The US government official agency on cancer, the National Cancer Institute, has listed the potential medical benefits of cannabis on their website even though marijuana is still listed as a Schedule 1 federal drug. The potential benefits of cannabis in the fight against cancer are apoptosis, inhibiting cancer cell growth and inhibiting the growth of the blood vessels that feed cancer cells.
Apoptosis is the death of the cancer cells, which seems like a really significant potential medical benefit. The only reason it is a potential benefit, instead of a definitive benefit, is that there is not enough research to support the claim that it is a true benefit. In fact, the research done by the NCI references testing on mice. Could it be true that the US government’s research, after all of this time researching cancer, has not gotten past testing mice, with a substance that could kill cancer cells and is as abundant as marijuana?
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is the United State’s primary agency in which cancer research and training is conducted. They are part of a larger umbrella of governmental agencies that comprise the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The NCI is largely responsible for the running the National Cancer Program, providing cancer-related information to the public, as well as developing programs and recommendations for the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of cancer.
Now listed on the the NCI’s Cannabis and Cannabinoids page, which is assumed to be the United State’s official position regarding Marijuana’s potential application in treating cancer, are the following facts:
The page also discusses several other potential medical applications for Cannabis and Cannabinoids such as pain relief, appetite stimulation, as well as it being an effective treatment for nausea, anxiety, and depression.
The page concludes by stating the FDA has not approved Cannabis or any Cannabinoids for the treatment of cancer, but that two Cannabinoids (dronabinal and nabilone) are currently approved for the treatment of chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting.
The NCI’s page on Cannabinoids and Cannabis as a treatment for cancer gives the impression that the currently schedule I substance, Marijuana, holds tremendous potential for medical applications.
The National Cancer Institute’s page for Cannabis and Cannabinoids now lists several preclinical trials and studies in which the compounds have shown beneficial medical applications. While these merits come as no surprise for many, the real shocker here is Marijuana still being listed as a Schedule I substance in the eyes of the DEA.