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View Full Version : Report: Pot not a major cancer risk.


netscape check two
10-27-2005, 01:29 PM
By Amy Norton
Wed Oct 26,12:29 PM ET
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Although both marijuana and tobacco smoke are packed with cancer-causing chemicals, other qualities of marijuana seem to keep it from promoting lung cancer, according to a new report.

The difference rests in the often opposing actions of the nicotine in tobacco and the active ingredient, THC, in marijuana, says Dr. Robert Melamede of the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs.

He reviewed the scientific evidence supporting this contention in a recent issue of Harm Reduction Journal.

Whereas nicotine has several effects that promote lung and other types of cancer, THC acts in ways that counter the cancer-causing chemicals in marijuana smoke, Melamede explained in an interview with Reuters Health.

"THC turns down the carcinogenic potential," he said.

For example, lab research indicates that nicotine activates a body enzyme that converts certain chemicals in both tobacco and marijuana smoke into cancer-promoting form. In contrast, studies in mice suggest that THC blocks this enzyme activity.

Another key difference, Melamede said, is in the immune system effects of tobacco and marijuana. Smoke sends irritants into the respiratory system that trigger an immune-regulated inflammatory response, which involves the generation of potentially cell-damaging substances called free radicals. These particles are believed to contribute to a range of diseases, including cancer.

But cannabinoids -- both those found in marijuana and the versions found naturally in the body -- have been shown to dial down this inflammatory response, Melamede explained.

Another difference between tobacco and marijuana smoking, he said, has to do with cells that line the respiratory tract. While these cells have receptors that act as docks for nicotine, similar receptors for THC and other cannabinoids have not been found.

Nicotine, Melamede said, appears to keep these cells from committing "suicide" when they are genetically damaged, by smoking, for instance. When such cells do not kill themselves off, they are free to progress into tumors.

THC, however, does not appear to act this way in the respiratory tract -- though, in the brain, where there are cannabinoid receptors, it may have the beneficial effect of protecting cells from death when they are damaged from an injury or stroke, according to Melamede.

All of this, he said, fits in with population studies that have failed to link marijuana smoking with a higher risk of lung cancer -- though there is evidence that pot users have more respiratory problems, such as chronic cough and frequent respiratory infections.

If marijuana does not promote lung cancer, that could factor into the ongoing debate over so-called medical marijuana. Melamede said he believes "marijuana has loads of medicinal value," for everything from multiple sclerosis, to the chronic pain of arthritis, to nausea caused by cancer treatment.

U.S. government officials, however, maintain that the evidence for medical marijuana is not there. Ten states allow people to use marijuana with a doctor's prescription, but the Supreme Court has ruled that federal law trumps state law.

SOURCE: Harm Reduction Journal, October 18, 2005.

Ayatollah Prolific
10-27-2005, 01:48 PM
One joint supposedly has 6 times the amount of tar as a cigarette. I wonder... It seems as if this study is only limited to the carcinogen effects of nicotine. But how about tar?

Big Risk
10-27-2005, 01:51 PM
One joint yes, but how many people smoke just 6 cigs a day? and how many joints to people smoke a day?

Cheech Da WildKard
10-27-2005, 01:54 PM
I smoke about 5 cigs and 10 joints a day ...

And that ain't shit to what I been smokin' for the past 7 years

Ayatollah Prolific
10-27-2005, 02:05 PM
I smoke on the averge 7 cigs a day. I guess that would be about a joint .

hectis
10-27-2005, 05:00 PM
I smoke like 5 dutches a day and 4 at night( marijuana it does a mind good)

Ghost In The 'Lac
10-27-2005, 05:11 PM
By Amy Norton
Wed Oct 26,12:29 PM ET


THC, however, does not appear to act this way in the respiratory tract -- though, in the brain, where there are cannabinoid receptors, it may have the beneficial effect of protecting cells from death when they are damaged from an injury or stroke, according to Melamede.

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hmm, so theyre saying here that marij actually prevents brain cells from dying? Anyone else find that hard to beleive?

Or could this be the reason why its said weed smokers are more creative - theyve got more brain cells!

iNtell3kT
10-27-2005, 05:23 PM
big size quantitys of any kind of smoke taken regulary in the lungs isnt healthy

Baitong
10-27-2005, 06:24 PM
no dope is comming near me i go crazy if i smell that stuff dope is not a cancer risk
but it makes your brain die down over a period of time

Sweet6
10-27-2005, 06:28 PM
Fuck it, I already got cancer and AIDS.

PuNcH_iN_PuNcH_OuT
10-27-2005, 06:42 PM
However, pot is a major employment risk

thwak
10-27-2005, 06:51 PM
one more reason why I say we legalize pot!

but since that isn't gonna happen anytime soon (probably not untill about another 20 or 30 years) I fina alot of this evidence interesting and needing further examination.