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Registered: 07/25/04
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Study: Smoking Marijuana Does Not Cause Lung Cancer
    #4363437 - 07/02/05 03:07 PM (17 years, 8 months ago)

Study: Smoking Marijuana Does Not Cause Lung Cancer
July 2, 2005 - counterpunch.org

Marijuana smoking -"even heavy longterm use"- does not cause cancer of the lung, upper airwaves, or esophagus, Donald Tashkin reported at this year's meeting of the International Cannabinoid Research Society. Coming from Tashkin, this conclusion had extra significance for the assembled drug-company and university-based scientists (most of whom get funding from the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse). Over the years, Tashkin's lab at UCLA has produced irrefutable evidence of the damage that marijuana smoke wreaks on bronchial tissue. With NIDA's support, Tashkin and colleagues have identified the potent carcinogens in marijuana smoke, biopsied and made photomicrographs of pre-malignant cells, and studied the molecular changes occurring within them. It is Tashkin's research that the Drug Czar's office cites in ads linking marijuana to lung cancer. Tashkin himself has long believed in a causal relationship, despite a study in which Stephen Sidney examined the files of 64,000 Kaiser patients and found that marijuana users didn't develop lung cancer at a higher rate or die earlier than non-users. Of five smaller studies on the question, only two -involving a total of about 300 patients- concluded that marijuana smoking causes lung cancer. Tashkin decided to settle the question by conducting a large, prospectively designed, population-based, case-controlled study. "Our major hypothesis," he told the ICRS, "was that heavy, longterm use of marijuana will increase the risk of lung and upper-airwaves cancers."

The Los Angeles County Cancer Surveillance program provided Tashkin's team with the names of 1,209 L.A. residents aged 59 or younger with cancer (611 lung, 403 oral/pharyngeal, 90 laryngeal, 108 esophageal). Interviewers collected extensive lifetime histories of marijuana, tobacco, alcohol and other drug use, and data on diet, occupational exposures, family history of cancer, and various "socio-demographic factors." Exposure to marijuana was measured in joint years (joints per day x 365). Controls were found based on age, gender and neighborhood. Among them, 46% had never used marijuana, 31% had used less than one joint year, 12% had used 10-30 j-yrs, 2% had used 30-60 j-yrs, and 3% had used for more than 60 j-yrs. Tashkin controlled for tobacco use and calculated the relative risk of marijuana use resulting in lung and upper airwaves cancers. All the odds ratios turned out to be less than one (one being equal to the control group's chances)! Compared with subjects who had used less than one joint year, the estimated odds ratios for lung cancer were .78; for 1-10 j-yrs, .74; for 10-30 j-yrs, .85 for 30-60 j-yrs; and 0.81 for more than 60 j-yrs. The estimated odds ratios for oral/pharyngeal cancers were 0.92 for 1-10 j-yrs; 0.89 for 10-30 j-yrs; 0.81 for 30-60 j-yrs; and 1.0 for more than 60 j-yrs. "Similar, though less precise results were obtained for the other cancer sites," Tashkin reported. "We found absolutely no suggestion of a dose response." The data on tobacco use, as expected, revealed "a very potent effect and a clear dose-response relationship -a 21-fold greater risk of developing lung cancer if you smoke more than two packs a day." Similarly high odds obtained for oral/pharyngeal cancer, laryngeal cancer and esophageal cancer. "So, in summary" Tashkin concluded, "we failed to observe a positive association of marijuana use and other potential confounders."

There was time for only one question, said the moderator, and San Francisco oncologist Donald Abrams, M.D., was already at the microphone: "You don't see any positive correlation, but in at least one category [marijuana-only smokers and lung cancer], it almost looked like there was a negative correlation, i.e., a protective effect. Could you comment on that?"

"Yes," said Tashkin. "The odds ratios are less than one almost consistently, and in one category that relationship was significant, but I think that it would be difficult to extract from these data the conclusion that marijuana is protective against lung cancer. But that is not an unreasonable hypothesis."

Abrams had results of his own to report at the ICRS meeting. He and his colleagues at San Francisco General Hospital had conducted a randomized, placebo-controlled study involving 50 patients with HIV-related peripheral neuropathy. Over the course of five days, patients recorded their pain levels in a diary after smoking either NIDA-supplied marijuana cigarettes or cigarettes from which the THC had been extracted. About 25% didn't know or guessed wrong as to whether they were smoking the placebos, which suggests that the blinding worked. Abrams requested that his results not be described in detail prior to publication in a peer-reviewed medical journal, but we can generalize: they exceeded expectations, and show marijuana providing pain relief comparable to Gabapentin, the most widely used treatment for a condition that afflicts some 30% of patients with HIV.

To a questioner who bemoaned the difficulty of "separating the high from the clinical benefits," Abrams replied: "I'm an oncologist as well as an AIDS doctor and I don't think that a drug that creates euphoria in patients with terminal diseases is having an adverse effect." His study was funded by the University of California's Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research.

* * *

The 15th annual meeting of the ICRS was held at the Clearwater, Florida, Hilton, June 24-27. Almost 300 scientists attended. R. Stephen Ellis, MD, of San Francisco, was the sole clinician from California. Los Angeles Farmacy operator Mike Ommaha and therapist/cultivator Pat Humphrey showed up to audit the proceedings... Some of the younger European scientists expressed consternation over the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling and the vote in Congress re-enforcing the cannabis prohibition. "How can they dispute that it has medical effect?" an investigator working in Germany asked us earnestly. She had come to give a talk on "the role of different neuronal populations in the pharmacological actions of delta-9 THC." For most ICRS members, the holy grail is a legal synthetic drug that exerts the medicinal effects of the prohibited herb. To this end they study the mechanism of action by which the body's own cannabinoids are assembled, function, and get broken down. A drug that encourages production or delays dissolution, they figure, might achieve the desired effect without being subject to "abuse..." News on the scientific front included the likely identification of a third cannabinoid receptor expressed in tissues of the lung, brain, kidney, spleen and smaller branches of the mesenteric artery. Investigators from GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca both reported finding the new receptor but had different versions of its pharmacology. It may have a role in regulating blood pressure.

Several talks and posters described the safety and efficacy of Sativex, G.W. Pharmaceuticals' whole-plant extract containing high levels of THC and CBD (cannabidiol) formulated to spray in the mouth. G.W. director Geoffrey Guy seemed upbeat, despite the drubbing his company's stock took this spring when UK regulators withheld permission to market Sativex pending another clinical trial. Canada recently granted approval for doctors to prescribe Sativex, and five sales reps from Bayer (to whom G.W. sold the Canadian marketing rights) are promoting it to neurologists. Sativex was approved for the treatment of neuropathic pain in multiple sclerosis, but can be prescribed for other purposes as doctors see fit.

A more detailed report on the ICRS meeting will appear in the upcoming issue of O'Shaughnessy's, a journal put out by California's small but growing group of pro-cannabis doctors. To get on the mailing list, send a contribution of any amount to the CCRMG (California Cannabis Research Medical Group) at p.o. box 9143, Berkeley, CA 94709. It's a 501c3 non-profit and your correspondent's main source of income.

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Reef Donkey
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Re: Study: Smoking Marijuana Does Not Cause Lung Cancer [Re: veggie]
    #4363851 - 07/02/05 05:19 PM (17 years, 8 months ago)

Alright!!  Now when is it gonna be legal? :bongload:

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Not an EggshellWalker
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Re: Study: Smoking Marijuana Does Not Cause Lung Cancer [Re: veggie]
    #4364621 - 07/02/05 09:57 PM (17 years, 8 months ago)

I've been saying this for years, but nobody looks at the evidence.

The fact of the matter is, it's not the cigarette smoke that causes cancer. Look at chewing tobacco, and you get the cancer without any smoke, which is rather obvious evidence that the smoke is only a small factor, perhaps even completely insignificant, to the tobacco-caused cancer.

While I've never heard of anyone getting marijuana from smoking it, less likely eating it. In fact, I've never heard of marijuana causing much harm at all. :shrug:

So long as you are praised think only that you are not yet on your own path but on that of another.

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Registered: 06/17/03
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Re: Study: Smoking Marijuana Does Not Cause Lung Cancer [Re: Ravus]
    #4367226 - 07/03/05 07:36 PM (17 years, 8 months ago)

i am going togo get high riht now to celebrate



"in times of widespread chaos and confusion, it has been the duty of more advanced human beings - artists, scientists, clowns, and philosophers - to create order. In such times as ours however, when there is too much order, too much m management, too much programming and control, it becomes the duty of superior men and women and women to fling their favorite monkey wrenches into the machinery. To relieve the repression of the human spirit, they must sow doubt and disruption"

"People do it every day, they talk to themselves ... they see themselves as they'd like to be, they don't have the courage you have, to just run with it."

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The answer to1984 is 1776.
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Re: Study: Smoking Marijuana Does Not Cause Lung Cancer [Re: ZippoZ]
    #4379614 - 07/07/05 12:05 PM (17 years, 8 months ago)

You missed the part about marijuana smoke "wreaking havoc" on bronchial tissue, which it does for heavy smokers. But all in all, cancer sucks, and this is great fucking news. My guess is that it still won't stop advertisements from claiming marijuana causes cancer, as the promoters will find other studies that say it does. We need like 2 or 3 more serious studies, and possibly the coverage of a major media outlet such as Time or Newsweek before they'll admit defeat I think.

The answer to 1984 is 1776.

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Registered: 06/21/05
Posts: 21,817
Re: Study: Smoking Marijuana Does Not Cause Lung Cancer [Re: kake]
    #4379697 - 07/07/05 12:31 PM (17 years, 8 months ago)

Hooray!  :stash:


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Brainy Smurf

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Re: Study: Smoking Marijuana Does Not Cause Lung Cancer [Re: RESTLESS]
    #4403414 - 07/14/05 12:04 PM (17 years, 8 months ago)

Of course any smoke going into your lungs, especially hot, will wreack some havoc on bronchial tissue, but at least no cancer! Yay! I'm gonna go "protect" my lungs from cancer now in celebration as well :smile:

"life is like a drop of rain getting closer and closer to falling into a lake, and then when you hit the lake there is no more rain drop, only the lake."

Growing with bags, start to finish (including my new grain and substrate prep)
Anyone looking to start bulk tubs/mono tubs/shotgun hybrids? Good tubs to use..
How I do grain (old still good tips)
Turn your closet into a fruiting chamber
Casing layer colonization and overlay

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Wild Woman
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Re: Study: Smoking Marijuana Does Not Cause Lung Cancer [Re: scatmanrav]
    #4403448 - 07/14/05 12:16 PM (17 years, 8 months ago)


scatmanrav said:
I'm gonna go "protect" my lungs from cancer now in celebration

hehe  :grin:  Do some celebrating for me too buddy!

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Re: Study: Smoking Marijuana Does Not Cause Lung Cancer [Re: MOTH]
    #18958068 - 10/10/13 06:13 AM (9 years, 5 months ago)

I would not say marijuana is the best source to get rid of cancer but not to forget its crazy facts also = Read this = http://www.drugpolicy.org/drug-facts/10-facts-about-marijuana

Take off the ban people!!

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