Did the National Cancer Institute “Finally admit that marijuana cures cancer”?

Deconstructing Politicususa.com’s assertion word-for-word reveals an A for spin, an F for accuracy. Click headline for rebuttal by The Marijuana Report.


From the Report…
When a news story begins like this—“For the medical industrial complex, there is nothing as terrifying as a cure, or remedy, for a highly profitable and fatal disease like cancer”—you know you are in for a biased read.

Politicususa.com published a story Sunday that asserts the National Cancer Institute (NCI) is now “advising that cannabinoids are useful in treating cancer and its side effects by smoking, eating it in a baked product, drinking herbal teas, or even spraying it under the tongue.”

Deconstructing this quotation word-for-word reveals it is actually a combination of phrases from different questions in Cannabis and Cannabinoids (PDQ): Questions and Answers about Cannabis on NCI’s website:

advising–not found anywhere in “Cannabis and Cannabinoids.”

that cannabinoids are useful in treating cancer and its side effects—these words are from Question 2, What are cannabinoids, second paragraph: “Cannabinoids may be useful in treating the side effects of cancer and cancer treatment” (emphasis added).

by smoking, eating it in a baked product, drinking herbal teas, or even spraying it under the tongue—these words and phrases are lifted from different parts of Question 5, How is cannabis administered?

“Cannabis may be taken by mouth or may be inhaled. When taken by mouth (in baked products or as an herbal tea), the main psychoactive ingredient in Cannabis (delta-9-THC) is processed by the liver, making an additional psychoactive chemical.  . . . A growing number of clinical trials are studying a medicine made from a whole-plant extract of Cannabis that contains specific amounts of cannabinoids. This medicine is sprayed under the tongue.”

[The medicine is nabiximols, trade-name Sativex, which is 50 percent THC and 50 percent cannabidiol extracted from the marijuana plant and purified.]

In addition to doctoring his quotation, the author presents his claim as information NCI quietly slipped onto its website only two weeks ago. He fails to notice that the mid-July date is an update, not a brand new “admission” of information “previously concealed from the public.”

He also fails to report Questions 9 and 10 which point out that FDA has not approved cannabis or cannabinoids for cancer treatment, not approved cannabis for treating the side effects of chemotherapy, but has approved two drugs which are synthetic THC, dronabinol and nabilone, for relieving chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting in patients who do not respond to standard therapy.

But reporting that would make it hard to conclude, as the author does, that “it is absolutely despicable, and frankly evil, that the medical industry helped keep an incredibly inexpensive and highly-effective cancer-killing drug out of reach.”

Politicususa.com gets an “A” for spin, but an “F” for accuracy. File this story in the trash can where it belongs.

Read Politicususa.com story here. Read National Cancer Institute Cannabis and Cannabinoids Q&A here.