Marijuana Use Associated With a "Significantly Reduced Risk" of Head and Neck Cancers — Will The Mainstream Media Care?

For some 35 years the United States federal government has been well aware that cannabis possesses potent anti-cancer and anti-tumor properties. And for the past three years, government-funded researchers have speculated that these qualities may offer “protective” effects against the onset of various types of cancer in humans, including lung cancer.
Yet to date, virtually no investigators have taken the time to assess marijuana’s potential anti-cancer effects in humans — until now.
In a clinical abstract just published online on the Cancer Prevention Research website, a team of U.S. investigators report that marijuana use, even long-term, is associated with a “significantly reduced risk” of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.

A Population-Based Case-Control Study of Marijuana Use and Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Cannabinoids, constituents of marijuana smoke, have been recognized to have potential anti-tumor properties. However, the epidemiologic evidence addressing the relationship between marijuana use and the induction of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is inconsistent and conflicting. Cases (n = 434) were patients with incident HNSCC disease from nine medical facilities in the Greater Boston, MA area between December 1999 and December 2003. Controls (n = 547) were frequency matched to cases on age (+/-3 years), gender, and town of residence, randomly selected from Massachusetts town books.
… After adjusting for potential confounders (including smoking and alcohol drinking), 10 to 20 years of marijuana use was associated with a significantly reduced risk of HNSCC [odds ratio (OR)(10-<20 years versus never users), 0.38; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.22-0.67]. Among marijuana users moderate weekly use was associated with reduced risk (OR(0.5-<1.5 times versus <0.5 time), 0.52; 95% CI, 0.32-0.85). The magnitude of reduced risk was more pronounced for those who started use at an older age (OR(15-<20 years versus never users), 0.53; 95% CI, 0.30-0.95; OR(>/=20 years versus never users), 0.39; 95% CI, 0.17-0.90; P(trend) < 0.001).
Our study suggests that moderate marijuana use is associated with reduced risk of HNSCC.

I’ve said this before but it bears repeating. What possible advancements in the treatment of cancer could have been achieved over the past 35 years had U.S. government officials, or for that matter members of the mainstream media, chosen to advance — rather than to suppress — clinical research into the anti-cancer effects of cannabis? It’s a shame we have to speculate; it’s even more tragic that tens of thousands of families must needlessly suffer while we do.

0 thoughts

  1. Amazing, something to smoke that could actually PREVENT lung cancer!! To bad our government thinks that tobacco is “safer” than marijuana.
    Keep it up NORML, I check your site daily with the anticipation that the headline will say, “MARIJUANA NOW LEGAL”

  2. The common people, and I include myself in that category, exist solely to serve the rich and powerful. We are to be exploited, and as far as they are concerned are expendable. In fact, we breed like rats, and we need to be exploited in a way that enriches the power elite and kills us off. Many of America’s power elite act according to these tenets espoused by Thomas Robert Malthus, which you can read about under “Proposed solutions” at this link.
    Pigs at the Trough, a book written by Arianna Huffington, amply illustrates this attitude among U.S. corporate and political elite, and it basically explains how we have veered off course of things espoused by Ayn Rand in the business world and quietly embraced corporate welfare, with companies failing and stock values in decline despite short-term rallies while CEOs and their cronies are legally allowed to enrich themselves by feeding the government and media watchdogs snacks and perks out of sight under the table–under the radar.
    Love her or loathe her, it’s a great book. Here’s the link to its site.
    Arianna has addressed ending the war on drugs and racial profiling on Joe Scarborough’s show, as well as on Dylan Ratigan’s show and elsewhere. The Huffington Post has been very favorable to cannabis legalization.
    Having prefaced my conclusion to the question in the article’s title “Will the Mainstream Media Care?” with that, my answer must, unfortunately be no. The media are lapdogs of the power elite, figuratively fed under the table.
    In the eyes of the elite, marijuana is the perfect gateway drug because it is so comparatively harmless, and can be used to lull people into thinking that because the government is lying about cannabis that it is also lying about heroin and crack. They covertly fund infesting undesirable areas with hard drugs, as poor people in ghettos lack the network and financial means, and destroy lives and reduce the excess population of human rats, all the while filling their pockets.

  3. This is great news. As a 37 year toker, I am (always have been) convinced that I will never get cancer. So, to all my friends and family who believe I am wrong for using God’s plant all of my life in spite of the BIG LIE that has been perpetrated by BIG PHARMA and her watchdog the DEA, while you all rideculed and treated me as an outcast, when I die of something else, remember this fact: Cannabis saved me from cancer and perhaps the guilt manifested will turn you into belated activists for legalization too.

  4. The question “what possible advancements in the treatment of cancer could have been achieved” is a very troubling thing. Due to the prohibition of cannabis we as a society have lost in so many ways it is hard to count. Advancement in medical uses, fiber production for clothing and paper, energy in the form of hemp oil, food production and on and on. Those of us that have defied this terrible policy have been able to reap some of the benefits of this plant, but we all have been cheated by our government of many others. Make a donation today to NORML and help change this law.

  5. If you take a ciggarete and place its contents on a piece of white paper and inspect what you acually smoke with a magnifier you would be shocked to see little colored specs (the drugs that keep ya addicted ,and re-constituted tobacco (sticks, stems, bugs ,dirt , rocks, floor sweepings ,whatever they can pack in for your smoking pleasure ) ! And they keep this shit legal ? No wonder ppl get cancer ! Wake up America cannabis taken in moderation has’nt harmed me in any way shape or form in my 40 yrs of using this GOD given herb ! You prohabitionists may change you attitude when you start to realize Obammy care and get denied pain meds !

  6. In response to Bynx,
    Each time i log onto this site i say to myself, “Hey maybe pot’s legal today.” haha. we can only hope my friend. =] The day is coming.

  7. @The Oracle
    Oh, come on. I love to smoke ganj, I use it medicinally, blah blah blah, but that doesn’t make this necessarily part of a bigger struggle. Rather, it is one of many loosely associated injustices, all of which we must fight to overcome a government that *American citizens* have empowered to bully us.
    I don’t deny for an instant that there are schemers throughout the elite who would love to keep their positions indefinately. Luckily, we live in a capitalist system that permits anybody to attain this status should they desire. This is not to say that equal opportunity is available to all economically, but the fact remains that there are countless cases of poor folks hitting it big. To demonize an anonymous, almost phantasmal “elite” in your diatribe is flat-footed and simply unconvincing.
    I’m happy we’re on the same side of this particular debate, but going off on odd class-motivated tangents can only distract us from our common goal.

  8. Nice, another Great Study =) we rly need to show this off to the media or something, one of the medias will prolly bring it up =)

  9. The goal of the power elite is to reduce the population of planet earth by 90%. They aim to kill off the “sheeple” and keep their own clans intact. The elite are the international bankers, financiers, political families and owners of the controlled media. We The People need to stand up to this tyranny or else be trampled on by the “powers that be”. Why is it that Bill Clinton, George Bush and Barack Obama could smoke weed and become President and Commander in Chief of the most powerful military in the world, but if you or I smoke it, we go to jail?
    These tyrants operate under a very different set of laws than do we.
    It’s time for the people of the world to wake up!

  10. @nick
    “one of the medias will prolly bring it up =)”
    If only. Would you bring up this study while talking to your boss if you were not already somehow on the topic? Unlikely, unless you were certain that your boss smoked or had views friendly to our cause. Every media outlet is just as afraid of bringing up the story for mostly the same reasons. And the funny thing is that this may be equally due to…employees afraid to broach the issue around their employer.

  11. Not to throw a wrench in things but I know someone that recently had a small tumor like formation in his head, and he was a avid marijuana user. He didnt benefit sad to say.
    So just cause it May reduce, doesnt mean itll totally “stop”.
    If we’re going to be vouching for the positives that marijuana can provide its got to be a nice vibrant list not just “may reduce” or “May decrease” effects, need some hard evidence to turn the anti-pot people.

  12. Hell here we got the president tryin to ease racial tensions by knockin back brewskies? Imangine how much healing would have taken place had they toked a fat blunt? Woulda had the black guys huggin the white guys, then theyd all buy a shitload of soft taco supremes from taco bell and the worldwide healing could begin.

  13. The big picture is population control. That’s right, they want a percentage of people to dye or did you just get off the train yesterday?
    Who would want such a horrible thing? If there’s a witch hunt in the future, let’s start at the FDA’s office in Washington DC. They seem to be the ultimate scape goat for everyone! “If the FDA says MJ is not medicine then that’s the final say.” The propaganda is pretty obvious but what more can we do that we’re not doing right now other than keep legislating the best we can.

  14. You folks read the study? It’s only “significantly” less risk if you’ve been chronic for 10 years or more.
    If you are merely a weekly smoker, sure you get some benefit, but not as much as the heavy toker.
    It’s protection is dose-dependent!

  15. what about the other side of the story?? what about the claims of it causing certain types of throat cancer? yes yes, i understand vape the shit but im just saying.

  16. Too bad they didn’t figure this out 15 years ago. Maybe both of my grandfathers would still be alive instead of dying slow painful deaths from cancer.

  17. Well, you might want to email Mr. Kerlikowske and the ONDCP because he is sending out form letters citing the FDA study from 2006 as scientific fact. Please remind him that there is, in fact, overwhelming scientific evidence that validates marijuana as medicine, as he does not think this possible!

  18. Hell yea post #1 im with u . Sorry Normal for some of my past blogs i’ll try to watch wht i say jus tired of this shitty ass weed on the streets,whn it could b legal n i could get some vry potent pot frm a store ,Hell id b even happy to pay the tax as long as i know its always good quality

  19. #5 steveyboy Says:
    July 30th, 2009 at 7:54 pm
    “If you take a ciggarete and place its contents on a piece of white paper and inspect what you acually smoke with a magnifier you would be shocked to see little colored specs (the drugs that keep ya addicted ,and re-constituted tobacco (sticks, stems, bugs ,dirt , rocks, floor sweepings ,whatever they can pack in for your smoking pleasure) ! And they keep this shit legal?”
    RE: steveyboy,
    How true!!!
    I know this all TOO well!!!
    – Marble-Row brand is of one
    of the WORST OFFENDERS!!!
    (As I’ve discovered recently,
    while opening one of their cigs
    to place the tobacco-contents
    into a designated-vaporizer…).
    – Why are the
    (no floor-sweepings),
    brands so difficult to find,
    and when I do, finally,
    they’re prohibitively-expensive?!?
    – The FDA’s FAILING their purported mission…
    (In respect to food,
    as well as cannabis and tobacco…)

  20. Most of the comments here are valid and motivating. So what are you writers of hope going to DO? Are you just going to post comments here in the fields of your comrades?
    Cannabis users are the most silent activists I know. GET INVOLED WITH WHAT MAKES A DIFERENCE! Proclaim the truth to all that will or will not listen. Tell your local and federal representatives that you will not support them in upcoming elections unless they do the responsible thing and end this War on Cannabis.
    For goodness sake, Gill just said marijuana has no medical value! If all of us do not flood the ONDCP with proof of the science that calls this lie on the carpet nobody can say a complaining word about it.
    Look, all you tockers out there posting a comment need to take the time to go beyond the blogs.
    I believe in God. I also believe that Satan exists. According to the Bible he is in control of the kingdoms of the world (for the time being) as shown when he offered Jesus “all the kingdoms of the world” if he would perform one act of worship to him.
    Cannabis is the most important and useful plant on the face of the Earth. It benefits mankind in thousands of ways. If a person has the knowledge to recognize the cosmos as a thing not capable of existence without a creator then they must also recognize Satan as one who would promote cannabis as “the devils weed” to spite Gods gift to mankind.
    Prohibition policies kill thousands of people and tears thousands of families apart per year. Regulation and taxation would stop this carnage. What do you think Satan would prefer?
    If you don’t believe in God or a spirit realm just substitute my mention of God as the force for goodness and Satan as the force for evil.
    What ever your choice, the end of cannabis prohibition is only slowed by the force for evil.
    Be productive! Talking to people that already know cannabis prohibition must end is not productive. We must talk about the benefits of ending cannabis prohibition to those that are unaware to the truth; the sheeple that still believe the lies spewed by Drug War profiteers.

  21. how can the government continue to say there are no medical uses for cannabis when there are alot of studies proving different. Also if there are no medical uses for cannabis then why are the pharmaceutical companies trying to make drugs out of synthetic cannabis.

  22. My dear gfunk,
    It is clear that there are some risk of developing some sort of health problem if you smoke cannabis, but this study just says that the benefits do outweigh the risk involved; other than the fact you go to jail which is a health hazard within itself.

  23. @ gfunk #16:
    Unless your throat is somewhere else, it’s probably in your head and neck area, which is what this article is about.
    That smarmy answer done, I haven’t really heard anything specific on throat cancers. What I do know is that marijuana has only been shown to cause irritaion in the large airways with chronic use, leading mainly to bronchitis. It doesn’t affect the small airways, meaning no lung cancer, no emphysema.

  24. And this is from smoking the plant for heaven’s sake! Think about when you extract the THC and concentrate it… The possibilities could be limitless.

  25. #2 oracle speak true.
    Havent you people heard the rumors that for years our government officials have a cure for cancer? I believe that cannabis is it! Why else would they have dont ‘Scientific test’ , made marinol and other drugs from it, have patents on it, grow it but at the same time deny it potential to the general public? Cancer rids the country of undsirables and over population.
    They arent about to give us the means to live longer and happier. They arent about to cure people or let them have the means to do so. Maybe they didnt know this at the start of prohibition but IF, I repeat, IF My assumption is correct, they know now and may have for sometime. Prohibition is just a means to deny this to people if possible. This MAYBE why they fight this so hard,even in the face science,health and,above all, truth!
    I know this is all just guess work or in some eyes conspiracy theory, but thats how I’m made. I question everything around me,BOLDLY. How else are we supposed to get to the moon or anywhere else? Imagination is a great tool.

  26. A THC extract (tincture) can give the required dose to fight cancerous tumors WITHOUT smoking. However, because it is “Illegal” IE:Expensive , and you need at least a pound to get a couple ounces of the stuff, this is out of reach of the average American. Also, it would be a felony in most states. Check out “Run from the Cure” on youtube. 35 years of prohibition has deprived us of a benign cancer fighting agent, not to mention the other ailments it seems to help like MS.

  27. I love this news.!! I also believe Marijuana has many other powerful healing side affects, if taken with respect and moderation. Now by the information in this article and the looks of things I should be cancer-free for a good lifetime or two.
    I am not surprised that the powers would suppress this sort of thing. With everything that happened to this country in the last 8 years, with the loss of a constant war of choice in Iraq and the loss due to greed and stupidity on Wall Street … systemic suppression and covering-up was the perhaps the only way to go … I thank God for Obama …
    I think the greed and stupidity of keeping cannabis illegal is working it’s way out of our system and
    society and that’s the best news we have for the moment. But I think things will change in a very short amount of time.
    I also think it is a just a matter of time that a very powerful and effective groundswell of support for legalization will take hold (it has already started in some places around the country) much more than what we have right now as more is exposed and revealed.
    I figure we are at the point where in 3 years or so this whole Marijuana issue will be gone as it will be legal …. period. I have a gut feeling that by or around 2012 we should be seeing flat out legalization, no later than 2013.

    When ya talk about “CONTROL,” I’m talkin’ about the
    EVERYTHING.” If you’re a doubting Thomas on this…
    all I can say is…”YOUR REALITY IS YOURS.” I’m also compelled to wish you “GOOD LUCK”…because…you’re
    going to need every bit of it.
    We the People may not know all the values and medical effecacies of cannabis…but…we do know what works for us on an individual basis…and…that’s all we need to know. What we do know, for sure, is that we are being “PREVENTED” from healing ourselves. For that one reason only…we should, as the Scouts of America motto says…”BE PREPARED”…to defend our
    Constitution, and our individual selves from this tyranny. I’m sure this statement does not fit in with My Evil Brother’s plan for population thinning. Well!…fuck’em…whether they can take a joke or not!

  29. “In God We Trust,” is printed on our currency. I guess our government has an unstoppable different set of rules. If your American Government was described as “The People’s Government,” we wouldn’t be having this conversation right now! Turn around is fare play folks, it’s time to take back our freedom of choice for ourselves.
    How would you feel to find out that the Cannibis Freedom Fighters attacked and won this morning just before dawn? Yeah, I thought you’d favor the idea but it’s a pipe dream…………at present.

  30. #24…
    I’ve been a silent toker…until about two months ago. When I realized that there’s a positive news article for decriminalization/legalization in mainstream news outlets every week (back in April) I started emailing my representatives on a monthly basis. Next month, when I get my mid-year bonus, I’ll be contributing & joining both NORML and MPP. I also plan on attending my 1st local NORML chapter meeting shortly.
    Thanks for the motivation everyone.

  31. It is mostly law enforcement officers that claim there is no medicinal use for cannabis.
    Why the hell should the American public listen to them? They depend on the illegality of marijuana and other substances for their profession! (added by Mobile using Mippin)

  32. ill tell you all, ive been a marijuana user for thirty two years. i was forced to stop following my company beginning hair worried now because i have lost my protection from cancer. i have lost the benefit from the green ganja, one of the many that is. as many of us have. their has to be a way to petition the government about taking something away from us that is proven to reduce certain types of cancer.whatever tolerance i (we) had built up is now creeping away or, since feb. for me is probably gone.that is a worse feeling then not being able to feel its comforting effects…….

  33. Perhaps a little off topic but had to share. One way we are kept down is insuring we have only enough money to exist. Money is power in our country and 1% has all of the money and power. One reason is our lawmakers only help the rich not us the poor who they keep in a substance live style.. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THIS PLAN I WOULD VOTE FOR IT!!! ITS OUR MONEY WE NEED TO TAKE IT AND OUR COUNTRY BACK. STOP OUR LEADERS FROM USING US AS SLAVES TO THEIR LAWS PASSED TO INCREASE CORPORATE PROFIT . WAKE UP AND HELP RECLAIM OUR COUNTRY AND IT5 WEALTH.
    Cherokee Fred Jesus
    This is from an article in the St. Petersburg , FL Times Newspaper on Sunday.
    The Business Section asked readers for ideas on “How Would You Fix the Economy?”
    I think this guy nailed it!
    Dear Mr. President:
    Please find below my suggestion for fixing America ‘s economy.
    Instead of giving billions of dollars to companies that will squander the money on lavish parties and unearned bonuses, use the following plan.
    You can call it the Patriotic Retirement Plan:
    There are about 40 million people over 50 in t he work force.
    Pay them $1 million apiece severance for early retirement with the following stipulations:
    1) They MUST retire. Forty million job openings –
    Unemployment fixed.
    2) They MUST buy a new American CAR. Forty million cars ordered-
    Auto Industry fixed.
    3) They MUST either buy a house or pay off their mortgage-
    Housing Crisis 20 fixed.
    It can’t get any easier than that!
    If more money is needed, have all members of Congress an d their constituents pay their taxes…
    If you think this would work, please forward to everyone you know.
    If not, please disregard.
    Then shoot yourself!!!! 1 job opening

  34. The media has evolved in many ways, but when it comes to sensationalism the news always gets twisted with distorted facts and fiction. If the media tries to be balanced then there would be lies counterbalancing the truth. Objectivity is very rare and most often ignored because it doesn’t stimulate the audience.

  35. #31 Antrim, you have been horribly mislead. Please read
    Obama and admin refuse to even admit marijuana could potentially provide any health benefits. Obama had the chance to pick a sensible drug czar, he did not. Obama promised an end of federal marijuana raids on medical clinics, they continue to this day. Obama flat out laughed at the idea of legalizing.
    You Obamabots are in such denial. Why can’t we just agree that the current democratic and republican parties are the same. We will never progress with a two party system. Time to stand up.

  36. Cannabis dangerous? Please name one substance or activity that does not include an element of danger. The point is, who decides what is or is not an acceptable degree of danger? The answer to that question in a free society is–each individual, to the point where exercise of that God given freedom and liberty violates that of another. The answer in the police state we now exist in is–the whim of the political, moneyed and power elite who own and run this country and are self-entitled to run other peoples lives. Re-legalizing cannabis has almost nothing to do with a common shrub, and everything to do with God’s will for people to live in freedom with liberty as acknowledged and cited in the Constitution of the United States.

  37. Great article(Modern Prohibition and Individual Freedom) fresh from campaign for liberty web site:
    …last paragraph…
    As Peter Christ, a retired New York police captain and Co-Founder of LEAP likes to remark: ‘In America an adult should be free to be as stupid as they wish in the privacy of their own castle.’ Moreover, as my wife Karen articulates so well, ‘the government thru its police department can not stop personal stupidity.’ ‘Individual freedom and personal responsibility are two sides of the same coin,’ quipped retired Florida police Chief Jerry Cameron. Modern Prohibition is completely incompatible with the principles of Individual liberty, personal responsibility, property rights, limited government, cost-effective government and States’ Rights. Work for those who would repeal it.

  38. marijuana will only be legal when Obama is out of office
    but I agree, that it seems like it can really happen over the next few years! I sure hope it does 🙂
    Marijuana prohibition is the worst policy since slavery!

  39. I’m glad I read this because I Ben smoking for ten years and never had a major problem at the begining I was sleepy sometimes but now I’m not. Only wuenn I’m abou to go to sleep I hit a bowl an sleep like a baby. I am no out of shape an actualy I’m inthe best shape of my life… No really I’m cut and smoke weed everyday. So do to this information I know tha t I have a very low risk or none at all with head or neck cancer. (added by Mobile using Mippin)

  40. #20–I went to your blog link and found that cannabis is spelled wrong throughout. It put me off from reading it.

  41. Cannabis, and cancer. This is nothing new to me. I have smoked ciggeretes for 50yrs, sad I know. I have consumed cannabis for 40yrs. I DO NOT have lung cancer, amazing. I have treated Basal Cell Carcinoma with cannabis oil. I treated two lesions for 8wks, they ARE CURED. It has been a year since I completed treatment, and they have NOT come back. So much for “No Medical Value” the great lie. I no longer “SMOKE” cannabis, I vaporize, and am quite happy with it.

  42. Cherokee Fred Jesus #38:
    That article did nail it, but , one problem. You and I and all of us here know, Our leaders refuse to do what is right or makes sense. They do this because they dont want to fix things. They need problems to get re-elected. Hell if you look at it,they created this economic collapse. Does that tell all of you something? Hopefully(more likely not)our leaders will follow the last line in that article and disagree and shoot themselves.
    One question we all want answered, How do we stop this monsrosity from taking our money and wasting it?
    Somnething else I think should be done: NO BILLS SO LARGE WE CANT READ OR UNDERSTAND IT! That should be law. This is where so much waste is created and they know it,which is why these bills are so gawd aweful big and complex.

  43. Prohibition will work great injury to the cause of temperance. It is a species of intemperance within itself, for it goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man’s appetite by legislation, and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded.
    – Abraham Lincoln

  44. Why would the same racist that started the war on drugs. Want to end the war it is still doing the work they put it in place for. The whites in the suburbs or going to Harvard have nothing to worry about. The drug task forces don’t knock down the doors at Harvard too many rich kids would end up in jail. This would piss off their rich parents. Then they would fire the cops for arresting their kids. I sure wish we had rich people on our side.
    We don’t its up to us to stop the war on US (drugs) so fight talk to people email your representative. Help end slavery in the 21 st century. Quit building more corporations that profit from the lives of our children. Cannabis if it were a choice would be much better that liquor. But big money keeps paying our representatives to insure we either choose their product or go to jail…

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