For over 40 years, research proving cannabis‘s incredible cancer-fighting powers has been either hushed or completely ignored by the US government. It continues to push other treatments, a lot of the time at the cost of your overall health, and carries on strictly enforcing marijuana laws.
The major issue in medical research of marijuana is the fact that federal permission is mandatory in order to conduct the research, due to its illegal schedule 1 status (3).
Senior Policy Analyst at the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), Paul Armentano, collected together the findings of multiple studies into marijuana’s effect on cancerous cells. He found that the US government has been avoiding to listen to some pretty across-the-board conclusive evidence.
What do Studies Show About Cancer and Cannabis?
Armentano’s report (1) on cannabinoids (the active compounds in cannabis) and the ways in which they can impact on cancer cells, brought together decades of research into the subject.
He begins his study with a quote from the conclusion of another comprehensive review. “Cannabinoids possess… anticancer activity [and may] possibly represent a new class of anti-cancer drugs that retard cancer growth, [and] inhibit… the metastatic spreading of cancer cells.” (1)
Armentano then goes back to over 4 decades ago, with a 1974 study by the Medical College of Virginia. This study found that cannabis inhibited malignant tumor cell growth in both cultures and mice. The study was published in the Washington Post and concluded that marijuana’s primary cannabinoid, THC, “slowed the growth of lung cancers, breast cancers, and a virus-induced leukemia in laboratory mice, and prolonged their lives by as much as 36 percent.” (1)
In spite of these very promising finds, the government refused any future funding for 20 years. That is, until a mid-90s study by the US National Toxicology Program. Once again, they found that cannabis had a positive impact – mice and rats that were given high doses of THC over long periods of time experienced greater protection against malignant tumors than the untreated mice.
The results of this study were actually kept secret. They only came to light after they were leaked in 1997 to a medical journal, which then released them to the national media. Even then, the government hasn’t been forthcoming in funding any more studies on the subject in America.