New Study: Cannabis: Safe & Effective Medical Treatment

NEW YORK: For the first time, a major scientific study has confirmed what cannabis advocates have known for decades: that cannabis can be a safe and effective palliative treatment in patients suffering from the debilitating effects of cancer.

The article, “Prospective Analysis Of Safety And Efficacy Of Medical Cannabis In Large Unselected Population Of Patients With Cancer” just published in the European Journal of Internal Medicine, studied thousands of cancer patients at Tikun Olam clinics in Israel.  The patients were prescribed cannabis for their “malignancy-related symptoms,” mainly sleep problems, pain, nausea, and decreased appetite. All patients were prescribed one or more of Tikun Olam’s proprietary cannabis strains, which were developed to address specific symptoms. Overall, the study encompassed 2,970 cancer patients, with an average age of 60,  and treated between  the years 2015 and 2017.

Tikun Olam published the following: 95.9% of respondents reported an improvement in their condition through use of medical cannabis, leading the study’s authors to conclude that “Cannabis as a palliative treatment for cancer patients is a well-tolerated, effective and safe option.” In medical terms, palliative treatment in cancer patients is aimed mainly to alleviate pain and nausea.

The article also offers hope in the fight against the U.S. opioid epidemic. While opioids were the most consumed drug by patients at intake, at six months, 36% had stopped taking opioids entirely, and an additional 10% decreased their dosage. This is especially significant because 51% of the patients studied were suffering from Stage 4 cancers, and 52% reported their pain at an intense (8/10) level.

“The data establishes that cannabis is effective treatment for the most acute symptoms of cancer, such as pain, which often requires the use of opioids,” said  Lihi Bar-Lev Schleider of Tikun Olamand lead author of the article.

Side effects were sparse and minor: the most common reported at one month were dizziness (8%), dry mouth (7.3%), increased appetite (3.6%), sleepiness (3.3%) and psychoactive effect (2.8%).

On the other hand, improvement was undisputed: at six months, 50.8% of respondents reported at least a significant improvement, 45.1% reported moderate or slight improvement and only 4.0% did not experience a positive effect.

Tikun Olam’s Pharmaceuticals division (TOP) along with its Canadian joint venture partner, Jay Pharma, as well as  Israel’s Soroka University Medical Center, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem were proud to collaborate together for this unprecedented affirmation by the scientific community of the efficacy of medical marijuana.

Washington Man Who Faces Years In Prison For Growing Medical Marijuana Has Cancer

WASHINGTON:  A Washington state man who is facing at least 10 years in prison if convicted in a high-profile federal case over growing medical marijuana for personal use has been diagnosed with cancer.

Larry Harvey, 71, has stage 4 cancer of the pancreas that has begun to spread to his liver, Harvey’s wife, Rhonda Firestack-Harvey, told The Huffington Post in a written statement.

“Larry’s health has been going downhill since this case began,” Firestack-Harvey said. “This summer, he was hospitalized for ten days due to blood poisoning. That was the first sign of trouble with his pancreas. Larry took a sudden turn for the worse in December and we learned on his birthday that he has pancreatic cancer. Doctors have since confirmed that it is Stage IV and has started to spread to his liver. Larry had his second round of chemotherapy this Wednesday, followed by a blood transfusion on Thursday. We are trying to stay focused on his recovery, but the stress of trial in February makes this struggle even harder than it already is.”

Harvey, along with his wife, Rhonda; their son, Rolland Gregg; Rolland’s wife, Michelle Gregg; as well as close family friend Jason Zucker are all facing federal marijuana charges for growing about 70 cannabis plants for their own medical use at the Harveys’ rural home. The family’s defense attorneys have maintained the pot patch complied with state law. Washington legalized medical marijuana in 1998 and recreational marijuana in 2012. Still, federal law classifies marijuana a Schedule I substance “with no currently accepted medical use.”

 

Marijuana Drastically Shrinks Aggressive Form Of Brain Cancer, New Study Finds

GREAT BRITAIN: Over the past few years, research has revealed that marijuana can both destroy certain cancer cells and reduce the growth of others. Now, a new study in mice has found that when combined with radiation treatment, cannabis can effectively shrink one of the most aggressive types of brain tumors.

In a paper published Friday in the journal Molecular Cancer Therapies, a team of researchers from St. George’s University of London outlined the “dramatic reductions” they observed in high-grade glioma masses, a deadly form of brain cancer, when treated with a combination of radiation and two different marijuana compounds, also known as cannabinoids. In many cases, those tumors shrunk to as low as one-tenth the sizes of those in the control group.

“We’ve shown that cannabinoids could play a role in treating one of the most aggressive cancers in adults,” Dr. Wai Liu, one of the study’s lead authors, wrote in an op-ed earlier this week. “The results are promising…it could provide a way of breaking through glioma and saving more lives.”

Eight Year Old Battling Cancer Finds Help Through Medical Marijuana

OREGON:  Just after her 7th birthday, Mykayla Comstock was diagnosed with intermediate risk T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia; a rare and aggressive blood and bone cancer.

“I thought it was just a typical child illness, such as pneumonia,” says Erin Purchase, Mykayla’s mother.  “It was an extended cough with fevers.  I never dreamed it could be cancer.  I was completely shocked and heartbroken when we found out it was cancer; definitely not what I expected at all.” [Read more…]

Study: Cannabis Compounds Can Kill Cancer Cells

UNITED KINGDOM: A British researcher has found that cannabinoids, a term for chemicals derived from marijuana, can kill leukemia cells, and he expects clinical trials for new medications to begin soon.

The findings, published in the October issue of the journal Anticancer Research, show that certain non-psychoactive cannabinoids “resulted in dramatic reductions in cell viability” and “caused a simultaneous arrest at all phases of the cell cycle,” according to an abstract posted online. [Read more…]

Report is reassuring on marijuana’s effects on lung

CALIFORNIA: The pulmonary consequences of regularly smoking marijuana are far less than for tobacco, according a review of the published evidence conducted by Dr. Donald P. Tashkin, emeritus professor of medicine and medical director of the pulmonary function laboratory at the University of California, Los Angeles. [Read more…]