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Cannabinoids and Cancer

Actualizado: 6 jul 2018

Cannabinoids destroy cancer

By Dana Larsen – February, 27th 2004

Research continues to show the amazing anti-cancer effects of cannabis.

Green cancer cells…

An article in the October 2003 issue of the medical journal Nature Reviews, explains in detail current research on how cannabinoids can be used to treat cancer and tumors.

The article, titled Cannabinoids: potential anti-cancer agents, outlines the human body’s system of cannabinoid receptors, and explains how cannabinoids work to decrease nausea, increase appetite and inhibit pain.

However, most interesting is the section titled Antitumour effects of cannabinoids, where author Manuel Guzmán shows that cannabinoids destroy many forms of tumors and cancer cells.

…invading a blood vessel.

Further, Guzmán claims that “cannabinoids are selective antitumor compounds, as they can kill tumor cells without affecting their non-transformed counterparts.” In fact, instead of harming normal cells, cannabinoids “might even protect them from cell death.”

Citing over 100 references of research from scientific and medicinal journals, this article compiles all major studies into how cannabinoids affect cancerous tumors and cancer patients.

In 2000, Manuel Guzmán led a study which showed that application of THC destroyed otherwise incurable brain cancer tumors in rats (CC#25,THC destroys brain cancers). Sadly their research could not continue due to a lack of funding (CC#29, No funding for THC tumor research).

Some notable studies into the anti-cancer effects of cannabinoids include:

Cannabinoids block…

A study published in the July 2002 edition of the medical journal Blood, which found that THC and some other cannabinoids produced “programmed cell death” in different varieties of human leukemia and lymphoma cell lines, thereby destroying the cancerous cells but leaving other cells unharmed.

A study published in a 1975 edition of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, which showed that THC slowed the growth of lung cancer, breast cancer and virus-induced leukemia in rats.

Titled Antineoplastic activity of cannabinoids, this study was funded by the US National Institute of Health, and performed by researchers at the Medical College of Virginia. Despite the promising results, no further research was made, and the study has essentially disappeared from the scientific literature.

A 1994 study, which documented that THC may protect against malignant cancers, and which was buried by the US government. The $2 million study, funded by the US Department of Health and Human Services, sought to show that large doses of THC produced cancer in rats. Instead, researchers found that massive doses of THC had a positive effect, actually slowing the growth of stomach cancers. The rats given THC lived longer than their non-exposed counterparts.

…this process.

The study was unpublished and the results hidden for almost three years, until it was finally leaked to the media in 1997. (CC#17, THC for tumors).

A study published in the July 1998 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that anandamide inhibited the growth of breast cancer cells. Anandamide is the naturally occurring body chemical which is mimicked by cannabinoids.

Other studies cited by Guzmán show that cannabinoids can also help prevent the death of brain cells during a stroke, head trauma and nerve gas exposure (CC#16, Marijuana protects your brain).

For more information, and a link to the Nature Reviews on cancer

Manuel Guzmán: School of Biology, Complutense University, 28040 Madrid, Spain;


Cannabinoid anti-tumor effect

By Dana Larsen – July, 6th 2003

More evidence of cannabis’s cancer fighting powers found

A study in the January 2003 edition of the Journal of Clinical Investigationshowed that local application of synthetic cannabinoids inhibited the growth of malignant skin tumors in mice. Both forms of cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) are found in normal skin of humans and mice.

Meanwhile, a separate study, published in the January 2003 edition of theJournal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, showed that cannabinoids reduced the formation of blood vessels in malignant gliomas in mice. This effect reduced the blood supply to the cancer.

The study claimed that this could be an important aspect to the anti-tumor effects of cannabinoids.

For more med-pot news and updates:


Cannabinoid treats tumours

By Dana Larsen – January 21 2002

Derivitive of THC shown to reduce tumours

A study published in the September 2001 Biochemical Pharmacology showed that a synthetic cannabinoid produced anti-tumour effects in mice. Ajulemic acid is a patented compound owned by Atlantic Technology Ventures, with the trade name of CT-3. CT-3 is a synthetic derivative of a non-psychoactive THC metabolite called “THC-11-oic acid.”

In May 2001, Atlantic announced that it was working with the US Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense to investigate the uses of CT-3, “a novel synthetic marijuana derivative designed to maximize the medical properties of marijuana without producing undesirable psychoactive side effects.”

Preliminary studies have shown that CT-3 has significant analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, and with less risk and side-effects than ibuprofen or aspirin. The newest study showed that CT-3 inhibited the growth of human glioma cancer cells implanted into the brains of mice. Although CT-3 was only half as effective as THC in inhibiting tumour growth, its effects lasted longer.

This study confirms results obtained at Madrid’s Complutense University, published in the March 2000 issue of Nature Medicine. The Madrid study found that rats injected with glioma cells and then treated with THC or a synthetic cannabinoid had a significant reduction in tumours (THC destroys brain cancers).

An excellent resource for med-pot research and news is the International Association for Cannabis as Medicine: email;


No funding for THC tumour research

By Dana Larsen – February, 27th 2001

Spanish scientists blocked from further study

Scientists at the Complutense University of Madrid will not be able to research the use of THC against brain tumours in humans due to a lack of funding.

In early 2000, the Spanish team led by Dr Manuel Guzman had demonstrated that THC and a synthetic cannabinoid both induced regression of malignant gliomas when tested on laboratory rats (see, THC destroys brain cancers).

There is currently no effective treatment for malignant gliomas.

The two cannabinoids completely destroyed the tumours in half the rats tested, and prolonged the lives of the rest.

Despite seven months of effort, Guzman has been unable to secure funding for further research in humans.


Pot shrinks tumours

By Raymond Cushing – Wednesday, June 7 2000

This article is from AlterNet May 31, 2000

The term medical marijuana took on dramatic new meaning in February when researchers in Madrid announced they had destroyed incurable brain cancer tumors in rats by injecting them with THC, the active ingredient in cannabis. The Madrid study marks only the second time that THC has been administered to tumor-bearing animals; the first was a Virginia investigation 26 years ago. In both studies, the THC shrank or destroyed tumors in a majority of the test subjects.

Most Americans don’t know anything about the Madrid discovery. Virtually no U.S. newspapers carried the story, which ran only once on the AP and UPI news wires, on Feb. 29.

The ominous part is that this isn’t the first time scientists have discovered that THC shrinks tumors. In 1974 researchers at the Medical College of Virginia, who had been funded by the National Institute of Health to find evidence that marijuana damages the immune system, found instead that THC slowed the growth of three kinds of cancer in mice — lung and breast cancer, and a virus-induced leukemia.

The DEA quickly shut down the Virginia study and all further cannabis/tumor research, according to Jack Herer, who reports on the events in his book, “The Emperor Wears No Clothes.” In 1976 President Gerald Ford put an end to all public cannabis research and granted exclusive research rights to major pharmaceutical companies, who set out — unsuccessfully — to develop synthetic forms of THC that would deliver all the medical benefits without the “high.” The Madrid researchers reported in the March issue of “Nature Medicine” that they injected the brains of 45 rats with cancer cells, producing tumors whose presence they confirmed through magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). On the 12th day they injected 15 of the rats with THC and 15 with Win-55,212-2 a synthetic compound similar to THC.

“All the rats left untreated uniformly died 12-18 days after glioma (brain cancer) cell inoculation … Cannabinoid (THC)-treated rats survived significantly longer than control rats. THC administration was ineffective in three rats, which died by days 16-18. Nine of the THC-treated rats surpassed the time of death of untreated rats, and survived up to 19-35 days. Moreover, the tumor was completely eradicated in three of the treated rats.” The rats treated with Win-55,212-2 showed similar results.

The Spanish researchers, led by Dr. Manuel Guzman of Complutense University, also irrigated healthy rats’ brains with large doses of THC for seven days, to test for harmful biochemical or neurological effects. They found none. “Careful MRI analysis of all those tumor-free rats showed no sign of damage related to necrosis, edema, infection or trauma … We also examined other potential side effects of cannabinoid administration. In both tumor-free and tumor-bearing rats, cannabinoid administration induced no substantial change in behavioral parameters such as motor coordination or physical activity. Food and water intake as well as body weight gain were unaffected during and after cannabinoid delivery. Likewise, the general hematological profiles of cannabinoid-treated rats were normal. Thus, neither biochemical parameters nor markers of tissue damage changed substantially during the 7-day delivery period or for at least 2 months after cannabinoid treatment ended.”

Guzman’s investigation is the only time since the 1974 Virginia study that THC has been administered to live tumor-bearing animals. (The Spanish researchers cite a 1998 study in which cannabinoids inhibited breast cancer cell proliferation, but that was a “petri dish” experiment that didn’t involve live subjects.)

In an email interview for this story, the Madrid researcher said he had heard of the Virginia study, but had never been able to locate literature on it. Hence, the Nature Medicine article characterizes the new study as the first on tumor-laden animals and doesn’t cite the 1974 Virginia investigation. “I am aware of the existence of that research. In fact I have attempted many times to obtain the journal article on the original investigation by these people, but it has proven impossible.” Guzman said.

In 1983 the Reagan/Bush Administration tried to persuade American universities and researchers to destroy all 1966-76 cannabis research work, including compendiums in libraries, reports Jack Herer, who states, “We know that large amounts of information have since disappeared.”

Guzman provided the title of the work — “Antineoplastic activity of cannabinoids,” an article in a 1975 Journal of the National Cancer Institute — and this writer obtained a copy at the UC medical school library in Davis and faxed it to Madrid.

The summary of the Virginia study begins, “Lewis lung adenocarcinoma growth was retarded by the oral administration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabinol (CBN)” — two types of cannabinoids, a family of active components in marijuana. “Mice treated for 20 consecutive days with THC and CBN had reduced primary tumor size.”

The 1975 journal article doesn’t mention breast cancer tumors, which featured in the only newspaper story ever to appear about the 1974 study — in the Local section of the Washington Post on August 18, 1974. Under the headline, “Cancer Curb Is Studied,” it read in part:

“The active chemical agent in marijuana curbs the growth of three kinds of cancer in mice and may also suppress the immunity reaction that causes rejection of organ transplants, a Medical College of Virginia team has discovered.” The researchers “found that 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.”

Guzman, writing from Madrid, was eloquent in his response after this writer faxed him the clipping from the Washington Post of a quarter century ago. In translation, he wrote:

“It is extremely interesting to me, the hope that the project seemed to awaken at that moment, and the sad evolution (lastimosa evolucion) of events during the years following the discovery, until now we once again ‘draw back the veil’ over theanti-tumoral power of THC, twenty-five years later. Unfortunately, the world bumps along between such moments of hope and long periods of intellectual castration.”

News coverage of the Madrid discovery has been virtually nonexistent in this country. The news broke quietly on Feb. 29 with a story that ran once on the UPI wire about the Nature Medicine article. This writer stumbled on it through a link that appeared briefly on the Drudge Report web page. The New York Times, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times all ignored the story, even though its newsworthiness is indisputable: a benign substance occurring in nature destroys deadly brain tumors.

For the full story, pick up “The Emperor Wears No Clothes” by Jack Herer, or log on for excerpts from the book at

Raymond Cushing is a regular contributor to the Sacramento News & Review and the Anderson Valley (CA) Advertiser.


THC destroys brain cancers

By Dana Larsen – May, 30th 2000

THC eradicated brain cancers in some rats, and helped others to live longer, according to a study printed in the March Nature Medicine.

Researchers at Madrid’s Complutense and Autonoma Universities injected glioma cancer cells into the brains of 45 rats to produce tumours. 15 rats were left untreated, while 15 had THC infusions for seven days, delivered through a tube to the tumours, and 15 had a synthetic cannabinoid infusion.

The untreated rats all died within 18 days. Tumours disappeared in 3 of the rats which received THC, and 9 of the others lived up to 35 days. 5 of the cannabinoid rats became tumour-free, and 4 more outlived the untreated animals.

Researchers believe that cannabinoids trigger the build-up of a chemical messenger, ceramide, which in turn leads to “programmed cell death” in the tumour. Both THC and the synthetic cannabinoid affected only cancerous brain cells.


Canabinoid Research around the world

By Dana Larsen – June, 30th 1999

Scientists confirm cannabinoids’ medicinal benefits.

Research into the healing effects of cannabis extracts is growing around the globe. Over the past year, a variety of medicinal effects of cannabinoids have been confirmed:

A pharmacologist at the University of Texas has shown that injecting small amounts of cannabinoids directly into the site of an injury will relieve pain and swelling.

Scientists at the Neurosciences Institute in San Diego have shown that cannabinoids block the formation of memories in animal brain tissue. This might keep the brain from getting overwhelmed with unimportant memories.

Research by the US Institute of Mental Health has shown that cannabinoids protect brain cells from stroke or trauma damage.

University of Buffalo researchers have reported that cannabinoids help regulate the timing of human reproduction, by slowing sperm that approach an egg before it’s ready for fertilization.

The British Heart Foundation is funding research into how cannabinoids reduce blood pressure and the risk of stroke through “vaso-relaxation”.

The University of Madrid completed studies this year, showing that high concentrations of THC kills brain tumour cells while leaving normal brain cells unharmed.

An Italian study published in the July 1998 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that cannabinoids can inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells.



Cannabinoid Receptors

Several cells in the brain and other organs contain specific protein receptors that recognize THC and some other cannabinoids and trigger cell responses. Other cannabinoids do not bind to these cannabinoid receptors and exert their effects by other ways. The discovery of specific cannabinoid receptors prompted the search for putative naturally-occurring chemicals that interact with the receptors, the endocannabinoids.


The term “cannabinoid” has different meanings. In a more narrow sense, it designates the natural cannabinoids of the cannabis plant. In the broadest sense, it includes all chemicals that bind to the cannabinoid receptors and related compounds. The endogenous ligands of the cannabinoid receptors have been termed endocannabinoids.


CBD, or cannabidiol, is the major non-psychotropic cannabinoid found in Cannabis. It has shown anti-epileptic, anti-inflammatory, anti-emetic, muscle relaxing, anxiolytic, neuroprotective and anti-psychotic activity and reduces the psychoactive effects of THC. The mode of action of cannabidiol is not fully understood and several mechanisms have been proposed, including an antagonistic action at the CB1 receptor.


Anandamide (or arachidonyl-ethanolamide) is an endocannabinoid or endogenous ligand to the cannabinoid receptor. It was the first to be discovered, in 1992.


Produced by the body, not delivered from external sources. The endogenous cannabinoids are called endocannabinoids.


The endogenous ligands of the cannabinoid receptors have been termed endogenous cannabinoids or endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoids are produced by the body of humans and animals. Some endocannabinoids are arachidonyl-ethanolamide (anandamide), 2-arachidonyl glycerol (2-AG), palmitoyl-ethanolamide, 2-arachidonylglyceryl ether (noladin ether), arachidonyl-ethanolamine (virodhamine), and N-arachidonoyl-dopamine (NADA).


Cannabis sativa L. is the botanical name and Latin binomial of hemp. Until now, there are more than 500 different identifiable chemical constituents known to exist in cannabis. Only a part of these compounds exists in one plant. The most distinctive and specific class of compounds are the cannabinoids (more than 100 known). Other constituents of the cannabis plant are: nitrogenous compounds, amino acids, proteins, glycoproteins, enzymes, sugars and related compounds, hydrocarbons, simple alcohols, aldehydes, ketones, simple acids, fatty acids, simple esters, lactones, steroids, terpenes, non-cannabinoid phenols, flavonoids, vitamins and pigments, elements. The very most of these compounds are found in other plants and animals and are not of pharmacological relevance with regard to the effects exerted by cannabis preparations.


Hashish is an Arabic name for cannabis resin or compressed resin glands, containing 5-20% or even more THC.


Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) is an annual plant, normally dioecious, with male and female flowers developing on separate plants. Depending on THC and CBD content hemp can be divided into fibre and drug types. There are regional differences in the employment of the terms cannabis, hemp and marijuana. In the USA and Canada the term “hemp” is usually only applied to fibre hemp in contrast to the term “marijuana”, while in many regions of Europe hemp (“Hanf”) can be applied to drug types as well (in the sense of the old term “Indian hemp”).


A ligand binds to a specific receptor. The ligands of the cannabinoid receptor are called cannabinoids. The endogenous ligands of the cannabinoid receptor are called endocannabinoids.


Marijuana (marihuana) is a colloquial name for dried leaves and flowers of drug cannabis varieties rich in THC (1-20% THC). The median content of THC of confiscated marijuana in the USA in 1997 was 4.2%. Marijuana available on prescription in the Netherlands contains up to 18% THC.


THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) usually refers to the naturally existing isomer of delta-9-THC, but also may include delta-8-THC. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and delta-1-tetrahydrocannabinol are two names for the same molecule according to different numbering systems (monoterpenoid and dibenzopyran nomenclature). Generally the natural (-)-trans-isomer of delta-9-THC of the cannabis plant, the (-)-delta-9-trans-tetrahydrocannabinol or dronabinol is designated. Chemically, delta-9-THC is defined as (6aR-trans)-6a,7,8,10a-tetrahy-dro6,6,9-trimethyl-3-pentyl-6H-dibenzo

[b,d]pyran-1-ol with a molecular weight of 314.47 Da.


Holistic Biochemistry of Cannabinoids

extract from Robert Melamade video.

“The whole is greater than the sum of the parts”

The endocannabinoid system is a homeostatic regulator.

The Endocannabinoid System has played, and continue to play, a unique role in evolution by functioning as a Global Homeostactic Regulator.

All of these systems are homeostatically regulated by Endocannabinoids: Cardiovascular, Digestive, Endocrine, Excretory, Immunological, Nervous, Musculo-skeletal, Reproductive and Respiratory.

Depending on what your disease is, you have a biochemical imbalance. And canabinoids are a homeostatic regulator, meaning they try to restore the balance.

Biochemical imbalances lead to excess free radical production: Ying and Yang, anti-oxidant and pro-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and inflammatory.

Hypotesis: Free radicals are the friction of life.

That longer we live, the more we make this free radicals. Free radicals are a highly reactive compounds. They react with things including our DNA. and lead us to a whole variety of age related diseases. What turns out at the end that the Endocannabinoids are the Oil of Life.



Recommended article: Hemp Oil Protocol

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