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Federal government admits cannabis is valuable in the fight against cancer

By Oscar Pascual |

The federal government has recognized the medicinal value of marijuana in the treatment of cancer.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI), a federal agency primarily engaged in the research and education needed to diagnose and treat cancer, is now providing information on how cannabis can be an effective treatment on its official website, Cancer. gov, reported the subway.

NCI recently added a fairly thorough guide to the effectiveness of medical marijuana in cancer treatment on its site.

The webpage points to the myriad uses for cannabidiol (CBD), which can provide a host of benefits, including anti-inflammatory relief, blocking the growth of cancer cells and blood vessels that supply tumors, and promoting antiviral activity.

The government website also cites several studies that support the use of cannabis to manage the side effects of cancer and chemotherapy, which they say help curb nausea and vomiting, stimulate appetite, provide pain relief and aid in stress and sleep.

As if all that wasn’t helpful enough, the guide even offers a list of the current states with medical cannabis laws, in case anyone was thinking about becoming a marijuana refugee.

NCI’s surprising new information cites research from a November 2014 study conducted by researchers at St. George’s University of London. The information was also used by fellow federal agency NIDA, which recently admitted that cannabis can help shrink brain tumors.

“We have shown that cannabinoids can play a role in the treatment of one of the most aggressive forms of cancer in adults. The results are promising…it could be a way to break through glioma [tumors] and saving more lives,” said study author Dr. Wai Liu. “Recent animal studies have shown that marijuana can kill some cancer cells and shrink the size of others. Evidence from one animal study suggests that whole plant marijuana extracts can shrink one of the most serious types of brain tumors. Studies in mice showed that these extracts, when used with radiation, enhanced the cancer-killing effects of the radiation.”

NCI’s new take on cannabis continues a government trend towards a more favorable view of cannabis. Aside from NIDA’s recognition of medical marijuana use to treat brain tumors, federal agencies have approved studies on marijuana’s effects on PTSD, as well as the process of growing larger amounts of stronger marijuana for research purposes.

Photo credit: Flickr.com/eggrole

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