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Cancer blog: Marijuana Use Does Not Increase Cancer Risk

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Oct 19, 2005

Marijuana Use Does Not Increase Cancer Risk

Marijuana Use Does Not Increase Cancer Risk
Marijuana and tobacco are chemically similar, but this does not mean that use of marijuana results in equally increased risk of development of cancer. In this review that is to be published in the an upcoming issue of the journal Harm Reduction Dr. Robert Melamede of the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs writes about this topic.

Tobacco and marijuana smoke differ in a number of ways, one notable example is that marijuana smoke contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), while tobacco smoke contains nicotine. Nicotine increases the cancer-promoting effects of smoke, while THC reduces cancer promoting effects, Melamede explained.

THC and nicotine act on related cellular pathways, but despite this fact, they bind to different receptors to activate these pathways. Cells in the lungs and respiratory passages are lined with nicotine receptors but these cells don't appear to have THC receptors. This may explain why smoking marijuana has so far not been linked with lung cancer, a major cause of death from cigarette smoking.

Research has also shown that marijuana kills cancer cells and reduces tumor growth. This is, in part, because marijuana reduces the formation of blood vessels that nourish tumors.

This news in no way should be comforting for a marijuana smoker since the effects of marijuana are complex and sometimes contradictory. Many people may use marijuana and tobacco together, and the two drugs could interact in complex ways.

While some governments are reluctant to approve marijuana for medicinal use, the review noted that there's increasing evidence that marijuana can improve the lives of patients with a broad range of health problems, including insomnia, AIDS, multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer's disease.

Janet      Return to Cancer Blog Main


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Do you read all of the blogs published by medicineworld.org? Many of our bloggers are busy keeping you updated on the various health related topics. We publish the following blogs at this time.

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Colon cancer blog: Colon cancer blog is run by Sue and other bloggers. Sue brings a personal touch to the colon cancer blog since her mother died of colon cancer few years ago. She writes about stories, research news and advances in treatment related to colon cancer.

Prostate cancer blog: Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among American men. American Cancer Society estimates that over 230,000 new cases of prostate cancer occur in the United state every year. This important blog about prostate cancer is run by Mark and other bloggers. This blog brings news, stories, and other personal observations related to prostate cancer.

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Heart watch blog: About 13 million Americans suffer from coronary artery disease. Coronary artery disease is the leading cause of death in American men and women amounting a staggering 20 percent of all causes of death. The tremendous responsibility of running a heart blog is entrusted to Daniel. He is creating blog posts with the help and support of other bloggers.

Janet      


Cancer
We do not know the exact cause of many cancers. Many cancers like leukemia have no apparent cause. Some other types of cancers like lung cancers have identifiable causes like smoking in most cases. Lung cancer can occur in those who have never smoked in their life. It is hard to know in these cases what is causing that patients lung cancer. Factors that increase the risk of development of cancer is known as risk factors for cancer. These risk factors may be modifiable like smoking where a person can exert control or un-modifiable factors like age and gender. Smoking can cause cancers of the lungs, mouth, throat, bladder, kidneys and several other organs.

Cancer blog: Marijuana Use Does Not Increase Cancer Risk

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