Last week, word leaked that GW Pharmaceuticals will supply the US government with cannabis-derived cannabidiol (CBD) for a special Investigative New Drug program, so at least 50 children with epilepsy can try the non-psychoactive marijuana-derived compound as a way to control seizures and treat their disease.
Now, a GW-funded study published in the journal Anticancer Research has shown that cannabinoids – “the bioactive components of the cannabis plant that display a diverse range of therapeutic qualities” -- can kill cancerous cells related to leukemia.
"Cannabinoids have a complex action; it hits a number of important processes that cancers need to survive," Dr. Wai Liu, an author of the study, told The Huffington Post. "For that reason, it has really good potential over other drugs that only have one function. I am impressed by its activity profile, and feel it has a great future, especially if used with standard chemotherapies."
One thing that doesn't impress the St. George's University of London oncologist, and his funders at GW Pharmaceuticals, however, is cannabis itself. While cannabinoids derived from marijuana display a "diverse range of therapeutic qualities" that "target and switch off" cancer cell growth, Dr. Liu described traditional cannabis oil as “crude,” taking great pains to tout pharmaceutical preparations over all other methods of ingesting this medicine. A position that neatly aligns with GW Pharmaceutical's vested interest in eliminating any and all competition for its patented, “whole-plant extracts” of cannabis.
GW already produces Sativex, the world's first plant-derived cannabinoid prescription drug, currently available in 11 countries for the treatment of spasticity due to multiple sclerosis. And they've got plans in the work to win approval for their product in the US, while greatly expanding the number of conditions for which Sativex can be prescribed.
In this new study, researchers grew leukemia cells, then cultured them with six pure cannabinoids derived from marijuana plants, noting the effects of CBD (Cannabidiol), CBDA (Cannabidiolic acid), CBG (Cannbigerol), CBGA (Cannabigerolic acid), CBGV (Cannabigevarin) and CBGVA (Cannabigevaric acid) -- both in isolation and in various combinations.
Their findings indicated CBD might be especially effective in killing cancerous cells. Which makes sense given the many patients and physicians around the world already using high-CBD cannabis oil successfully.
The lesson here? Don't let Big Pharma fool you with a bunch of trademarks, technical jargon and corporate double-speak. What this research really proves is that ingesting cannabis medicine can have profound anti-cancer effects. And you can put that in your pipe and smoke it.