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Cannabis Compound Said To "Halt Cancer"

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the afraid-of-what-we-represent dept.

Biotech 383

h.ross.perot informs us of research out of the California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute suggesting that a compound found in cannabis may stop breast cancer from metastasizing. Cannabidiol, or CBD, could develop into a non-toxic alternative to chemotherapy some years down the road, if animal and human trials bear out its effectiveness. The article notes that smoking cannabis will not deliver significant quantities of CBD.

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383 comments

So smoking doesn't cut it eh? (3, Informative)

mrjb (547783) | more than 6 years ago | (#21419039)

Maybe this [smoothhigh.co.uk] will do the trick then.

Re:So smoking doesn't cut it eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21419113)

Or how about eating it ?

The study noted... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21419043)

They weren't smoking enough.

Bad article summary! (2, Funny)

llirik (1074623) | more than 6 years ago | (#21419049)

The article notes that smoking cannabis will not deliver significant quantities of CBD
There you've ruined my ingenious punchline.

Re:Bad article summary! (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 6 years ago | (#21419079)

All it says is that you need to use more and stronger canabis.

Re:Bad article summary! (0)

arivanov (12034) | more than 6 years ago | (#21419465)

No worries, you will still get emphysema which is almost as unpleasant and tourchers you for longer. By the way, this explains why Cannabis has a ratio of emphysema to lung cancer that is quite different from cigarettes which is something that has been suspected for a while (hard to get good data because people generally smoke both).

Re:Bad article summary! (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21419985)

here [swissinfo.ch] is some new data on cannabis related emphysema:

The tests were unable to show which substances had caused the lung damage, but cannabis fibres were found in the tissue samples and can constitute the starting point for inflammation.(...) There were also no cases of emphysema in the control group, even though it included 74 regular smokers.

Re:Bad article summary! (1)

ehrichweiss (706417) | more than 6 years ago | (#21419991)

Wait! You're saying that smoking pot causes emphysema??? Got a real citation for that? Probably not because the most recent evidence shows the opposite.

Not trying hard enough! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21419099)

"The article notes that smoking cannabis will not deliver significant quantities of CBD."

They haven't seen how much I can smoke...

Not enough cannabis... (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 6 years ago | (#21419101)

The article notes that smoking cannabis will not deliver significant quantities of CBD
That is because they were not smoking significant quantities of canabis.

There... fixed it for them.

Re:Bad article summary! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21419159)

"The article notes that smoking cannabis will not deliver significant quantities of CBD" ...unless you live in the UK, where the crappy solid we get is loaded with the stuff.

I volunteer (5, Funny)

pklinken (773410) | more than 6 years ago | (#21419063)

Human trials!

Too bad I don't have breasts ...

Re:I volunteer (1)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 6 years ago | (#21419185)

Well, if you mean you are a man, then you do have breasts. And furthermore, even you could have breast cancer, albeit less likely than women. I thik there was an episode of "Oz" where a mobster got breast cancer, and tried to keep it secret.

Re:I volunteer (1)

Ellis D. Tripp (755736) | more than 6 years ago | (#21419483)

Not only can men GET breast cancer, but it tends to have a much higher mortality rate in males.

Because most men don't know that they could get breast cancer, it tends to not be noticed until it is in an advanced state, and has likely already spread beyond the breast tissue.

Re:I volunteer (1)

dosius (230542) | more than 6 years ago | (#21419625)

That's because unlike women, men are too proud to go see the doctor when something's wrong, until it's too late and they're already six feet under.

-uso.

Re:I volunteer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21419783)

Say, what type of doctor can one see when one is 6" under?

Re:I volunteer (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21420045)

True story. My brother-in-law lost hearing in one of his ears. He got a tooth infection which spread to his ear. He finally went to the emergency room when the pain was too much to bear. But he was a bit too late, his ear-drum exploded while the triage nurse was seeing him. Don't wait to go see a doctor. If you are in pain, there's probably something wrong with you. I had shingles. Anyone who has had shingles knows how much it hurts. I went to see a doctor in time to get it treated. According to the doctor, if you don't get it treated in time, the pain will never go away, and you'll be on pain killers for the rest of your life to deal with the pain.

Re:I volunteer (3, Insightful)

Plutonite (999141) | more than 6 years ago | (#21419937)

I thik there was an episode of "Oz" where a mobster got breast cancer, and tried to keep it secret.
That's friggin hilarious. Even more hilarious is the fact that you're using the mobster who got breast cancer in Oz as some sort of reference.

I *heart* slashdot.

Re:I volunteer (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21419187)

Yes, actually, you do have breasts [wikipedia.org] and yes, they are structurally identical to a female's, though probably less prominent. And, yes, men can get breast cancer, though it is somewhat less common.

Re:I volunteer (2, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21419201)

NOTE: Link is NSFW! (shows nude breasts)

Re:I volunteer (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 6 years ago | (#21419285)

Where do you work that Wikipedia'ing body parts is a safe activity with or without pictures?

Re:I volunteer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21419391)

Firefox Portable + SSH to home box + TinyProxy running on home box + SSH Port Forwarding + cube stuffed in a corner == untrackable web browsing

Re:I volunteer (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 6 years ago | (#21420053)

NSFW? A pair of breasts?

A despair sometimes...

A teen lesbian orgy.. that would be NSFW... but breasts? Ever been outsite on a saturday night?

Re:I volunteer (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 6 years ago | (#21419235)

Actually, you do. Unless you're some sort of alien.

There is a small amount of breast tissue found in men, and cancer does sometimes develop there. It's nowhere near as common as in women, though.

(IANAD but my g/f is a therapeutic radiographer)

Re:I volunteer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21419581)

No kidding. If I had a set of breasts to play with, I wouldn't need to smoke pot to entertain myself.

Re:I volunteer (4, Informative)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#21420019)

Google has failed me this morning. I remember reading in New Scientist (whose anti-drug propaganda I ranted about a couple of years ago) [mcgrew.info] that they did a study of baby boomers; the generation that started smoking ganja in their youth and are now geezers. They were trying to prove, as all these government studies from all the world's governments do, that pot is bad for you. The object of the study was to look at cancer rates in potheads vs non-potheads. They were certain that reefer causes cancer because there are carcinogens in it.

What they found instead was that (IIRC) potsmokers who did not smoke tobacco had a 10% lower incidence of all cancers than nonsmokers. More striking, however, was the difference between cigarette smokers who also smoked hemp and buttheads who only smoked butts. The cancer incidence of those who smoked both marijuana and tobacco was half the number of those who only smoked cigarettes.

So your study is done, the results are that cannibis prevents cancer.

As I said, a google search for "marijuana boomer study" yielded only one hit (he he he said), to a site I'd never heard of. So I searched New Scientist and found some other interesting tidbits:
Cannabis compound reduces skin allergies in mice [newscientist.com]
Cannabis compound slows lung cancer in mice [newscientist.com]
Cannabis extract shrinks brain tumours [newscientist.com]
Cannabis can help MS sufferers [newscientist.com]
Cannabis can protect the brain from damage from stroke [newscientist.com]

So we have a substance that is non-addictive (habit forming but not addictive), non-lethal, fights cancer, helps MS sufferers, is the best anti-nausea agent known, stimulates appetite, yet it is illegal. So why is it illegal?

Because it makes you lazy and forgetful, and what's worse for our corporate overlords, makes you think. You can forget about any substance that makes you think ever being legalized; thinking is the VERY last thing your government (wherever you may live) wants you to to do.

Yes, I'm a geezer. No, I wasn't in the study. Yes, I've smoked dope. [kuro5hin.org]

-mcgrew

But... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21419071)

Have you ever stopped breast cancer from metastasizing...on weed???

OMG! Afghanistan is going to be Pharma Capital! (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 6 years ago | (#21419077)

Woo! Woo! Get on to the bandwagon fast. Kabul is going to be the Cancer Cure Capital of the World!!!

Chemotherapy (3, Interesting)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21419153)

Um, using a cannabis-derived compound isn't an alternative to chemotherapy, it is chemotherapy [wikipedia.org], which literally means "treatment with chemicals." Just because a bunch of people have screwed up the meaning of the word like they did with 'hacker' vs. 'cracker', that doesn't make it right.

Re:Chemotherapy (4, Informative)

Lloyd_Bryant (73136) | more than 6 years ago | (#21419279)

Um, using a cannabis-derived compound isn't an alternative to chemotherapy, it is chemotherapy, which literally means "treatment with chemicals." Just because a bunch of people have screwed up the meaning of the word like they did with 'hacker' vs. 'cracker', that doesn't make it right.
Um, perhaps you should actually read the Wiki article, specifically the part about modern day usage meaning treatments using cytotoxic substances.

By your definition, ANY drug-based treatment is "chemotherapy", while the general usage (including usage by the medical profession) refers to this specific class of drug treatments.

The hacker/cracker screwup was a result of outsiders misinterpreting geek jargon. The meaning change of chemotherapy originated from the professionals *within* the medical field. Two entirely different issues.

Re:Chemotherapy (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21419843)

Words are tools of communication, used by people to make their ideas/feelings understood. It doesn't matter what they used to mean. Languages are alive. They change all the time. I'd say "it's useless trying to resist the change", but that would imply this change is an unfortunate event, that one would avoid if it were possible. This is simply not the case.

If people want to say "hacker" to communicate the concept formerly known as "cracker", so what? And if "chemotherapy" were to mean "any medical treatment using chemicals", it would be a very useless concept indeed.

It's like those idiots who insist that someone who hates Arabs is, technically, an "antisemite". Because Arabs are a Semitic people. That's bullshit, okay? Alice uses word XYZ to transmit a message to Bob. Alice knows what she means by XYZ. Bob knows what is meant by XYZ. You, the parent poster, know what is meant by XYZ. Why are you even taking the time to say that XYZ used to mean something else, or that XYZ could possibly mean something else in a different context, or that XYZ would mean something else if one were to look at X, Y and Z separately? Why do you do that? Just shut up already.

Words are not holy. Words are what we want them to be. I should know, linguistics are my fucking job. What you're doing is known as prescriptive linguistics, and it's only jutified when learning a new language. When you're a native speaker of a language, the only way to approach it is through descriptive linguistics. Look it up.

Less talk, more action. (5, Insightful)

sherriw (794536) | more than 6 years ago | (#21419161)

My mom had breast cancer several years ago. The treatments are just horrible, but I'm thankful she's still with us. It seems however that once a year we hear about some potential breakthrough or another. Well, with the truckloads of donations going to 'breast cancer research', I'm getting a little sick of hearing about 'potential' breakthroughs. I want something we can start using right now. It's hard to be patient when people you care about are sick or dying. I hope some of these possibilities pan out soon.

Re:Less talk, more action. (1)

RandoX (828285) | more than 6 years ago | (#21419229)

Treatments for cancer can be terrible. I'm glad that your mom made it through and is still able to be with you.

Re:Less talk, more action. (2, Insightful)

Firethorn (177587) | more than 6 years ago | (#21419353)

The problem with what you hear is that 99% of these potentials fail some point along the way. Either they're too toxic in the human body, or not effective enough against cancers for their toxicity, or just not competitive with existing treatments(no niche to exploit).

I heard once...

It's very easy to kill cancer cultures in a dish. Matter of fact, much of the time the trick is keeping them alive.

It's an entirely different matter to do it in the body.

Makes sense to me. A little splash of bleach and that petri dish won't have any live cells in it. Yet bleach is NOT suitable for internal use.

Don't get me wrong, I hope these possiblities pan out as well. Even with all the failures, we've come a long way.

Re:Less talk, more action. (1)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 6 years ago | (#21419643)

Makes sense to me. A little splash of bleach and that petri dish won't have any live cells in it. Yet bleach is NOT suitable for internal use.
Chemotherapy works in pretty much the same way. You pump what is basically a fairly nasty cell toxic into the body and hope it kills the cancerous cells faster than it kills the rest of the body (I did simplify a bit).
Sometimes you have to try several combinations to find the one that targets your particular strain best. You still kill quite a few regular cells though.

It's a bit of a flamethrower vs. fly approach but, well, flamethrowers do work against fly s dont'ya know ?

Well, sometimes they do. Didn't work with my mother for example. But it *could* have... um, statistically speaking.

Re:Less talk, more action. (1)

Firethorn (177587) | more than 6 years ago | (#21419731)

Chemotherapy works in pretty much the same way. You pump what is basically a fairly nasty cell toxic into the body and hope it kills the cancerous cells faster than it kills the rest of the body (I did simplify a bit).

I remember a few years ago that the FDA changed their chemotherapy drug approval requirements. It used to be that all a drug had to do was show a certain statistical probability that it'd reduce tumor sizes.

The rule adjustment was that it would now have to either show better tumor reduction for it's toxicity. IE either shrink tumors the same while being less toxic, or shrink them faster.

To me, it showed that they've developed enough anti-cancer medications that now they're going to get tough and concentrate on improving anti-cancer drugs.

Of course, I'd like to see them take a sample of the cancer, a 'known good' DNA sample, feed the samples(and some patient information like if they have liver damage) into a machine which spits out an individualized treatment course best suited for taking out the cancer. Bonus if it's something like a specialized virus.

Estimating Risk (5, Insightful)

PIPBoy3000 (619296) | more than 6 years ago | (#21419547)

Basically everyone I've known who has died, has died of cancer. It drives me crazy that we're spending hundreds of billions of dollars to avenge the deaths of 3,000 people, while under four billion is spent on fighting cancer, which kills half a million people each year. It reminds me again how terrible people are at estimating risk [schneier.com].

References:
NCI budget [cancer.gov]
Cost of Iraq war [msn.com]
cancer deaths [forbes.com]

false dichotomy (2, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#21419827)

we could spend that money on education too, or healthcare for the middle class

we don't. we think it's valuable to our security to get rid of saddam hussein and democratize iraq. is that right? is it wrong? certainly, it could be the stupidest thing the usa has ever done

but therefore, you need to defeat the money spent on that operation based on that rationale alone, within the confines of the merits or lack thereof of that operation by itself

but comparing the money spent on that to money to be spent on some other worthy concern is stupid. nobody thinks like that and gets anything done in this world

Re:false dichotomy (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 6 years ago | (#21420073)

we could spend that money on ... healthcare for the middle class
Doesn't it boggle one's mind to think that we're in such a weird state that the middle class can't even make it without help from the government??

If you need government hand-outs to pay for healthcare, why are you middle class at all? If you're on welfare, are you not poor?

Personally, I think that we need to figure out how to cut the cost of healthcare, not inflate it by throwing supply money at it...

Re:Estimating Risk (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#21419915)

Basically everyone I've known who has died, has died of cancer. It drives me crazy that we're spending hundreds of billions of dollars to avenge the deaths of 3,000 people, while under four billion is spent on fighting cancer

Except, your facts are wrong. We spend about 200 billion a year on cancer. You don't include private enterprise. There is a reason health care is so expensive and cancer is among the top reasons why. The average cost per cancer treatment is over a million dollars per patient. Multiply that by all the people who have gotten cancer and been treated, good or bad for it, and you'd find that we're spending about 200 billion dollars a year on cancer in one way, shape or form.

Re:Less talk, more action. (1)

P3NIS_CLEAVER (860022) | more than 6 years ago | (#21419623)

It would be nice if prostate cancer got half as much press. Men have a considerably shorter lifespan then women and prostate cancer kills many men.

Re:Less talk, more action. (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 6 years ago | (#21419711)

What an insightful comment made by someone with a relatively fitting screen name. And remember kids, check your prostate weekly!

Re:Less talk, more action. (1, Flamebait)

dosius (230542) | more than 6 years ago | (#21419663)

The problem is, I think, that the pharmaceutical industry stands to lose a ton if someone finds a good cure for cancer and is trying to hold it back for purely financial reasons.

Well, fuck 'em. Some things are more important than money. Human life is priceless.

-uso. :@

Re:Less talk, more action. (1)

Wellspring (111524) | more than 6 years ago | (#21419811)

I'm glad your mom is ok now, and I wish her the best for the future.

However, 8-10 years to develop a drug AFTER the pre-clinical work that identifies a compound you think might do some good. Hearing about these breakthroughs is cruel because the media talks about what's happening in vitro or in animal testing. The odds of any one compound making it all the way to approval are very low. Maybe it has unacceptable side effects (and yes I read that they say the compound is non-toxic. We'll see), maybe the drug performs differently in a living creature than it does in a test tube. Maybe the results aren't transferable to a human if it DOES work. These are all hurdles that have to be overcome, and like I said the junkyards and bankruptcy courts are littered with drugs that looked great in the test tube and for one reason or another didn't work out.

In 8-10 years we'll find out. No sooner. The media is totally irresponsible for reporting on test tube results this early.

What form of Cannabidiol (2, Interesting)

Merls the Sneaky (1031058) | more than 6 years ago | (#21419191)

THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol would certainly have cannabidiol as part of its compound. Does it break down into cannabinol after time? THC is certainly the compound that gets you high.

They say that smoking it would not yield much cannabinol. What of long time marijuana users, surely they would have build up cannabinol in their bodies.

Re:What form of Cannabidiol (1)

benna (614220) | more than 6 years ago | (#21419287)

It is interesting to note that, contrary to what one would expect, cannabis smoking has not been shown to be correlated with lung cancer. Some have hypothesized that the carcinogenic effects of the smoke are countered by various chemicals contained in the plant. Perhaps cannobidiol is one of them. If nothing else, I would appreciate it if my descendants can be spared the "smoking a joint is like smoking a whole pack of cigarettes" BS that I was forced to listen to in "health" class.

Re:What form of Cannabidiol (2, Insightful)

GeckoX (259575) | more than 6 years ago | (#21420043)

Problem is, almost no studies are done on this particular subject...good luck getting government funding to do so.

Common sense states that your average pot smoker smokes a lot less pot than your average cigarette smoker smokes cigarettes, so there's a starting point. Further, a LOT of chemicals are used in the manufacture of your typical cigarette.

There are a ton of starting points for reasonable research to be done, but alas, it won't be any time soon. Without doing research unfortunately, we simply can not know what affects the compounds in cannabis have on the human body.

Re:What form of Cannabidiol (1)

db32 (862117) | more than 6 years ago | (#21419291)

Smoking it destroys something like 75-80% of the THC due to the high heat. The buildup also has to do with fat. Gets soaked up in fat cells.

CBD (5, Informative)

spazmolytic666 (549909) | more than 6 years ago | (#21419195)

The article notes that smoking cannabis will not deliver significant quantities of CBD.

Actually, you can get CBD from smoking cannabis, but most cannabis is optimized for the best high (most abount of THC).

CBD is one of the two lesser psychoactive chemicals (CBN is the other) that THC breaks down to in the late life cycle of the cannabis plant. Most growers harvest when the plant is "ripe", when it has the most THC. If you wait a week or two after the peek harvest time, the THC will break down and have a higher percentage of CBD and CBN and a lesser percentage of THC.

This comes up every few years (-1)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#21419209)

That weed is a magic cure for "X". A while back they where offering it for glaucoma then M.S. and now cancer. In the end it's still used mostly for getting high.

I don't care what you do, but until there is a viable way to get all the positive herbal healing from it, don't sound the "smoke weed to cure [blah]" horns.

Re:This comes up every few years (5, Informative)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 6 years ago | (#21419293)

That weed is a magic cure for "X". A while back they where offering it for glaucoma then M.S. and now cancer. In the end it's still used mostly for getting high.
I don't care what you do, but until there is a viable way to get all the positive herbal healing from it, don't sound the "smoke weed to cure [blah]" horns.
It was listed by Hypocrates as a cure-all.
It was prescribed by Queen Victoria's doctor.

It was then made illegal under false pretenses, kept illegal "pending review", and kept illegal under new false pretenses once the scientific review proved it shouldn't be illegal. No honest, free-thinking, educated person wants this to be illegal.

Re:This comes up every few years (1, Troll)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#21419669)

I don't think anyone has said it should be illegal. I'm just tired of it being presented as a snake oil cure for everything when it isn't.
In the case of MS they found that yes it helped with pain but over time it worsened some symptoms such as balance and cognitive skills. I'm glad we're looking at herbal and holistic compounds for cures but I'm tired of a "cure" being offered when it really isn't.
Cue the tin foil hats about how this is a conspiracy from the government/Big Pharms.

Re:This comes up every few years (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21419699)

Yes, and it works better for those of us with bipolar disorder that have a resistance to everything except it, and olanzapine... Try a few weeks on olanzapine... Pot leaves you far less loopy, and controls rage better... And doesn't have the horrible side effect of rapid weight gain, the tremors, or the migraines. I am a lot happier since I got my medicinal marijuana prescription.

Re:This comes up every few years (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21419947)

try telling that to my Psychiatrist, she seems to think all of my problems are down to me smoking a bit of pot now and then

Re:This comes up every few years (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21419301)

In the end it's still used mostly for getting high ... and that's a bad thing?

Brain tumors, too (4, Informative)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 6 years ago | (#21419237)

http://norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=6947 [norml.org]

THC selectively decreases the proliferation of malignant cells and induces cell death in human GBM cell lines. Healthy cells in the study were unaffected by THC administration.

Separate preclinical studies indicate that cannabinoids and endocannabinoids can stave off tumor progression and trigger cell death in other cancer cell lines, including breast carcinoma, prostate carcinoma, colectoral carcinoma, skin carcinoma, and pancreatic adenocarcinoma.

ohru. (3, Funny)

drix (4602) | more than 6 years ago | (#21419247)

The article notes that smoking cannabis will not deliver significant quantities of CBD.
Sounds like a challenge to me!

--Cancer free since 1998.

Are you sure? Or are you blowing smoke. (1)

Nonillion (266505) | more than 6 years ago | (#21419363)

The article notes that smoking cannabis will not deliver significant quantities of CBD.

Yeah, right. You probably said this just to keep the FEDS off your back. I mean after all, we cannot have research show that smoking pot is even in the remotest good for you. The status quo multi million dollar drug enforcement empire need to be kept in place.

Re:Are you sure? Or are you blowing smoke. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21419611)

I was waiting for someone to make a comment like that. How do they know that delivery by smoking doesn't include enough CBD when they haven't even finished trials using their own CBD-like (or CBD extracted, didn't read the article) chemical? It sounds pretty much the same as what GW Pharmaceuticals claims. You know, smoking isn't a good delivery method, but our product is. Even though it's a 100% pure plant extract. They have a point, but they put so much spin on it, trying to make it sound like it's not marijuana. It is.

I have no reason to believe that this is any different. Just a way for pharmaceutical companies to claim that it isn't marijuana (to the righteous right), while also managing to fuel the fight on drugs, which in this case is a direct (and much cheaper) alternative to their medication. The other reason I believe this is that there is already anectdotal evidence that smoking marijuana does have some kind of effect on cancer, and not just brain cancer.

Don't get me wrong, I do want to see new and better (and hopefully cheaper, but I doubt that will happen) treatments for breast cancer. My girlfriend has breast cancer, and just finished chemo. Considering how much hell it was for me, I can only imagine how hellish it was for my girlfriend, and that isn't even mentioning that they had to remove the entire breast because it was too big to be just partially removed. But it REALLY pisses me off when pharmaceutical companies pretend like they are 100% going out of their way to help the patients, when in reality they're working hard to keep a lid on marijuana which has some down right positive uses. (Actually, most of the uses, even recreational uses, are positive if you ask me. Only a small percentage of usage is actual abuse with adverse effects, and even that is not entirely to blame on weed alone.) When my girlfriend was going through chemo, I wanted her to use marijuana. The side effects of chemo she was experiencing were text book examples, many which could be eased or eliminated by smoking marijuana, even in doses that won't create a high. But alas, she thought it was too risky (we live in a country where you can get into a LOT of trouble for having weed) and I didn't feel comfortable in strongly suggesting it further if she wasn't comfortable. So there she went through 6 months of pure hell.

I hate the gov'ts of countries that seem to think they're doing someone a favor by criminalizing marijuana (and a long list of other things), but I even hate the pharmaceutical companies that put spin on their new weed-breed amazing drug that of course only they could make, using a patented process on a plant that is practically a common weed. Disgusting.

ATTN comment posters: stop citing Wikipedia (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21419365)

Wikipedia is like a huge whiteboard that anyone can add to. Even if you have knowledge in some field and have confirmed the page correct at the time you linked to it, I could since have vandalised or added an incorrect statement the page you linked to, and so could hundreds of millions of other Internet users; if you don't have knowledge in that field, you shouldn't even be thinking of citing a source that could have been produced by someone no more knowledgeable than you. Whiteboards are great for throwing ideas together, but they make for awful references.

If you are so lacking in knowledge in some field that don't know where to reference beyond Wikipedia, you probably shouldn't be commentating within that field at all. At the very least, look at source material listed at the bottom of the article. Read these sources, ensure they're in agreement, then cite the one you consider most authoritative. If necessary, use other means to find a better range of sources - a search engine will not selectively list sources to support the biases of the article writer.

Summary: citing Wikipedia is another way of saying "I'm lazy and/or not very knowledgeable on this topic". Either possibility renders your post not worth the time required to read it. Since you might have the seeds of a very good argument, take the time to back it up properly; others will appreciate your effort and begin to recognise your scholarly approach.

Re:ATTN comment posters: stop citing Wikipedia (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 6 years ago | (#21419437)

Or at least manually link to the revision that you're posting, that way you at least know you're posting what you intended to post. Click on History, then the first date listed is a link to the current revision - but a permalink to THAT specific revision, so it won't link to any newer revisions.

unpatentable: don't hold your breath (3, Interesting)

spectrokid (660550) | more than 6 years ago | (#21419393)

Cuban medicine has shown for years that mother nature provides all kinds of wonderful molecules for free. They even have a bio-version of Viagra. Problem is these things are not patentable. So a large medicinal company has to spend tons of money on trials and FDA approval, and the very next day half a dozen competitors can throw a "me too" version on the market without incurring those costs. Sorry for you if you have cancer, but don't hold your breath 'cause it ain't gonna happen.

Re:unpatentable: don't hold your breath (1)

ThEATrE (1071762) | more than 6 years ago | (#21419751)

"Problem is these things are not patentable. So a large medicinal company has to spend tons of money on trials and FDA approval"

We don't have to accept that. Plenty of things have been invented or researched for the world to use. Later the organization responsible for carrying out the experimentation and work involved is praised, gains respectability, and that helps it grow in it's own way.

that's bullshit (2, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#21419757)

look at taxol and the yew tree for breast cancer treatment

what the pharma companies do is substitute a methyl group for a hydrogen somewhere, or mix the chemical with some other chemical, patent that, and call it vastly superior, even if it isn't

just look at celebrex: it's just an NSAID. nothing that aspirin can't handle. but they modified the chemical slightly, patent that, the effects are slightly different, but the slight effects are relabelled massive and brilliant improvements in function, and you have a market

they do it with the opiates too: see oxycodone

Re:unpatentable: don't hold your breath (1)

GeckoX (259575) | more than 6 years ago | (#21419973)

Then how come I can buy vitamin C, calcium etc etc just about anywhere?

Yes, the big pharmaceutical companies are scum sucking patent feeders. But that's not the only way to go.

Let's stop jailing people who smoke it. (1)

OutSourcingIsTreason (734571) | more than 6 years ago | (#21419399)

I can't think of a single reason why it should be a crime to grow & smoke.

A recent scientific study [webmd.com] proved that it is not a so-called "gateway drug" that leads to e.g. heroin abuse.

George Washington grew it on his farm, what could be more American than that?

In the bible _kana_bith_ (cannabis) is mentioned as a component of the sacred incense that was burned in the temple. Shouldn't freedom of religion protect people's right to grow it?

Re:Let's stop jailing people who smoke it. (2, Insightful)

BVis (267028) | more than 6 years ago | (#21419755)

I can't think of a single reason why it should be a crime to grow & smoke.
You probably don't have a vested interest in tobacco production, pharmaceutical research, nutritional supplements, petroleum production/distribution, cloth manufacture... etc.

A recent scientific study proved that it is not a so-called "gateway drug" that leads to e.g. heroin abuse.
There you go, bringing your silly "facts" into the argument again. It's bad! End of discussion.

George Washington grew it on his farm, what could be more American than that?
Technically, GW grew hemp, which, while being the same species as marijuana grown for intoxication purposes, is bred in such a manner that getting high from it is physically impossible due to low THC/other psychoactive content. I know it's a fine point, but let's not give the prohibitionists another nit to pick.

In the bible _kana_bith_ (cannabis) is mentioned as a component of the sacred incense that was burned in the temple. Shouldn't freedom of religion protect people's right to grow it?
Try telling that to the Rastafarians, who have consistently been told they have no religious right to grow a controlled substance. Nevermind that the 'christian' church uses intoxicants on a regular basis in their worship; that's different because they're 'christian', not one of those hippy blasphemous un-American cults.

All that being said, eventually it will be legal, once people figure out that we have more important things to worry about. (Not holding my breath though..)

But Cannabis is BAD (4, Funny)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 6 years ago | (#21419419)

This study is quite obviously flawed. Cannabis, otherwise known as marijuana, is bad. It's just bad! Taking it is wrong! People who take marijuana are bad people.

Marijuana cannot be used to stop cancer. Stopping cancer is good, and marijuana is bad; therefore marijuana cannot logically be used to stop cancer. It's a basic fact!

Why are you promoting the use of this evil drug, when you know that it can only be used for bad not for good. Do you want children to smoke marijuana, and destroy their lives? Do you want them to commit murder and rape so they can feed their evil habits? Do you want them to think that bad things are good? That's just wrong!

We need to defend our children and society from the scourge of drugs. Breast cancer is bad, but that does not mean we should use evil to fight it. Instead, I propose setting up a breast cancer awareness group where people can discuss how breast cancer has affected their lives. That's a real solution to this problem.

We can hold meetings at the local bar, so people have a few drinks and a smoke afterwards.

Re:But Cannabis is BAD (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21419527)

You need to lay off the weed man. Many other drugs are "narcotics" and thus illegal without a Rx, and yet used to treat/subdue people all the time (morphine?). Maybe if you pulled your head out of your arse you'd realize that. If this result holds true and the long term study proves positive, a pill form with a lower THC could be possible.

Besides, drugs make you lame. And just because alcohol is legal doesn't mean that it's alright to be drunk all the time either. Society as a whole looks down upon alcoholism.

Re:But Cannabis is BAD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21419833)

Uhh, I think the parent is being pretty sarcastic, what with the italics and all.

Re:But Cannabis is BAD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21419977)

Why is this modded a troll? Can you people not spot sarcasm?

High CBD content != good pot (1)

Ellis D. Tripp (755736) | more than 6 years ago | (#21419435)

"The article notes that smoking cannabis will not deliver significant quantities of CBD."

What if you were to smoke hemp?

CBD is believed to be the compound in pot responsible for the sedative effect, as opposed to THC, which is responsible for the "mind expanding" psychedelic effects. High levels of CBD are common in strains grown for fiber or seed, which are not particularly fun to smoke. At best, you just get tired. At worst, you cough up a lung....:)

Brownies anyone? (1)

kcdoodle (754976) | more than 6 years ago | (#21419445)

Perhaps eating it will help.

BTW, anyone can get breast cancer. It doesn't have to do with boobs, it has to do with estrogen.
Guys and gals have both estrogen and testosterone.
So guys too might be able to benefit by eating magic brownies as well. Just do not eat too many and call 911 (especially if you are a cop [wxyz.com].

Dear DEA, (1)

hoto0301 (811128) | more than 6 years ago | (#21419629)

Dear DEA,

Please put down your handcuffs and assault rifles and step away from the college student with dreadlocks. Keeping marijuana in the same schedule [usdoj.gov] as cocaine and heroin is a crime against those who will benefit from its effective use as medical treatment.

Love,
hoto0301

Re:Dear DEA, (1)

kennedy (18142) | more than 6 years ago | (#21419673)

Sorry, you fail.

Marijuana is Schedule 1, while Cocaine is Schedule 2 (ie- someone, somewhere thinks cocaine has some medical benefit, yet pot does not...)

Re:Dear DEA, (1)

Ellis D. Tripp (755736) | more than 6 years ago | (#21419869)

Cocaine is used as a local anesthetic for eye and (ironically) nasal surgery.

And while marijuana is stuck in Schedule I along with heroin and LSD, the DEA has placed pure THC (the pharmaceutical equivalent of hash oil!) in Schedule III. You see, corporations cannot patent a plant(yet), but they can isolate an active ingredient and make a patentable pill out of it. And sell it for far more than an equivalent amount of pot would cost.

slashdot delivers (4, Funny)

colourmyeyes (1028804) | more than 6 years ago | (#21419685)

Ah, I know my day is off to a good start when I the first tags that I see are "potheads" and "boobies."

Smashing.

The animal tests would be so cool (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 6 years ago | (#21419855)

if it was deliverable via smoking. Not to mention it would inspire students to enter medical research.

Kid on a field trip: "Haha, look at that rat smoking a dubie!"
Tour guide: "Thats medical research son, thats what we get paid to do."
Kid: "I know what I want to be when I grow up!"

one of the side effects of heavy pot use (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#21419861)

is gynocomastia. man boobs

so this seems like a problem that takes care of itself:

1. smoke pot
2. grow boobs
3. get boob cancer
4. smoke more pot
5. cure boob cancer

if this logic seems a little hazy to you, well, you're right. it's called stoner logic

now if you will excuse me

(puff puff)

Natural Selection.... (4, Interesting)

BytePusher (209961) | more than 6 years ago | (#21419945)

Just a thought, but I wonder if it could be possible that humans are genetically disposed to loving cannabis? It has been a commonly used plant for a long, long time. The seeds have been used as food and seem to have the perfect balance of essential fats. Now it seems we've discovered it suppresses certain forms of common cancer. Certainly, there are people who abuse themselves with it, but maybe we want them to. In my experience, the people who overuse pot are the same people who have trouble restraining many of their impulses. One of my room mates seemed to actually became a human when he was high... otherwise he was intolerable. By taking these people's pot away, we don't make them better people, just angrier.

Another thing to note is that, while cannabis is illegal now, if we are genetically disposed to love it, cannabis will win the legal battle eventually no matter what the logic for it's legalization is. People legalize things they love and suppress the things they hate ignoring all logic in the process. You can't fight your nature. :)

cannabis is too dangerous (1)

wardk (3037) | more than 6 years ago | (#21419979)

to allow for use in medicine. at least not for us american's.

in fact, I am amazed we don't create a newer higher, scarier "level" for it.

these scientists must be muzzled
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