A new report issued by a U.S. government-funded research group studying drug abuse and addiction just acknowledged new research from St. George’s University of London that shows marijuana can significantly reduce aggressive types of brain tumors when combined with radiation treatment. The study’s revelation backs what medicinal marijuana advocates have long affirmed as its healing properties.

A team of researchers from St. George’s University of London recorded reductions in high-grade glioma masses, a deadly form of brain cancer, in mice.

The mice’s tumors shrank after they were exposed to radiation in conjunction with two marijuana compounds: THC, which creates the “high feeling,” and CBD, which has no psychoactive side effects. Researchers said that both cannabinoids made tumors more receptive to the radiation treatment, creating what lead author Dr. Wai Lui described to HuffPost as a “triple threat” approach.

“We’ve shown that cannabinoids could play a role in treating one of the most aggressive cancers in adults,” Liu wrote in an op-ed earlier this year. “The results are promising…it could provide a way of breaking through glioma and saving more lives.”

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) issued a revised report for the month of April, stating, “recent animal studies have shown that marijuana can kill certain cancer cells and reduce the size of others. Evidence from one animal study suggests that extracts from whole-plant marijuana can shrink one of the most serious types of brain tumors. Research in mice showed that these extracts, when used with radiation, increased the cancer-killing effects of the radiation.”

ThinkProgress adds:
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The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), a government drug abuse and addiction research organization, may be on the cusp of a philosophical change. NIDA issued a revised statement about medical marijuana at the beginning of April that acknowledged the research out of St. George’s University of London, as well as other findings summarized in a November research report.[/su_quote]

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not recognized or approved the marijuana plant as medicine,” the statement reads. “However, scientific study of the chemicals in marijuana, called cannabinoids, has led to two FDA-approved medications that contain cannabinoid chemicals in pill form. Continued research may lead to more medications.”
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Lui’s medical marijuana study, which was published in the journal Molecular Cancer Therapies, follows other research conducted by a team of scientists from the United Kingdom who found that a combination of six purified cannabinoids can kill cancerous cells found in leukemia patients. Previous research has confirmed that THC reduces the size of cancerous tumors and stops the spread of HIV. Scientists have also found that strains of CBD can potentially treat children and adults suffering from seizure disorders.

Marijuana also seems to be less dangerous than previously thought. An Emory University study earlier this year found that, contrary to the concerns of many legalization opponents, inhaling marijuana smoke for years doesn’t cause significant lung damage. Those findings have also been supported by prior studies.[/su_quote]

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