Canvassing for Opinion - aka "Blairs Brain on Cannabis"

IMHO prohibition sentiment requires inherent addiction to status quo, an incapacity to visualise beyond the here and now and a desperate desire to know others might feel the same... Reform is not revolutionary, rather it is evolutionary. Having survived banging your head against a brick wall the evolutionist relishes having stopped. / Blair

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Cannabis and Tobacco Smoke Are Not Equally Carcinogenic

Those who attended last Mondays 'mildgreen' film & video evening on harm promotion courtesy of the American Drug Free America Foundation, Inc. (www.dfaf.org) will be aware of the 'cannabis and cancer' saw. Here is a evidential rebuttal from a Mildgreen(ish) networker, as published in the Oct 2005 harm reduction.journal ....

[snip]

Thus, cannabinoids inhaled in cannabis smoke physiologically reduce the potential amplification of carcinogens in smoke that results from biologically produced free radicals. This response is not induced by tobacco smoke.

In conclusion, while both tobacco and cannabis smoke have similar properties chemically, their pharmacological activities differ greatly. Components of cannabis smoke minimize some carcinogenic pathways whereas tobacco smoke enhances some. Both types of smoke contain carcinogens and particulate matter that promotes inflammatory immune responses that may enhance the carcinogenic effects of the smoke. However, cannabis typically down-regulates immunologically-generated free radical production by promoting a Th2 immune cytokine profile. Furthermore, THC inhibits the enzyme necessary to activate some of the carcinogens found in smoke. In contrast, tobacco smoke increases the likelihood of carcinogenesis by overcoming normal cellular checkpoint protective mechanisms through the activity of respiratory epithelial cell nicotine receptors. Cannabinoids receptors have not been reported in respiratory epithelial cells ( in skin they prevent cancer ), and hence the DNA damage checkpoint mechanism should remain intact after prolonged cannabis exposure. Furthermore, nicotine promotes tumor angiogenesis whereas cannabis inhibits it. It is possible that as the cannabis-consuming population ages, the long-term consequences of smoking cannabis may become more similar to what is observed with tobacco. However, current knowledge does not suggest that cannabis smoke will have a carcinogenic potential comparable to that resulting from exposure to tobacco smoke.

It should be noted that with the development of vaporizers, that use the respiratory route for the delivery of carcinogen-free cannabis vapors, the carcinogenic potential of smoked cannabis has been largely eliminated [47][48].



 
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