animals, and w human patients suffering highly aggressive brain tumors then received intracranial injections of THC, showing similar signs of autophagy.
Notably, the reduction in tumor size was documented by his physicians through X-ray and CT scans. In one study using 2 cannabinoid compounds, data yielded impressive results, alleviating pain, restoring appetite and shrinking brain tumors
The history of cannabis use for medicinal purposes dates back at least 6,000 years. It was !st introduced to the West by WB O’Shaughnessy, an Irish surgeon who learned about it while working in India.
His research was presented to scholars at the Medical and Physical Society of Calcutta in Y 1839. Initially it was primarily used for its analgesic, sedative, antispasmodic and anticonvulsant properties.
According to the National Cancer Institute, the US Treasury Department introduced the Marijuana Tax Act in Y 1937, imposing a levy of $1/oz for medicinal use.
Interestingly, physicians were the principal opponents as it required doctors to pay a special tax, use different order forms and keep special records.
In 1942 cannabis was removed from the US Pharmacopoeia, the list of approved medications and drugs in the US, as it was believed cannabis might have harmful side effects.
Then in Y 1951 Congress included cannabis on a list of narcotic drugs. When the Controlled Substance Act was passed in Y 1970, marijuana was classified as a Schedule 1 drug.2
In Y 1996, California initiated the movement to legalize access for medicinal use under physician supervision.
Today, 13 states have decriminalized recreational use, 10 have made recreational use legal and 33, including Washington, DC, have legalized medical marijuana.2
The Drug Enforcement Agency’s, aka DEA removed CBD medicines with a THC content below 0.1% off their Schedule 1 list of drugs three months after the FDA approved the 1st non-synthetic, cannabis-derived medicine as a treatment for certain types of epilepsy.2
In addition to the cancer treatment studies discussed, researchers have found cannabis is pro-apoptotic, triggering cellular suicide of cancer cells while leaving healthy cells untouched, and anti-angiogenic, as it cuts off blood supply to tumors.
Harvard researchers found THC cuts tumor growth in lung cancer while significantly reducing its ability to spread; click here for the abstract.
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