Marijuana extracts can kill cancer cells, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse. The U.S. federal government research institute officially changed a page on their website citing what scientists from St. George University, London discovered in a recent marijuana study.
According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), the agency’s mission is to bring “the power of science to bear on drug abuse and addiction.” The organization confirmed that scientist at the university found marijuana may “dramatically reduce” the growth of cancer cells.
NIDA reported the following.
“Recent animal studies have shown that marijuana extracts may help kill certain cancer cells and reduce the size of others. One cell culture study suggests that purified extracts from whole-plant marijuana can slow the growth of cancer cells from one of the most serious types of brain tumors.”
Scientists led by lead researcher, Dr. Wai Liu, published their study in the Molecular Cancer Therapeutics journal in November 2014.
Dr. Liu commented on their findings of the marijuana study.
“The benefits of the cannabis plant elements were known before but the drastic reduction of brain cancers if used with irradiation is something new and may well prove promising for patients who are in gravely serious situations with such cancers in the future.”
Twenty-three U.S. states have legalized marijuana. In addition, 12 states legalized it for medical use of non-psychoactive cannabis extracts. Four states have actually legalized marijuana for recreational use.
However, the U.S. federal government ironically bans the use of marijuana.
Last year, for the first time in American history, the U.S. Congress approved legislation that actually ended the war on medical marijuana providers and patients. The bill’s amendment blocks the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), including the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) from using money to interfere with state medical marijuana laws.
Nonetheless, last week, the DOJ released a statement declaring they would not interfere with any states’ medical marijuana programs, but will continue in their pursuit of prosecuting marijuana users.
According to a Los Angeles Times story, the Justice Department spokesperson, Patrick Rodenbush, elaborated on the department’s stance on marijuana enforcement and prosecution precedence.
“Consistent with the Department’s stated enforcement priorities; we don’t expect that the amendment will impact our ability to prosecute private individuals or private entities who are violating the Controlled Substances Act.”
The recent official admission by NIDA that medical marijuana works at killing and “dramatically” reducing cancer cells, in comparison to the U.S. government’s promise to search out and prosecute marijuana users is considered a “major hypocrisy” by a few.
For example, Vice News‘ article referred to a comment made by Malik Burnett, policy manager at the Drug Policy Alliance.
“We have the Justice Department continuing to threaten patients with arrest and prosecution in spite of the fact that Congress has voted to prevent the Justice Department from interfering with states that have passed medical marijuana laws. These are all just parts of the major hypocrisy within the federal government when it comes to the issue of marijuana.”
On one hand, Dr. Wai Liu wrote in a Washington Post article what researchers and scientists have already discovered.
“Widely prescribed around the world for its recreational uses, cannabis is being used in a number of different therapeutic ways to bring relief for severe medical conditions. Products using cannabinoids, the active components of the cannabis plant, have been licensed for medical use.”
Dr. Liu elaborates.
“Sativex, for example, is already licensed as a mouth spray for multiple sclerosis and in the United States, dronabinol, and nabilone are commercially available for treating cancer-related side effects. We’ve also shown that cannabinoids could play a role in treating one of the most aggressive cancers in adults.”
On the other hand, the U.S. government considers marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance–along with LSD, ecstasy, and heroin. They say marijuana has “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.”
The marijuana war and controversy rages on.
[Photo via Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]