Medical marijuana has quite the black eye. Mostly because of the stance the federal government has taken on the issue over the last 50 years or so, but that is a whole other article.
This article is intended to help get some of the facts out to the masses so that the readers of AZmarijuana.com can start deciding for themselves how to view medical marijuana. Ironically some of these studies were commissioned by the federal government.
First, in 1975 federal researchers implanted several types of cancer, including leukemia and lung cancers, in mice. After which, the researchers treated them with cannabinoids and found that THC and other cannabinoids shrank the tumors and increased the mice’s lifespans.
Second, in 1994 the government tried to suppress a study where federal researchers gave mice and rats massive doses of THC. The rodents given THC lived longer and had fewer cancers “in a dose-dependent manner”, meaning the more THC they received, the fewer tumors they had and longer they lived.
In 1997 researchers at the Kaiser-Permanente HMO, funded by NIDA, followed 65,000 patients for nearly a decade. They compared cancer rates among tobacco smokers, marijuana smokers, and non-smokers. Tobacco smokers had massively higher rates of lung cancer and other cancers. But the researchers found that the marijuana smokers (who didn’t also smoke tobacco) had no increased risk of tobacco-related cancers or of cancer risk overall. In fact their rates of lung and most other cancers were slightly lower than non-smokers, though the difference did not reach statistical significance.
In 1997 the scientists at Veterans Affairs looked at whether or not heavy marijuana use as a young adult would cause long-term problems later in adult life. The scientists studied identical twins, one of which had been a heavy marijuana user for a year or longer. The second twin had used marijuana no more than five times, ever. The scientists found that marijuana use had no significant impact on the physical or mental health, quality of life, or current socio-demographic characteristics. Meaning, marijuana won’t make you stupid, even if you use it as a young adult.
Lastly, in 2002, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) funded a massive study of California HMO members. They found marijuana use caused no significant increase in mortality, which means using marijuana won’t cause you to die any sooner than not using it.
So, what have we learned?
1: Marijuana won’t give you cancer, it may actually slow and/or prevent cancer growth.
2: Marijuana won’t shorten your life, it may lengthen it.
3: Marijuana won’t ruin your life or make you stupid, only being misinformed will.
There is too much misinformation about medical marijuana in the public. Educate yourself about the issues so you can help change the way the world views marijuana.
P.S. If you want to read the entire papers you can find them here:
Munson, AE et al. Antineoplastic Activity of Cannabinoids. Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Sept. 1975. p. 597-602.
NTP Technical Report On The Toxicology And Carcinogenesis Studies Of 1-Trans- Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol, CAS No. 1972-08-3, In F344/N Rats And B6C3F Mice, Gavage Studies. See also, “Medical Marijuana: Unpublished Federal Study Found THC-Treated Rats Lived Longer, Had Less Cancer,” AIDS Treatment News no. 263, Jan. 17, 1997.
Sidney, S. et al. Marijuana Use and Cancer Incidence (California, United States). Cancer Causes and Control. Vol. 8. Sept. 1997, p. 722-728.
Sidney, S et al. Marijuana Use and Mortality. American Journal of Public Health. Vol. 87 No. 4, April 1997. p. 585-590. Sept. 2002.
Eisen SE et al. Does Marijuana Use Have Residual Adverse Effects on Self-Reported Health Measures, Socio-Demographics or Quality of Life? A Monozygotic Co-Twin Control Study in Men. Addiction. Vol. 97 No. 9. p.1083-1086. Sept. 1997