Cannabidiol Inhibits Spread of Breast Cancer Cells


California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute Final Report (2008)

We discovered that cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychotropic compound from the plant Cannabis sativa, can inhibit the process of breast cancer cells that allow them to grow and spread (metastasis). CBD can also inhibit breast cancer metastasis in a mouse model. The research carried out in our CBCRP proposal demonstrated that CBD is a novel inhibitor of a gene whose activity is intimately linked to the aggressiveness of human breast cancers; this gene has been termed Id-1. Notably, our findings also indicated that Id-1 was a key gene whose expression needed to be reduced in order for CBD to inhibit aggressive breast cancer. One of the most significant high risk components of the initial application was to determine if CBD had appreciable efficacy against breast cancer in vivo (i.e., animal models). This high risk component was not pursued, since an independent group showed CBD was able to inhibit metastasis of MDA-MB231 cells to the lung of nude mice. Building of the previous findings, we made small structural changes to CBD that are expected to produce drugs that are much more active than CBD at inhibiting Id-1 and corresponding aggressive breast cancers. CBD has a low toxicity profile. An anticancer agent with a low toxicity profile that can both inhibit cancer cell growth and metastasis would be extremely valuable clinically. Understanding the mechanisms behind the anticancer activity of CBD may also lead to the discovery of new biological targets for the development of diagnostic tools and additional therapies for the treatment of cancer. In this project we found portions of the CBD structure essential to its biological activity for breast cancer cell growth inhibition. We are in the process of filing a patent on these discoveries. In addition, we studies the moleculr mechanisms that underlie CBD activity, and found that sustained upregulation of Erk (extracellular signal-regulated kinases, a type of protein kinase intracellular signaling molecules) is key to the ability of CBD to regulate the metastasis-specific inhibition of the Id-1 transcription factor.

Antioxidant activity has been reported to be a general property of the phenolic components of marijuana. Unlike Δ9-THC, cannabidiol can be administered at relatively high doses without undesired toxic or psychological effects.1 Cannabidiol at a concentration of 10 µM was neuroprotective against both excitatory neurotransmitter (glutamate) and oxidant (hydroperoxide) induced neurotoxicity.

Read about Cannabidiol click here.

Cannabidiol Treatment For Cancer

UN Drug Watchdog Warns Canada: Strengthen MMJ laws or else,


Justice Minister Robert Nicholson said yesterday the government's medical marijuana regulations are under review after the UN's drugs watchdog warned Canada needs to tighten up the system.

The Vienna-based International Narcotics Control Board said Canada is operating outside international treaty rules aimed at minimizing the risk criminals will get hold of cannabis grown under the program.

"The whole question of medical marijuana is being looked at by the Minister of Health with respect to the options that she has," said Mr. Nicholson, whose ministry serves as the umbrella agency for the government's anti-drug efforts.

The warning in the INCB's annual report accompanies praise for the government's National Anti-Drug Strategy, which the board said it notes "with appreciation."

Mr. Nicholson said he took heart from that, adding it "plays very well" into the government's efforts to push through a crime bill containing tougher drugs-offences sentencing provisions that has been held up in the Senate.

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews also argued the report "provides further proof that Canada is recognized internationally as a leader in crime prevention."

Canada increased the number of cannabis cultivation licences a person can hold last year after court decisions stated patients' earlier access had been too restricted.

Health Canada has issued almost 4,900 permits allowing people to possess medical marijuana they get from more than 1,100 licensed growers, some of whom are growing it for their own use.

"Canada continues to be one of the few countries in the world that allows cannabis to be prescribed by doctors to patients with certain serious illnesses," said the INCB report.

But the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotics, which Canada has signed, says the government must be the sole distributor of the otherwise illegal substance, which patients use as a pain reliever.

The opportunity for misuse of the system is reflected in an RCMP review identifying 40 cases in which licensed growers were also trafficking marijuana for profit. The same review found violations in a total of 70 cases.

While the INCB report noted that Canada "intends to reassess" its access-to-cannabis program, it said the board "requests the government to respect the provisions" of the 1961 convention in conducting its review.

City leaders in Colorado Springs nix new rules on MMJ dispensaries

source: Pueblo Chieftan

The Colorado Springs City Council on Tuesday rejected a proposed resolution that could have forced the closure of existing medical marijuana dispensaries within 1,000 feet of residential areas and schools.

The council decision came during a tense, day-long meeting at which it also outlawed camping on public land. A standing-room only crowed packed the council chambers for part of the day.

“I need a joint,” a bystander said after the meeting ended at about 9 p.m. Although emotions ran high throughout the meeting, tempers flared during the discussion on the proposed resolution involving medical marijuana dispensaries, which Deputy City Attorney Wynetta Massey drafted at her kitchen table overnight after receiving little direction from the council Monday.

At one point during the meeting, Mayor Lionel Rivera abruptly called a recess when the audience became unruly.

During the break, Councilman Bernie Herpin got into a shouting match with Michael Lee, who owns Cannabis Therapeutics. And on the dais, Vice Mayor Larry Small and Councilman Sean Paige exchanged tense words.

Paige, who spearheaded a task force that worked for three months to develop an ordinance to regulate the city’s burgeoning medical marijuana industry, called this week’s resolution a “shortcut” that threw a “monkey wrench” into the work of the task force.

The council had previously asked the task force to meet with neighborhood groups, law enforcement officials and others to review the ordinance and report back in March.

Small, who supported the resolution that was drafted this week in response to neighborhood complaints about a planned nearby dispensary, assured Paige that no one was trying to circumvent the process.

“I think the more you get involved in government, the more you know that you better coordinate your efforts at all levels of government or you’re going to create very serious, costly problems,” Small said, an obvious dig at Paige, who was appointed to a vacant seat on the council in October.

“The more I get involved in government, Mr. Vice Mayor, the more I’m disappointed with some of the people I work with in government,” Paige retorted, generating loud applause from the audience.

“Mr. Paige, if you want to get personal, I’ll be glad to get personal,” Small said.

“Go for it,” Paige said, prompting Rivera to call for civility among council members.

“Let’s not get into personal attacks,” Rivera said.

In the end, the council turned aside the resolution and decided instead to ask the Regional Building Authority to enforce the regional building code, which essentially puts a number of hurdles in front of any new proposed dispensary that applies for building permits, but leaves existing dispensaries alone, unless they become the object of complaints.

Mason Tvert blames continued unnecessary pot prosecutions on Mayor John Hickenlooper's apointee Lt. Martinez

source: Westword

Last week, reporter Joel Warner told you about marijuana advocate Mason Tvert's call for removal from the Denver Marijuana Review Panel of fellow member Lieutenant Ernie Martinez, head of the Colorado Drug Investigators Association. Martinez's sin? He wrote a 2006 letter comparing marijuana legalization to cancer.

Mayor John Hickenlooper, who appointed the members of the panel, rebuffed that demand through his office, prompting a press conference by Tvert protesting the decision prior to yesterday's panel meeting.

In addition, Tvert is upset at what he sees as the unjustifiably high number of pot prosecutions in Denver despite the passage back in 2005 of a measure decriminalizing possession of up to one ounce of marijuana by adults in the city.

Regarding the press conference, Tvert says, "We held it at the Denver City and County Building, and there were probably thirty folks there -- all of them Colorado voters, many of them Denver voters. They made a large sign that read, 'We are not a cancer. We are Colorado voters.'"

The placard was intended as "a message to Mayor Hickenlooper, who's seeking statewide office," he continues. "It was a way of letting him know that he needs to stand up for these voters -- voters who are certainly not a cancer. Recent surveys have shown that there's about 50 percent support for making marijuana legal statewide, and about two-thirds support in Denver. These are the people Lt. Martinez referred to as a cancer, and we're concerned that Mayor Hickenlooper would appoint someone like this to a panel dealing with marijuana policy -- and we hope it's not a sign of things to come should he be elected to statewide office."

In Tvert's view, placing Martinez on the panel "is on par with appointing Tom Tancredo to the Latino Commission. This guy's mission runs counter to the mission of the panel, which is legally charged with implementing the measure to the greatest extent possible. After all, he's the president of an organization that's outwardly fighting us at every turn and calling us a cancer. If someone on the immigrant commission said immigrants were a cancer on a society, there would be outrage. And this should be no different."

lowest priority for dummies cover.JPG
​Additionally, Tvert and his supporters created a mock-up of a Lowest Priority For Dummies book on view here in reference to a statement released by Hickenlooper's staff describing why Martinez shouldn't be removed from the panel. That release reads:

The Marijuana Policy Review Panel (MPRP) intentionally represents a variety of viewpoints, including those of Lt. Martinez. The MPRP has 11 appointed positions (the appointment of the District Attorney was declined) and there are 10 voting panelists in practice.

Lt. Martinez is one voice on the panel. Police officers and recreational users of marijuana may, understandably, have very different perspectives on the phrases "lowest law enforcement priority" and "greatest extent possible." The role of the MPRP is to determine what this ordinance means, in practice, after incorporating all viewpoints -- not just those on one side of the debate. The MPRP's upcoming report to City Council should shed more light on this matter.

To Tvert, the attempt by the Mayor's office to suggest differing interpretations of the phrase "lowest law enforcement priority" is "absurd. These are simple concepts. If police aren't pulling people over for driving five miles per hour over the speed limit or for jaywalking, they shouldn't be citing anyone for marijuana possession."

This subject was debated throughout the panel get-together that followed the press conference. Lt. Martinez wasn't able to attend due to a personal matter, but assistant city attorney Vince Dicroce was on hand to provide data regarding the number of marijuana-possession cases for adults 21 and over filed by the city attorney's office over the past four years. And surprisingly, the totals are actually higher after the decriminalization ordinance passed than before it. The numbers:

2005 -- 1,485

2006 -- 1,841

2007 -- 2,105

2008 -- 1,658

2009 -- 1,694

These totals frustrate Tvert for many reasons, not the least of which is the example provided by Seattle, whose marijuana-possession law is very similar to Denver's. Last month, the Seattle city attorney announced that he would dismiss all pending marijuana-possession cases. Moreover, Seattle's overall prosecution figures were already much lower than Denver's -- just 62 marijuana-related cases filed during the first six months of 2009.

Tvert says the marijuana panel called for such a dismissal of cases in Denver "over a year ago," and he quotes Dicroce as saying that city attorney David Fine could make a decision to do so if given the go-ahead by Mayor Hickenlooper. However, such permission has not been granted -- and as a result, Tvert says, "we're sending nearly 2,000 people a year through the Denver court system for something the majority of people here don't think is a crime. It's just a waste, not to mention the fact that these people are faced with having this on their permanent criminal record. This flies in the face of the voters and is a policy that most of the state no longer supports."

The next big project for the marijuana panel is what Tvert calls "an analysis of what's been happening over the course of the years since this passed -- what the costs have been, what the trends have been, whether there have been any noticeable effects." But the early stages of assembling the report, which will be made public in mid-August or thereabouts, have been challenging because "the city and the city's attorney's office has really obstructed us. They've been reluctant to give us the data we need, and either they're not giving us the information they have or they're completely incompetent and we have a terrible city government structure. It's chaos."

In the immediate future, however, Tvert wants to keep the pressure on Hickenlooper regarding Martinez and the continued marijuana-possession prosecutions. If the mayor doesn't act to remedy these situations, he sees the potential for negative repercussions on his gubernatorial campaign.

"I'd much rather see Mayor Hickenlooper in office than Scott McInnis," he concedes. "But you can't ignore that he's appointing people with such extremist marijuana views. The panel is dedicated to reducing marijuana arrests and prosecutions, and he's nominated someone who wants to maintain marijuana arrests and prosecutions.

"There are now tens of thousands of medical marijuana patients in Colorado, and thousands more who support the legalization of marijuana for responsible adults statewide, and Mayor Hickenlooper needs to recognize those voters. Many of them might not vote against him because of his positions here, but they might refrain from giving him their vote, and in a close election, that could make the difference. The people of Denver have made it abundantly clear that they want this, and yet he's been a roadblock to progress. It's time for a change."

Medical Marijuana Laws Leave Employers Dazed and Confused

source: By Courtney Rubin | Feb 12, 2010

Medical marijuana laws are designed to ease pain for migraine sufferers and other people with conditions that leave them in chronic pain. Now they are also causing headaches for employers.

Luke Vezey, a Colorado Springs man with a medical marijuana card state law requires to light up legally, was fired from his job for failing a drug test.

Vezey, who suffers from chronic stomach pain, told Colorado's KKTV Thursday: "What I do is strictly for my stomach. I do it out of work, I've never come in under the influence."

He worked as a guard at a private-jail facility which has a zero-tolerance drugs policy he says he was aware of when he was asked to take a random drug test. He failed the test, was placed on leave, and then received a certified letter firing him.

Vezey has hired a lawyer to fight the decision, but Colorado Springs lawyer Kevin Donavon (who is not involved with the case) says the law is confusing.

"There is no prescription, marijuana prescription. It's a recommendation by the doctor and if you have that recommendation that allows you immunity from prosecution," Donavan said. But nothing in the law prevents a user from losing his o her job after a positive drug test. Vezey's former employer declined to comment, citing privacy reasons.

Last month, New Jersey became the 14th state to make marijuana legal for medicinal purposes, and an additional 12 states have pending legislation – meaning more and more employers will find themselves considering adding a Marijuana FAQ to the employee handbook. Only Rhode Island specifically protects workers from being fired for their medical use of the drug.

- read the entire story

Medical Marijuana Crop Insurance

source: Westword Blog

For seventeen years, J.B. Woods, owner of Parker's Greenpoint Insurance Group, has sold policies that cover losses to individuals, families and assorted commercial and business interests.

But it's only been in the past few days that he's been able to offer medical marijuana crop insurance -- and he thinks it's a product whose time has come.

"Don't you want to protect your most valuable assets -- which are the stock and the medicine?" he asks.

"We just rolled it out last Friday, now that there are a couple of insurance companies willing to insure medical marijuana while it's being grown in the pots," says Woods, who's launched a new website at "I think that, in the history of crop insurance, it's the first time it's ever been done."

Woods declines to name the specific firms offering this option, saying he doesn't want to provide information his competitors may be able to use against him. But he insists that "they're A-rated companies: very large multinational institutions. One of my carriers in particular probably insures 70 to 80 percent of the dispensaries in California."

What do the policies cover?

"First of all, everything has to be indoors, in a warehouse or an actual dispensary," Woods explains. "And it's going to cover theft, which I think is the biggest issue. This is why all the dispensaries and growers want it. It covers living plant material, harvested plant material and finished stock, the medicine, as well.

"The term we use is perils -- and theft is going to be the number one peril. But they'll also cover fire, lightning, smoke damage, wind storms, hail, vandalism."

And the price?

According to Woods, "It varies by the number of plants we're covering -- but I can tell you this much. At one of my carriers -- probably not the leading carrier -- the minimum cost is about $15,000 to get into the policy. My other carrier, I don't have a price-point yet."

Thus far, there hasn't been a rush among dispensary owners to purchase these policies: Woods has yet to finalize one. However, this weekend, the Denver Post included Woods in a piece about businesses trying to capitalize on the medical marijuana boom, prompting some calls on the subject. He says he's got a meeting with a potential client later today -- and he expects more will follow.

"This is my opinion," he says, "but as these dispensaries and growers get bigger, the cost is going to be insignificant compared to the investment in what they've got under their roof."

Colo. Senate approves new medical marijuana regulations

(And yet they still fail to recognize that this is a PLANT we are talking about)


DENVER - The Colorado state legislature has moved a step closer to cracking down on the seemingly unabated distribution of medical marijuana.

The full senate voted 34-1 on Monday to approve a bill that would bar doctors from writing medical marijuana recommendations inside dispensaries. It also requires that doctors have a relationship with a patient involving a review of medical history and a full medical exam, prior to writing a recommendation.

Those between 18 and 21 would have to get the backing of two doctors before becoming medical marijuana users.

Sponsored by Sens. Chris Romer, D-Denver, and Nancy Spence, R-Centennial, Senate Bill 109 aims to create new rules related to standards for issuing registry identification cards, documentation for physicians who prescribe medical marijuana, and sanctions for physicians who violate the bill.

"The days of the Wild West are over," Romer said during a well-attended public hearing at the State Capitol last week.

Attorney General John Suthers and Ned Colange, Colorado's Chief Medical Examiner, testified in support of the bill.

Representing hundreds of medical marijuana users, attorney Robert Corry called the bill "an unprecedented assault on the doctor-patient privilege" that would, Corry said, "hold medical marijuana doctors to a higher standard than any other doctor.

"This would cause human suffering. The most sick and most poor would be disproportionately harmed by this bill," Corry said. "You're going to see the BME conducting witch hunts against medical marijuana providers."