Pharmaceutical Marijuana: The Future of Cancer Treatment

The practice of oncology in the United States is in need of a host of reforms and initiatives to mitigate the problem of over diagnosis and overtreatment of cancer, according to a working group sanctioned by the National Cancer Institute. Using natural chemotherapy agents like medical marijuana needs to be part of that reform. The mainstream press is turning to embrace medical marijuana, which is now acknowledging that it is more effective and certainly safer than many pharmaceutical drugs.
Pharmaceutical strength marijuana is now available legally to the four corners of the globe because Cannabidiol (CBD) has no illegal THC. No longer do people need to sneak around to obtain one of the most useful plants on the planet and the medicines that can be made from them.
The American College of Physicians (ACP) issued a policy statement years ago endorsing medical marijuana use. The group has urged the government to reverse its ban on medical treatments using marijuana. "ACP encourages the use of non-smoked forms of THC (the main psychoactive element in marijuana) that have proven therapeutic value." The Philadelphia-based organization, the second largest doctor's group in the United States, cited studies into marijuana's medical applications such as treating severe weight loss associated with illnesses such as AIDS, and treating nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy for cancer patients.[1]
Cannabinoids offer cancer patients a therapeutic option in the treatment of highly invasive cancers. The medical science is strongly in favor of hemp oil as a primary cancer therapy,not just in a supportive role to control the side effects of chemotherapy. According to Dr. Robert Ramer and Dr. Burkhard Hinz of the University of Rostock in Germany medical marijuana can be an effective treatment for cancer.[2] Their research was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute Advance Access on December 25th of 2007 in a paper entitled Inhibition of Cancer Cell Invasion by Cannabinoids via Increased Expression of Tissue Inhibitor of Matrix Metalloproteinases-1.[3]
Marijuana cuts lung cancer tumor growth in half, a 2007 Harvard Medical School study shows.[4].The active ingredient in marijuana cuts tumor growth in common lung cancer in half and significantly reduces the ability of the cancer to spread, say researchers at Harvard University who tested the chemical in both lab and mouse studies. "The beauty of this study is that we are showing that a substance of abuse, if used prudently, may offer a new road to therapy against lung cancer," said Anju Preet, Ph.D., a researcher in the Division of Experimental Medicine.
Researchers reported in the August 15, 2004 issue of Cancer Research, the journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, that marijuana's constituents inhibited the spread of brain cancer in human tumor biopsies.[5]
Researchers at the University of Milan in Naples, Italy, reported in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics that non-psychoactive compounds in marijuana inhibited the growth of glioma cells in a dose-dependent manner, and selectively targeted and killed malignant cells through apoptosis. "Non-psychoactive CBD produce[s] a significant anti-tumor activity both in vitro and in vivo, thus suggesting a possible application of CBD as an antineoplastic agent."[6]
Cannabidiol (CBD)
According to Dr. Allan Frankel, "Cannabidiol will be used to treat chronic pain, anxiety and other mood disorders, as well as being a neuro-protectant and a very helpful anti-cancer drug." CBD is an extremely powerful anti-inflammatory. While inflammation is normally treated with corticosteroids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), the improvements in quality and understanding of CBD content increases the opportunity for inflammation and associated pain to be treated with Cannabidiol.
Dr. Frankel goes on to say, "CBD works against pain primarily in the peripheral nervous system. It does not work like typical pain meds by affecting the central nervous system; it works at the neuro-synapse. When we sustain injuries, often the pain is acute and disappears completely. Other times we have persistent or intermittent pain, but it is still not that big of a deal. However, with many disorders the pain is either part of the underlying problem itself (multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.) or the pain becomes a syndrome of its own. In other words, the pain takes on a life of its own and is now crippling the patient."
CBD has no side effects and becomes very effective as an anti-psychotic when given in larger doses. With more antioxidant potency than either vitamin C or E, CBD has consistently demonstrated neuro-protective effects.
For Addiction
Researchers believe they've found a substance that might help fight cocaine addiction—marijuana. Doctors from the National Institute on Drug Abuse found that the brain has receptors for many drug compounds, including marijuana compounds such as Cannabidiol, which has a synthetic form called JWH133.
Using synthetic compounds of Cannabidiol works but natural marijuana does not have the side effects that come from all things synthetic. But we can learn a lot about how natural marijuana works when we study synthetics in action.
When scientists gave samples of JWH133 to mice that were trained to be regular users of cocaine, the mice's use of cocaine decreased. The more JWH133 the mice got, the less coke they wanted. "The researchers deduced that the reason the mice dialed back their cocaine habits was that the drug no longer made them feel so good," says Karen Kaplan in the Los Angeles Times.
The receptors for drug compounds work by stimulating the brain's reward system. JWH133 apparently eliminates the rewarding effect that comes from taking cocaine. In one experiment, mice given cocaine ran wildly on a treadmill—until they were given JWH133, which dampened cocaine's effects and caused them to run more slowly.
Dr. Antonello Bonci of the NIDA, as quoted in TIME, is extremely excited and says that studies of Alzheimer's disease and psychosis have found that JWH133 may have therapeutic uses against those conditions, too: "It's extremely exciting."
CBD turns the debate about illicit-drugs-as-medicine on its head—medical marijuana that does not get the user high. One woman with Parkinson's disease, who Dr. Michael Callton treats, told him she ingests an oral marijuana candy, a medicine that doesn't make her intoxicated in order to calm her tremors enough so she can sleep. "She doesn't want to get high," said Dr. Callton (also Michigan Republican Representative). "She just wants to sleep."
Researchers at the California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute (CPMCRI) combined the non-psychoactive cannabis compound, Cannabidiol (CBD), with Δ9-tetrahyrdocannabinol (Δ9-THC), the primary psychoactive active ingredient in cannabis. They found the combination boosts the inhibitory effects of Δ9-THC on glioblastoma, the most common and aggressive form of brain tumour and the cancer that claimed the life of Sen. Ted Kennedy.[7]
Real Scientific Hemp Oil, an associated company of Dixie Botanicals, just came out with a two month supply of highly concentrated CBD (legal) medical marijuana. Each batch of CBD-rich oil is tested for potency and is marked and sold in concentrations of 10% to 25%. A Certificate of Analysis (COA) is included with every purchase.[8]
The one gram a day dosage of sublingual CBD in this new formula is at five times the concentration that is necessary to throw cancer on its back. People have rightfully complained about the low concentration levels of other products because high dosages are necessary for full pharmaceutical effect.
The cost on their site is $3,600 (After introductory instant rebate) for a two month supply of the highest concentrated CBD on the planet. The normal price is 4,995 and that is inexpensive for a truly natural chemotherapy agent. IMVA Members receive an even higher discount.
Another exciting product for California residents is exceptionally pure extract/marijuana oil with extremely high levels of THC, which will get the patient high as a kite whereas the CBD will not. It is also, in one gram dosages, $60 dollars a day but people should not expect to function to well while under the influence.
CBD-rich oil is best absorbed through sublingual application, and provides the highest available CBD content without a psychotropic effect (meaning, there is less than 1% THC). When taken sublingually, the CBD is absorbed via the oral mucosa. The oral mucosa contains small micro-capillaries that allow the CBD to be absorbed directly into the bloodstream. Absorption directly into the bloodstream allows for an almost immediate effect and bypasses "first pass" liver metabolism, allowing for the full strength of the CBD to be experienced.
As the remaining CBD-rich oil is swallowed, it enters the digestive system and is directed to the liver by the hepatic portal system. The liver will then metabolize the remaining CBD, which then later enters the bloodstream to provide a delayed but longer-lasting effect.
This secondary longer-lasting effect from the RSHO provides pain relief for several hours. There have been stories of patients suffering from Parkinson's disease whose tremors ceased for several hours after taking RSHO. Even those suffering from sleep disorders have been known to not need to take their sleep medications because of the sustained delivery of the CBD-rich oil.
CBD spells bad news for the pharmaceutical industry because, when combined with other strong medicinals like magnesium, sodium bicarbonate, iodine and selenium they offer an alternative approach to cancer treatment that is safe and effective.
CBD is an all-purpose general medicine which has anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, anti-epileptic, sedative and neuro-protective actions. It is also a potent anti-oxidant, protecting against chemical damage due to oxidation. Studies have suggested that CBD protects against the development of diabetes, certain kinds of cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, brain and nerve damage due to stroke, alcoholism, nausea, inflammatory bowel disease and Huntington's disease. Medicine just does not get any better.
Mieko Hester-Perez went public on television about giving her autistic son Joey medical marijuana.She says it saved his life! "It seems to me if one is going to need to use drugs, one ought to consider a relatively safe drug, like marijuana," said Bernard Rimland, Ph.D. of the Autism Research Institute. "The reports we are seeing from parents indicate that medical marijuana often works when no other treatments, drug or non-drug, have helped."
Dr. Ester Fride strongly recommends the use of cannabinoids in pediatric medicine. She notes that "excellent clinical results" have been reported in pediatric oncology and in case studies of children with severe neurological diseases or brain trauma, and suggests that cannabis-derived medicines could also play a role in the treatment of other childhood syndromes, including the pain and gastrointestinal inflammation associated with cystic fibrosis.
[3] Inhibition of Cancer Cell Invasion by Cannabinoids via Increased Expression of Tissue Inhibitor of Matrix Metalloproteinases-1; Robert Ramer, Burkhard Hinz;; Vol. 100, Issue 1 January 2, 2008;
[6] Massi et al. 2004. Antitumor effects of cannabidiol, a non-psychotropic cannabinoid, on human glioma cell lines. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics Fast Forward 308: 838-845.
[8] RSHO (Real Scientific Hemp Oil) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of US Hemp Oil which falls under the PhytoSPHERE client group. US Hemp Oil is the world's leading hemp products company.

Research: Pomegranate May Reverse Blocked Arteries

While technically a berry, pomegranate "fruit" may be nature's answer to turning the tide against the #1 cause of death in the industrialized world: heart disease. Let's start with what it tells us simply through experiencing it...

Pomegranate has a remarkable astringency, giving your mouth and gums that dry, puckering mouth feel. This cleansing sensation is technically caused, as with all astringents, by shrinking and disinfecting your mucous membranes.

Anyone who drinks pomegranate juice, or is lucky enough to eat one fresh, can understand why it is so effective at cleansing the circulatory system. Nature certainly planted enough poetic visual clues there for us: its juice looks like blood, and it does resemble a multi-chambered heart, at least when you consider its appearance in comparison to most other fruits.

But sometimes the obvious (in appearance and effect) is not compelling enough – certainly not for the hyper-rational, "evidence-based" folks in positions of medical and regulatory power today – so we have science to lend additional support and credibility, and perhaps even keep some of us from being fined or going to jail for stating the obvious, e.g. "This juice may be beneficial to your health."
Indeed, your mouth and your arteries are lined with the same cell type: epithelial cells. Together, they make up the epithelium, one of four basic tissue types within animals, along with connective tissue, muscle tissue and nervous tissue, and which comprises the interior walls of the entire circulatory system. So, when you feel that amazing cleansing effect in your mouth, this is in fact akin to what your circulatory system – and the epithelium/endothelium lining the inside of your veins and arteries – "feels" as well.  How do we know this for sure?

A remarkable study, published in the journal Clinical Nutrition, took 10 patients with atherosclerosis and measured their carotid arteries before and after one year of supplementing their diet with pomegranate juice. After one year, the plaque clogging their carotid arteries was reduced by up to 30%, while the control group's blockages increased by 9% - effectively reversing the disease process by up to 39% within one year.  Additional "side benefits" included a 130% increase in their antioxidant status, with LDL susceptibility to oxidation (it is far more important to maintain the quality of the LDL, i.e. keep it from getting damaged, than to nit-pick about the "right number") being reduced 59%. Finally, systolic blood pressure was reduced 21% within the first year. Wow, right?  But it only gets better....

Pomegranate actually has been studied to possess therapeutic properties in over 80 diseases or disease symptoms. You can view the entire spectrum of studies on our ("our" meaning yours too, as we are open access) Pomegranate Research Page.

Here are some additional highlights for cardiovascular health

  • High Blood Pressure (Hypertension): One of the identified mechanisms behind pomegranate's blood-pressuring lowering properties is its ability to inhibit Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme, at least in the diabetic rat model. [1] But obviously, reversing the plaque build-up in the arteries is one way to disburden the heart, as well.  Another is its ability to increase nitric oxide production in the artery (eNOS), which results in improving its ability to dilate – effectively, reversing endothelial dysfunction.[2]
  • Fighting Infection: While it is commonly overlooked, cardiovascular disease, and more particularly atherosclerosis, is connected to infection. Dentists know this, which is why they often prescribe antibiotics following dental work which releases bacteria into systemic circulation. Plaque in the arteries can also harbor viral pathogens. Pomegranate happens to have potent antiviral and antibacterial properties relevant to cardiovascular disease initiation and progression. It has been studied to combat the following infectious organisms:
  • Reduces Oxidative Stress: Pomegranate has potent antioxidant properties, which reduces the likelihood that LDL will oxidize, becoming the atherogenic/cardiotoxic form known as ox-LDL, which can injure the lining of the arteries and deposit there as plaque. These antioxidant properties have also been identified to have potential anti-platelet implications, potentially reducing the risk for an obstructive clot.[3]
Pomegranate was upheld as a sacred fruit in many cultural traditions the world over. Whether Christian, Arab, Jew, Buddhist, or Hindu, pomegranate was perceived as a symbol and source of fertility and/or regeneration.

[1] Effect of pomegranate juice on Angiotensin II-induced hypertension in diabetic Wistar rats. Phytother Res. 2009 Dec 17. PMID: 20020514

[2] Effects of a pomegranate fruit extract rich in punicalagin on oxidation-sensitive genes and eNOS activity at sites of perturbed shear stress and atherogenesis. Cardiovasc Res. 2007 Jan 15;73(2):414-23. Epub 2006 Sep 1. PMID: 17014835

[3] Pomegranate juice consumption reduces oxidative stress, atherogenic modifications to LDL, and platelet aggregation: studies in humans and in atherosclerotic apolipoprotein E-deficient mice. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000 May ;71(5):1062-76. PMID: 10799367