Another score for the pro-legalization team: The National Institute on Drug Abuse just (quietly) admitted marijuana could be the key to fighting cancer, citing research that supports the claim.
The government institute recently edited a page on its website titled “DrugFacts: Is Marijuana Medicine?” to reflect this new finding.
The page now includes a blurb that reads,
Evidence from 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.
The study cited was conducted by scientists at St. George's University of London last November.
Their findings, published in the journal Molecular Cancer Therapies, concluded that when used in conjunction, THC -- the component in marijuana that alters the mind -- and the extract cannabidiol contributed to “dramatic reductions” in glioma tumor size and growth in mice.
Gliomas are the most common type of malignant cancer cells in human brain tumors, found in about 80 percent of cases.
In an op-ed piece written for the Washington Post, Dr. Wai Liu, lead author of the study, said,
We've shown that cannabinoids could play a role in treating one of the most aggressive tumors in adults.
It should be noted the National Institute on Drug Abuse isn't wholly unbiased: The agency works with the University of Mississippi to grow and supply “research-grade marijuana.”
As of this month, 23 states, plus the District of Columbia, have legalized marijuana in some capacity.