This morning, a little good news. The San Francisco Chronicle turns over its health section to more heretical research showing the molecules in marijuana fight cancer. This time it's non-psychoactive cannbidiol, which has been shown to halt the menace of some breast cancer cells. Dang.
The Chronicle's Victoria Colliver reports that Dr. Pierre Desprez and Sean McAlllister from the S.F. California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute have discovered that CBD applied to metastatic cancer cells cause them to cease their attack-like behavior and return to a normal state, by shutting off a mutated gene that produces too much protein called "ID-1". Too much ID-1 protein makes normal cells go "crazy", in scientific parlance. CBD coaxes cells to turn off the ID-1 spigot, and hence the crazy, a finding that fits with existing research showing cannabinoids' role in homeostasis.
It's research like this that has cancer patients all over the country trying to get their hands on rare, CBD-rich marijuana products to treat many varieties of cancer, especially glioblastoma and melanoma.
Why are desperate patients doing cutting-edge cannabinoid research on themselves? Colliver also does a Q&A with Dr. Donald Abrams, UCSF cancer researcher who points at that doctors can't test CBD on humans without approval from the federal government, which has specifically banned research into any benefit from cannabis.
On a related note, Abrams' partner and author Clint Werner appears in a Q&A in this newspaper today. In an outtake that didn't make the print edition, we asked Werner if the federal ban on cannabis research is actually hurting or killing anyone.
"Absolutely. ...If you're talking suffering, how many people have had AIDs, have had cancer? And the brainwashing they've done — to alienate people, to make them fearful of using this remedy that is far less harmful with far less side effects than the remedies they offer — is criminal. That's where the criminality lies. It's criminal to ruin lives by having people arrested [for marijuana] or thrown in the gulags."