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Marijuana kills cancer cells, says US government-funded research

Published 10/04/2015

Research could indicate that US government starting to recognize medical benefits of marijuana
Research could indicate that US government starting to recognize medical benefits of marijuana

The US government may be starting to officially recognise medicinal benefits of marijuana, as a government-funded research group has released a report claiming that weed can kill cancer cells.

The Daily Caller reported the National Institute on Drug Abuse has issued a report that recognises potential medical benefits of marijuana, something the US government has rejected in its classification of pot as a Schedule I drug – along with heroin, LSD and ecstasy.

“Recent animal studies have shown that marijuana can kill certain cancer cells and reduce the size of others,” the NIDA report said.

“Evidence from one animal study suggests that extracts from whole-plant marijuana can shrink one of the most serious types of brain tumours. Research in mice showed that these extracts, when used with radiation, increased the cancer-killing effects of the radiation.”

Writing in Molecular Cancer Therapies, one of the study’s lead authors, Dr Wai Liu said: "We’ve shown that cannabinoids could play a role in treating one of the most aggressive cancers in adults. The results are promising … it could provide a way of breaking through glioma and saving more lives."

Several US states allow the use of medicinal marijuana – and a few allow recreational use – but the federal government still bans marijuana use.

The Justice Department on Wednesday released a statement that said while it will not stop states that allow medical marijuana from carrying out their programs, it will still go after marijuana users.

The Daily Caller said scientists are also conducting preclinical and clinical trials with marijuana and its extracts to treat numerous diseases and conditions, such as HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis (MS), Alzheimer’s disease, and  inflammation. The report can be read here (pdf).

Source: Independent

Further reading

Peter Robinson's anger over party political broadcast for cannabis campaign party Cista in Northern Ireland

Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Cannabis extracts can 'dramatically slow' growth of brain cancer tumours, new research suggests

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Privateer start-up planning Bob Marley-branded weed has just raised $75 million in funding and has backing from Paypal founder Peter Theil

Marijuana legalisation in Colorado: Thousands of jobs created, $60m taxes raised and crime is falling as police admit 'everything is fine'

Weed is 114 times less deadly than alcohol, study finds  

Dutch mayors want to grow marijuana

Cannabis college: Oaksterdam University in California offers world's only course in marijuana cultivation

Denver Post appoints ‘weed editor’ after Colorado legalises marijuana

Washington becomes first US state to legalise marijuana possession

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