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Lebanon Considering Legalization of Cannabis

Centered on the Bekaa Valley, known for narcotics production, Lebanon produces some of the finest quality cannabis, mostly processed into hashish

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An employee inspects the leaf of a cannabis plant at a medical marijuana plantation in northern Israel. (VOA)
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A Lebanese lawmaker has introduced a draft bill in parliament that would legalize the use of cannabis for medical purposes.

Speaking to the Associated Press, Antoine Habchi said he is proposing using the plant as alternative medicine to fight addiction and at the same time as a way to help Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley restore its economy and generate much needed income.

Habchi said that under the bill, cultivation would be tightly controlled.

Also Read: Plant-Based Food May Boost Your Heart Health

However, it will likely take months of discussions before the draft bill would come to a vote.

Lebanon is the third largest cannabis producer in the world, after Morocco and Afghanistan, according to the United Nations.

Centered on the Bekaa Valley, known for narcotics production, Lebanon produces some of the finest quality cannabis, mostly processed into hashish. (VOA)

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Pancreatic Cancer: Cannabis Compound May Boost Survival

While the current study only looked at the effect of CBD in mice, clinical trials in humans are needed to confirm whether or not CBD improves survival rates of pancreatic cancer patients

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Cannabinoid may up survival rate for pancreatic cancer patients. Pixabay

A naturally occurring constituent of medicinal cannabis along with chemotherapy could increase the survival rate by three times among mice with pancreatic cancer, according to a new study.

According to the researchers, the cannabinoid named Cannabidiol (CBD) does not cause psychoactive effects and has been already cleared for use at the clinics.

“This is a remarkable result. We found that mice with pancreatic cancer survived nearly three times longer if a constituent of medicinal cannabis was added to their chemotherapy treatment,” said lead author Marco Falasca from Queen Mary University of London in Britain.

“Cannabidiol is already approved for use in clinics, which means we can quickly go on to test this in human clinical trials. If we can reproduce these effects in humans, cannabidiol could be in use in cancer clinics almost immediately, compared to having to wait for authorities to approve a new drug,” he added.

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Cannabis leaf. Pixabay

For the study, published in the journal Oncogene, the team tested the impact of the cannabidiol on the use of the commonly used chemotherapy medication Gemcitabine as a treatment for pancreatic cancer in mice.

“Given the five-year survival rate for people with pancreatic cancer is less than seven per cent, the discovery of new treatments and therapeutic strategies is urgently needed,” Falasca noted.

Also Read: Research: Gene Linked to Hair Loss May Improve Cancer Treatment

The team explained that CBD is also known to improve the side effects of chemotherapy, including nausea, diarrhoea, vomiting, meaning it could also improve the quality of life of patients undergoing chemotherapy.

While the current study only looked at the effect of CBD in mice, clinical trials in humans are needed to confirm whether or not CBD improves survival rates of pancreatic cancer patients, the researchers said. (IANS)

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