Medical Marijuana

I am curious to know if anybody has used marijuana during the course of their battle with cancer. There was a study published by Science Daily in 2007 that says:"The active ingredient in marijuana cuts tumor growth in common lung cancer in half and significantly reduces the ability of the cancer to spread". This could apply to all cancers, of course. I have smoked throughout most of the time I've been treated for cancer, and I believe that since my disease has responded, that in part, it is due to the THC inhibiting further growth.

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Is Science Daily a peer-reviewed journal?? I am in science (PhD in Chemical Biology) and have never heard of this publication...It does not sound like a real scientific journal... or was the article just citing a real article in an actual peer-reviewed journal? (If a journal is not peer-reviewed, there is no check on what can be published...) I would like to see the original article rather than a Science Daily digest...
(not easy to find by searching their site).

I believe that in general marijuana is used to treat the side effects of chemo treatment, as it is a known anti-emetic/anti-nausea medication... however, I do not believe that it has other effects on cancer or cancer patients other than improving quality of life while going through treatments.
I do not believe that it is indicated in most cases of thyroid cancer (unless one has severe metastatic disease).

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Here is the link....http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070417193338.htm. The source is The American Association for Cancer Research.

I am quite aware of the use of marijuana for chemo side effects, as that was what I used for the 12 years I was doing chemo.
whether anyone believes it may, or may not, help in other areas, (including inhibiting the disease from spreading), is really not important. It's what science has concluded through their studies. I DO believe it can inhibit tumor growth, and this is not the only place I have heard of this study. They had a program on this same subject on one of the cable channel programs. As far as when it is indicated, that would be a personal choice. Since marijuana use is not advocated by any Physicians at this time, they certainly will not give you any unbiased opinion. it's a personal decision, and one that should be made after much research. In my case, I'm SO glad I did.

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"Since marijuana use is not advocated by any Physicians at this time" ...this may not actually be true - at least not in CA, where I know of plenty of people who have the medical license, and it is not that difficult to obtain.
However, I believe that the problem with using pot medically is that there is no standardization of dosages or varieties, and the active metabolites are not 100% known (While THC is touted as the 'active ingredient', I know that some studies have shown effects of pot above and beyond THC pills alone).
I found the original paper published in 2008 that the article was referring to the initial research on:
Oncogene. 2008 Jan 10;27(3):339-46. Epub 2007 Jul 9.
Delta9-Tetrahydrocannabinol inhibits epithelial growth factor-induced lung cancer cell migration in vitro as well as its growth and metastasis in vivo.
Preet A, Ganju RK, Groopman JE.

Interestingly, the study looks specifically at THC and not "marijuana", which contains many other chemicals as well. I think the first sentence of the abstract is important, though:
Delta(9)-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the primary cannabinoid of marijuana and has been shown to either potentiate or inhibit tumor growth, depending on the type of cancer and its pathogenesis.

The TYPE OF CANCER matters a lot --- the effect was observed on EGF-elevated lung cancer tumors in mice. I do not know if thyroid cancer tumors have elevated EGF, but if they do not, then this effect is less likely to matter. Additionally, no studies have yet been conducted (or at least completed/published) in humans -- so any decision to use this as a cancer treatment is based solely on data in mice, which may or may not be comparable to the effects for human tumors.

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My dad used it when he was undergoing chemo with oesophagus cancer. He was the least likely person to ever try such a thing! But he said it bought him relief. As for it killing cancer......anything is worth investigating. It is unfortunate that marijuana has such a bad reputation......it is just another herb that has been put on our planet after all.

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amen! ...and I dont even smoke. Let It Be

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RE: "Since marijuana use is not advocated by any Physicians at this time" ...this may not actually be true - at least not in CA, where I know of plenty of people who have the medical license, and it is not that difficult to obtain.

These are two very different things. There are many states that have medical marijuana laws, and the license is not that difficult to obtain. However, though each state varies, I know that in Oregon and Washington, you can obtain them without a doctors consent. The reason why...because MOST doctors refuse to be involved with it since Marijuana is still illegal under Federal law. I never found a single doctor who advocated for it. Most don't even want to discuss it. In Oregon, you go to the "Hemp and Cannabis" foundation where they have their own doctors on staff who volunteer their time to see, and qualify, patients for medical marijuana. Yes, the article states clearly that THC is the ingredient being discussed. I am not sure what other "chemicals" you are referring to in Marijuana. It is a plant that I have grown myself for many years. It grows from a seed just like any other plant or herb. There is no chemical added by me or Mother nature that I know of.
Each can take from the article what they wish, but for me, I'm open minded enough to believe that it may, in fact, work on tumors in humans too.

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I agree 100% Caz! Thanks for your input. Sometimes, it's impossible to get those with pre-conceived notions and beliefs to look at something as "evil" as Marijuana as a possible medicine? I think these people need to research the history of Marijuana, and it's use as medicine years ago, before some idiot decided to make it an "illegal drug".

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I do not disagree that marijuana might have some medical benefits...as do many natural plants... but for most of these that are now approved medications, the active chemical has been isolated from the plant, and is now a pill. In this way, the dosage can be controlled.

Plants contain many thousands of chemicals...so does your body..."chemical" dose not imply unnatural or manmade - there is an entire industry of "natural products chemistry", where chemists are challenged to synthesize things that were isolated from some organism (for example, Taxol, which comes from a marine sponge, I believe).

I think that if things are to be used for medical purposes, then the ingredients that are important for the effect should be isolated, synthesized, and delivered in pills -- otherwise, the dosage can vary a huge amount from plant to plant! THC is one of the chemicals/ingredients in pot (naturally occurring!!) that has effects, but I believe I've read before that there are others, as well - which is why isolated THC pills are not as "effective" at certain things (nausea prevention I think is one of them) than smoking the entire plant. But a combo pill could work if the two chemicals are working in concert with each other.

The problem with pot as a medical drug is that dosages aren't well controlled and the method of administration is not ideal. Yes, vaporizers are better for your lungs than smoking, but most patients probably can't afford or choose not to use those. Edibles are an option but again have dose issues (and an overdose can have bad side effects) My husband had a chronic cough when we met. When he stopped smoking pot (he never smoked cigarettes), the cough went away. Clearly smoking something daily isn't good for your lungs.
If it's a medicine - 1) prove it with double-blind, placebo-compared clinical trails and 2) provide it in a form that can be reliably dosed and dose not cause side effects just because of how it is administered.

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The pill form "Marinol" is not as effective as smoking the plant. As far as "dosage", I don't see that as an issue at all. Each person can make their own decision as to how much they want to smoke, and when. It's not like you can overdose on Marijuana. Vaporizers are a good alternative to deliver it, and are not THAT expensive. I've never met a pot smoker with a chronic cough, cigarette smokers yes, but not pot smokers. As you said, you can also use it for baking and cooking if you choose not to smoke. There are actual recipes out there, along with the dosages, to use in cooking, which takes care of the "dose issues", which there really are none. Again, you can't overdose, but you can get really, really stoned if you use an excess amount, but that is not dangerous to you in any way. Yes, smoking is bad for you, but in particular, cigarettes. You do not HAVE to smoke weed. There are other alternatives as discussed.
I'd rather smoke Marijuana than take a synthetic, manmade "pill" any day, and dosage is not such a vital issue as with other manmade pharmaceuticals.

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We don't need all medicine to be a pill. If it helps and it isn't causing harm, by all means go for it. In the thousands of years of the use of MJ, no one has ever documented a death by overdose. (Can any of your pills claim that?) I call that SAFE. Vaporizors can be cheap and helpful. I am so saddened by so many lives being destroyed by having MJ illegal, and thank God we now see things changing in states like California, colorado, etc. Speaking of double blind studies, how about a study on how to treat TT survivors over the long term. The AMA's recommendations are a guess based on people with thyroids. Where is the science when we need it? No profit no studies. We need Medicare part "E" (for everyone). Then there would be an incentive for better preventitive medicine and maybe the studies WE NEED.
I live in a state without medical MJ and see so many that are helped by MJ, My PTSD veteran friend for example. Must we be criminals. Please help ALL states pass Medical MJ. I thank God everyday for his(her) wisdom of giving us Marijuana. With the ups and downs of our disease I'm thankful for the relief marijuana has given me.

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I couldn't have said it any better. The last thing we need is for this God given Plant to be turned into a synthetic pill. That just destroys the effects. Prescription meds kill people every day. I have yet to hear one death from Marijuana. I am so encouraged by those who have responded so positively about this. The continued ignorance, and misinformation have been carried on long enough. People are waking up to the benefits and soon, it will be legal. We should all be able to enjoy this freedom of choice without the perpetuation of ridiculous myths.

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"The pill form "Marinol" is not as effective as smoking the plant"
This is because the plant contains chemicals other than THC that are responsible for the effects in your body.

And while no one dies of overdose from MJ (at least not commonly/documented), an OD can certainly have ill effects! I have observed this several times in my social life - usually from someone consuming an edible and being unsure how much pot is actually in it until it is too late to undo the effect.

I'm not saying that MJ should be illegal; but that if it is to be used for medical purposes there need to be more controlled studies done.

I'm pretty sure there have been a lot of studies about thyca patients...just do a search on pubmed... for instance the studies that have now indicated that RAI is not necessary (does not improve treatment outcomes) in patients with microcarcinomas that are fully contained, or studies indicating that decreasing suppression of TSH levels during pregnancy does not increase the risk of cancer recurrence for the mother. (See thyroid.org for many many papers that are freely available...or pubmed for many more).

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RE: "The pill form "Marinol" is not as effective as smoking the plant"
This is because the plant contains chemicals other than THC that are responsible for the effects in your body.

That pretty much states the obvious then. Smoke the plant and don't mess with a synthetic pill.

The only "ill effects" that can be caused by smoking too much Marijuana, is getting too stoned, and passing out/going to sleep. I don't see that as an "ill effect".
How about a controlled study about cancer patients, and the effects of Marijuana on their disease, attitude, and any positive/negative effects. Team 1, those who smoke. Team 2, those that don't.

We don't need a "controlled study" about a plant that has no harmful effects. The only controlled studies that need to be done, are on all the pills being shoved down our throats.

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I support Team 1!

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LOL! It looks like most of us will be one team one, ssmmooking team 2 ;)

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Or getting too stoned, throwing up on the way to the bathroom, then passing out and having friends try to figure out if you will be ok or need to go to the hospital ASAP... or getting too stoned and still driving... or getting too stoned and feel ill for hours without actually being able to be sick...or getting too stoned and having a bad trip where you become paranoid about everything... the point is, it affects different people differently.
And yes, that would be a good study - the only problem is you can't do it double-blind so there might be a placebo effect of the pot - unless you somehow engineered pot without the active ingredients (THC and whatever else) and gave the control group that to smoke/ingest instead. Or just use food that may or may not have pot in it.

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LOL...you've never smoked have you? You don't have "bad trips" on marijuana. It is not a mind altering drug like acid, or mushrooms. None of the other circumstances you mentioned is life threatening. You don't need to go to a hospital. You just need to sleep it off. If you smoke Marijuana and do too much, of course you will suffer the effects of getting "too stoned". That is where knowledge, research, and personal responsibility come into play. I'm assuming these people you are referring to aren't smoking it for medical reasons, they are smoking it to get stoned. All these wonderful pills you advocate cause FAR more harm, including death.

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I have smoked, actually, and I have had a bad experience - although I will admit this is from combining pot and alcohol. I have had okay experiences as well, although not good enough to seek out on my own. My mother tells her story of the one time she smoked pot, and how she never touched the stuff again. The effects of any drug (pharmaceutical or not) vary from person to person, and some people do not tolerate the effects as well as others.
I am not sure how concentrating an ingredient in a pill automatically "causes death" - if the chemicals in pot are so benign (according to you), there is no reason not to make pills of it and distribute them freely. Pharmaceuticals might have some risks associated with them, sure, but so does a lack of pharmaceuticals... Remember the history of how many people died from infections before the invention of antibiotics? Or how many cases of polio there were before the vaccine? Or how miserable your own life would be without the Synthroid you need to survive without a thyroid? (Yeah, you could take dessicated pig hormones...but good luck getting your levels regulated without someone making sure there is a relatively standard dose even in Armour).
This "pills are evil" attitude is uninformed. I'm not saying natural compounds are bad - heck, aspirin comes from willow tree bark - but I'd much rather take a pill than chew a tree when I have a headache.

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"The effects of any drug (pharmaceutical or not) vary from person to person, and some people do not tolerate the effects as well as others."

Though this statement is true, this plant is NOT a "drug".

"I am not sure how concentrating an ingredient in a pill automatically "causes death" - if the chemicals in pot are so benign (according to you), there is no reason not to make pills of it and distribute them freely. Pharmaceuticals might have some risks associated with them, sure, but so does a lack of pharmaceuticals."

Did I say that? Don't think so. Prescription medications cause death, and other serious side effects, every day. You're suggestion was to make a "synthetic" pill, removing everything but the THC. THAT is what I was responding to. Besides that, to turn Marijuana into a pill, will alter the effects of the plant through the process.
Some risks?? Actually, a HUGE number of risks when you are talking about prescription medications. As far as your references to antibiotics etc., I'm not sure what your point is. Even antibiotics have side effects.

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Yes, antibiotics have side effects. My point was that without them, there would be a lot more deaths from infectious disease...as in it would be the leading killer, rather than heart disease or cancer, and people would not live to be 75.
There are risks of everything. You risk getting hit by a car every time you cross the street. You risk a meteor falling on your head every time you leave your house. It's all about risk-vs-reward.

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