Research says smoking dope helps in fight against cancer

THE psychoactive ingredient in cannabis could reduce tumour growth in cancer patients, new research has revealed.

Nimbin Hemp Embassy president Michael Balderstone said the discovery came as no surprise.

"It's not at all surprising," he said.

"There's been some pretty hard evidence of it from America and Spain.

"Yet the doctors and the AMA keep saying 'we need more evidence, we need more evidence'."

Mr Balderstone said the Hemp Embassy had been inundated with inquiries relating to the anti-cancer properties of cannabis.

"Because of America, a lot of information's on the net, so people start punching in cancer cures and cannabis pops up there really quickly," he said.

"We're being just inundated at the Hemp Embassy with emails, phone calls and people driving from all over Australia thinking we'll be able to get the medicine here, which is not so simple."

The cannabis research showed the existence of previously unknown signalling platforms which are responsible for the drug's success in shrinking tumours.

Scientist from the University of East Anglia in the UK and the Universidad Complutense de Madrid in Spain used samples of human cancer cells to induce tumours in mice.

They then targeted the tumours with doses of the cannabis compound THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).

Dr Peter McCormick, from the UK university's school of pharmacy, said THC had anti-cancer properties.

"This compound is known to act through a specific family of cell receptors called cannabinoid receptors," he said.

However, Dr McCormick warned that cancer sufferers should not self-medicate.

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