Cannabis alters human DNA

Jun 16, 2009
New cannabis-like drugs could block pain without affecting brain, says study

A new study published by University of Leicester researchers has found "convincing evidence" that cannabis smoke damages DNA in ways that could potentially increase the risk of cancer development in humans.

Using a newly developed highly sensitive liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method, the University of Leicester scientists found clear indication that cannabis smoke damages DNA, under laboratory conditions.

They have now published the findings in the journal Chemical Research in Toxicology.

The research was carried out by Rajinder Singh, Jatinderpal Sandhu, Balvinder Kaur, Tina Juren, William P. Steward, Dan Segerback and Peter B. Farmer from the Cancer Biomarkers and Prevention Group, Department of Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine and Karolinska Institute, Sweden.

Raj Singh said: “Parts of the plant Cannabis sativa, also known as marijuana, ganja, and various street names, are commonly smoked as a recreational drug, although its use for such purposes is illegal in many countries.

“There have been many studies on the toxicity of tobacco smoke. It is known that tobacco smoke contains 4000 chemicals of which 60 are classed as carcinogens. Cannabis in contrast has not been so well studied. It is less combustible than tobacco and is often mixed with tobacco in use. Cannabis smoke contains 400 compounds including 60 cannabinoids. However, because of its lower combustibility it contains 50% more carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons including naphthalene, benzanthracene, and benzopyrene, than tobacco smoke.”

Writing in the journal Chemical Research in Toxicology, the scientists describe the development of a mass spectrometry method that provides a clear indication that cannabis smoke damages DNA, under laboratory conditions.

The authors added: “It is well known that toxic substances in can damage DNA and increase the risk of lung and other cancers. Scientists were unsure though whether cannabis smoke would have the same effect.  Our research has focused on the toxicity of acetaldehyde, which is present in both tobacco and cannabis.”

The researchers add that the ability of cannabis smoke to damage DNA has significant human health implications especially as users tend to inhale more deeply than cigarette smokers, which increases respiratory burden. "The smoking of 3-4 cannabis cigarettes a day is associated with the same degree of damage to bronchial mucus membranes as 20 or more tobacco cigarettes a day," the team adds.

"These results provide evidence for the DNA damaging potential of cannabis smoke," the researchers conclude, "implying that the consumption of cannabis cigarettes may be detrimental to human health with the possibility to initiate ."

Citation: Rajinder Singh, Jatinderpal Sandhu, Balvinder Kaur, Tina Juren, William P. Steward, Dan Segerback and Peter B. Farmer (2009) Evaluation of the DNA Damaging Potential of Cannabis Cigarette Smoke by the Determination of Acetaldehyde Derived N2-Ethyl-2′-deoxyguanosine Adducts. Chemical Research in Toxicology, 22, 1181-1188.

Source: University of Leicester (news : web)

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User comments : 41

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nuge
4.1 / 5 (8) Jun 16, 2009
With a headline like that, there's going to be lots of uni students out there who think they're going to become the marijuana equivalent of spiderman.
jway
3.9 / 5 (10) Jun 16, 2009
If this finding is accurate then why doesn't the rate of cancer go up when cannabis use goes up in society and go down when it falls?

That's how we learned that tobacco causes cancer - the rate of cancer mirrored the rate of tobacco use. But we *don't* see this happening with cannabis! Cannabis use goes up - cancer rates are unchanged, cannabis use goes down - cancer rates are unchanged.

I'm going to bet that this exciting new discovery is discredited in the near future.

If cannabis really did "alter human dna" and cause cancer then, after more than **5,000 years** of continuous use we'd know all about it by now. We wouldn't be needing "highly sensitive liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry methods under laboratory conditions" to find it out now!

If cannabis truly is so deadly that we really do need a perpetual world-wide prohibition of it, causing more than 2,000 arrests in this country every day and more than 6,000 brutal murders a year, then it'd be blatantly obvious every time we looked in the faces of the poor saps who use it. We wouldn't be needing hair and pee tests just to determine whether a person has consumed cannabis or not!

But it's not obvious at all. Law enforcement can't tell whether a driver is under the influence of cannabis or not - they don't have puss oozing from the face or are drooling green stuff from the mouth. They don't have open lesions forming over 90% of their bodies or are tearing at their faces to remove the imaginary spiders that are crawling over them. There are no signs at all apart perhaps from a sweet smell in the air and possibly diluted pupils. Big deal!
Vlasev
3.3 / 5 (4) Jun 16, 2009
There are no signs at all apart perhaps from a sweet smell in the air and possibly diluted pupils. Big deal!


You're getting too excited! Have a break, smoke one!

Perhaps we can blame cannabis for some portion of the cancer that we used to blame tobacco for. Many of the cigarette smokers use to smoke cannabis too. But they do not promptly confirm when asked.
Egnite
4.3 / 5 (6) Jun 16, 2009
So the report basically says - use a vaporizer? Got it :-D
ealex
4.2 / 5 (5) Jun 16, 2009
Or space cake.
taisha99
4 / 5 (4) Jun 16, 2009
Who paid for the research ?

Acetaldehyde is an oxidation product of alcohol - so you drinkers better watch out !

Anybody tried vapourising alchohol ?
:)
nilbud
3.7 / 5 (6) Jun 16, 2009
Must be a scientific study like the one which claimed MDMA burned holes in your brain and dropped serotonin levels by 80%. Which the DEA used to ban MDMA and was later found to be a total lie. I wonder why the dupes who falsified this report think it was a good move.
ThomasS
4 / 5 (4) Jun 16, 2009
So the report basically says - use a vaporizer? Got it :-D

Thats it :-)
However, consider using an electronic one, the non-electric ones do not work very well in my opinion.
DMorse
3 / 5 (2) Jun 16, 2009
Vaporizers Forever !!!
iknow
2.3 / 5 (3) Jun 16, 2009
Yeah I agree.. its utter tosh this report. if it were true ... I'd be mutated by now. Sadly no supper powers as yet... maybe just the Super Lazy ability that allows watching of daytime TV while bunking off work.

As for the Vaps... use electric. The burn ones are good but too unstable.
GunslingerX
3.7 / 5 (3) Jun 16, 2009
I'd say there are tons of way to damage DNA.. in a LAB.

Whats worse, a beer after work, or a bowl?

A pot head or an alcholic?

Engage research.
Kungfublood
3.7 / 5 (3) Jun 16, 2009
study one tiny part of the whole, in a lab set up to study one thing, by a grant paid to find one thing, to a teem that wants to please? Please real scientists have studied the whole thing and found that it targets and kills off tumors aids the formation of new neurons and feels better than beer without the side effects.
No facts such as how many overblown impossible parts per million (or was it parts per three.)of acetaldehyde they used on the poor rats.
Simonsez
3.7 / 5 (3) Jun 16, 2009
I wonder why the dupes who falsified this report think it was a good move.

Money. I am willing to give them benefit of the doubt and say: money and ignorance.

Kungfublood has the right of it I think.
pzcom
5 / 5 (2) Jun 16, 2009
%u201CParts of the plant Cannabis sativa, also known as marijuana, ganja, and various street names, are commonly smoked as a recreational drug, although its use for such purposes is illegal in many countries.

-
Why does every article on marijuana feel the need to print this, or some variant? Is there anyone alive on the planet who still doesn't know what marijuana is?
gopher65
4 / 5 (4) Jun 16, 2009
pzcom: It's filler. Have you ever read Wikinews and CNN? Say they both write an article about the same subject. Wikinews's article will be 10-15 sentences long, while CNN's article will be 5 pages long. Yet the Wikinews article will contain more information. This is because only the first paragraph of *any* CNN article is actually relevant to the topic at hand. Everything after that is useless background information that could be better picked up on Wikipedia.

A good example of this is when CNN writes an article about NASA installing a toilet on the International Space Station. For some reason they feel it necessary to tell us that "NASA launched Apollo 11 in 1969", and that "the Challenger explosion killed 7 people". Tell me, how is any of that relevant to a story about a new toilet?
gopher65
4.3 / 5 (7) Jun 16, 2009
Also, for the article at hand: of *course* smoking marijuana causes DNA damage. Breathing in *any* smoke causes DNA damage. It's just not good for you. Eeesh. How long will it be before people get it through their fat heads that lighting fire to something (whether a cigarette or a house) and then breathing in the result is a bad idea?

Even putting aside the DNA damage for a moment, the fine particulate matter that results from all forms of combustion is not good for your lungs. Doesn't matter whether it is smoke from a power plant, car, or a joint, it's going to harm you.

There are other ways to take marijuana. If you're going to use that drug, then take the time to research the most effective (and safest) method of consumption.
codesuidae
5 / 5 (2) Jun 16, 2009
While the information may seem obvious, it is good to see that the research is being done. I'd much rather have good research available to confirm what we think we know than have to infer anything.
mejamier
not rated yet Jun 16, 2009
I am no scientist but that story about marijuana, Didnt seem to have any real proof. who or what did they use for testing?
degojoey
4 / 5 (4) Jun 16, 2009
My favorite is how many confirmed deaths there are off of marijuana alone.. Anyone doing research will find a big fat 0 at the end of that statistic. Look how many deaths are related to alcohol. in 2005, almost 4K dies to liver disease, 1300 to cancer of floodpipe, 600 by alcohol induced breast cancer. 22% of all deaths from 16-24 yr olds was attributed to alcohol. the government cant stop us from mixing yeast and sugar, but they can stop a stinky plant from growing form 4 months and thats the only reason why pot remains illegal yet people retain the ability to drink. its soooo wrong! Obama listen up, be recognized as the best president to live by legalizing! solve our money and anger issues in one law!
paulo
3.3 / 5 (7) Jun 16, 2009
they aren't mentioning the studies that found heavy pot smokers didn't develop the cancers they were trying to prove pot caused....
http://www.huffin...712.html

or the studies that found THC actually has an anti-cancer effect....
http://safeaccess...ncer.htm

all this aside from the fact that cannabis completely alleviates the nausea caused by chemotherapy.

more fear-mongering bunk paid for by big pharma.
mattytheory
3.4 / 5 (5) Jun 16, 2009
I love how they always compare smoking a pack of cigarettes a day to smoking "3-4 joints" (it used to be 7-10 joints) per day. I smoke weed daily and I have to say, that is extremely atypical usage. I might hit the bong once or twice, but "3-4 joints" is a stretch. I don't know anyone that smokes THAT much. Also, what KIND of damage are we talking about? I can take a 5-minute walk in the sun and suffer "damage" to my DNA. So really, whats the difference?
E_L_Earnhardt
2 / 5 (4) Jun 17, 2009
Any incinerated, irradiated, inhaled product increases energy within exposed cells, chemical constituant notwithstanding!
gideon
5 / 5 (2) Jun 17, 2009
May not be completely relevant but the University of Leicester that published this article is not a medically based group but 'museum research' which one could assume they have DNA laboratory equipment but I hardly think they have looked at this any more rigorously than actual doctors have. I'm inclined to even suggest unsound methods that could prove something in the lab only by creating conditions that don't occur in actual practice. Trying to grab a headline and mislead some people at the same time.
maikinmoves
not rated yet Jun 17, 2009
I love the fact that on a website for brilliant minds that no one is against the original higher thinking
Dig
not rated yet Jun 17, 2009
Was this study paid for by the Bush Administration? Scare tactics? Give me a break. People get paid to study this stuff? In my opinion, it's a waste of time. How about spending the money on research to eliminate burning fossil fuels? I bet people breath a heck of a lot more car exhaust that changes there DNA than they do cannabis. Besides, if you are smoking 3-4 joints a day, you have wayyyyyy bigger problems that your DNA!
Lazlor
3 / 5 (3) Jun 17, 2009
Eat it or just don't smoke too much. Got it! thx
LuckyBrandon
1 / 5 (5) Jun 17, 2009
I promptly confirm..I am a cigarette smoker and I smoke the HELL out of "named" bud all the damned time, and have as long as I can remember (that would mean yesterday evening ;-))...

I call BULLSH*T on this article. It was discovered in the not too distant past that our skin itself is comprised in a very small part of THC (it was said that if you smoked all the skin on your body, you still wouldnt be even close to getting a buzz..so basically our skin is weaker dirt weed)..
If Marijuana alters DNA, that entails that THC is the likely candidate to be doing the alterations. So if THC can make alteration to DNA, then why doesnt our skin change color periodically w/o an outside force (such as a tanning bed or the sun)...bad example I know, but the point is, if THC altered DNA, then our own skin would be altering its own DNA, and my HEAVY smoking habits would have by now royally screwed up something....

I personally can't stand vapo's...I need the consistency of the smoke in my mouth, to let it roll out and breathe it into my nose, while I softly stroke my glass "jar o' bud" and tell mary how much I love her...lol
Now, give me a nice freakin Gravitron and its on like donkey kong :) Yea, you guys know hat I'm talkin about ;)


Vlasev-I think youre being too liberal in saying we can blame some on my sweet mary. I will say, MAYBE nose or throat cancer, merely from smoke instead of oxygen passing through your airways...
however, the last I heard, resins from mary jane break down in your lungs naturally, where cigarette tar/resin does not. Since the big offender with smoking is lung cancer, I would say it is still a better treatment than a hinderance to health. WE all know the medical benfits (just like uncle sam who doesn't want to admit that our freakin economy would be fixed instantly via legalization of marijuana for medicinal and recreational use).


iknow-I am always asked how the hell I can burn down a couple Gs of some $40 a gram shit, then sit down and program or perform things like domain migrations while baked. I always answer the same way...I was baked when I learned it, so I'm baked when I do it :)

pzcom-shit man, we actually got it easy in the US...I cant remember exactly which country, but it was one of the tiny hole in the wall asian countries...but if them fkrs catch you with even a roach, youre freakin executed (true story, read it in the magazine of the highest times, in an article about penalties for gettin blazed across the globe).
thailand if i remember right canes you multiple times and locks you away for like 10 yrs for even as small as a roach.
another out there freakin cuts your hand off or some shite....


gopher-they should change the background info to something more like "man, i cant wait to piss in that toilet...and then drink my piss" :D
On your second comment, are you sure youre not confusing DNA alteration with organ damage? It would take a long long time completely submersed in a room filled to the point of thickness you cant see through for many years on end to alter the DNA I think. After all, that ties right into evolution and adapation (and putting it VERY simple here so no ripping me a new asshole guys)...you have to be exposed to something consistently over long periods to adapt at the genetic level like that. You don't go underwater and breathe through any gills right, cuz you'd have to be exposed to that water for 10s of millions of years before that adaptation occurred, and even then, there has to be something under that water you REALLY cant do without to even bring that about. The aprticulates and such you speak of get stuck in, and can damage, the lung in most cases. BUT, if you consider that any smokers lungs are coated internally with resin/tar, it is only logical that those particulates that are breathed in get stuck to the resins, and not to your tissue directly, thereby allowing some leniency in its effect. In the case of mary, well, her resins break down naturally in our lungs, so the question really becomes, do those particulates break down with the resin in the lungs, or do they remain and then attach....?!


codesuidae-this ist good research, this is just another bullshit excuse theyre coming up with to hold us down from truly being free. You are not free when someone has the LEGAL (key word there) right to dictate how the hell you live your life. I GUARANTEE you, within 2 months, we will see an article directly contradicting this, and from a better lab with better equipment and more renowned scientists. So then which has the gopod research, the ones giving the government their excuses, or the ones who are unbiast and want the truth out there?

degojoey-fuck yea :D


mattytheory-now you know someone who does. In fact, that is VERY light smoking. I average, and honestly this is pretty low estimate, probably 12-18 bowls a day...on my pipe, that equates to 3-5 grams a day basically (and I smoke like $200 a quarter named shit from the highest times magazine, no shittin either, thank dog I can trade computer work for smoke :D )...and that is just to myself. When my wife joins me, tack 4 bowls on top of that (another gram basically).



dig-the amount you smoke does NOT amount to problems. thats kind of ignorant to think that in fact. I can absolutely positively guarantee you that you and I could be sitting next to each other in a meeting having a deep technical discussion and you would never even know I got baked before the meeting. I have the advantage that my eyes dont get bloodshot...
But anyways, there is not 1 person in my entire family that doesnt smoke more than this. Even my grandma and grandpa before they died smoked more than this (and they swore by the fact it helped them after strokes).



LuckyBrandon
1 / 5 (4) Jun 17, 2009
oh and I almost forgot the tag line....


A.N.U.S. (Americans for a New United States)
take our government back NOW by force if necessary!
morilinde
3 / 5 (2) Jun 18, 2009
Smoking anything is bad. That is why you invest in a vaporizer. Also, if you aren't consuming low grade cannabis, you certainly don't need 3-4 cigarettes worth in a day.
dachpyarvile
3.7 / 5 (3) Jun 18, 2009
Trouble is, some problems caused by modifications to DNA do not show up until generations later. Could this be partly the cause of the rise in diagnoses of Asperger's Syndrome and Autism in the world? Descendents of people who were part of the heavy users' group back in the 70s? It is something to think about...
Lexielex
5 / 5 (4) Jun 18, 2009
Dr. Donald Tashkin is extremely educated on the correlation to Cannabis consumption and Lung cancer, as he has been studying that mater for decades (literally). According to The Washington Post "We hypothesized that there would be a positive association between marijuana use and lung cancer, and that the association would be more positive with heavier use," he said. "What we found instead was no association at all, and even a suggestion of some protective effect."



The "suggestion of some protective effect" is the part that sticks out in my mind. How could non-bias research that has been going on for decades show this, yet it damages DNA and causes cancer?
Raritas
not rated yet Jun 18, 2009
Quote: maikinmoves -
I love the fact that on a website for brilliant minds that no one is against the original higher thinking

Thats fantastic, .. it solves the problem!
All we need is a daily complement, 'brilliant minds'!
Costs nothing .. makes you feel great and no negative health effects! WONDERFUL.

Saves all you guys the time and effort .. eh? :)
Keep it simple .... the more complex you get the harder it is to pass on in a learning long term ... and folk with baD vibes get to hide rubbish between the lines easier.
We all have the things we really need, do we want/need more? Is progress a way to control/destroy what is actually our only lifeline?
Nan2
3.7 / 5 (3) Jun 18, 2009
Legalize and tax the holy poo out of Mary Jane and the deficit would disappear overnight, the drug lords would be out of business except in the harder stuff. Its not a gateway drug, propaganda produced to scare teenies parents who keep a stash under their bed.

Keith Richards will survive a nuclear blast along with the roaches and old Volvos. He's been very well hardened. ;-)

If MJ replaced alcohol as the substance of choice for people, instead of riots in the street after sporting events, we'd have sing ins. Wife beaters would become wife lovers, DUI accidents would be LOW SLOW IMPACT.

On a serious note. Glaucoma and a plethora of other conditions are improved with the use of marijuana as a medical treatment. Big Pharma overseas tried some time ago to use its active ingredients, put it in a capsule to sell, no luck. Opiate use for people in chronic pain including diabetic neuropathy, cancer and other mean nasty vexing conditions is reduced helping those poor souls in a tangible and healthier way. Those who suffer from lower appetites, weight loss from disease are also assisted by marijuana.

The problem is government would have to admit they lied, so it isn't going to happen. People can and will ABUSE any substance be it legal or illegal. Everything from glue, paint, sugar any substance available natural, legal or not will be abused. Perhaps a little stress reduction will provide less cardiovascular disease, less inflammatory disease and slow down our frenetic lives enough to enjoy those marvelous unquantifiable parts of life which provide us with enjoyment of those nice flowers blooming in the park.
ZeroDelta
5 / 5 (2) Jun 20, 2009
Some of these commentors are retarded. Of course pot is bad for you. So is fast food. But if someone reports that McDonalds is not healthy does that mean that it should be illegal?
holoman
3 / 5 (2) Jun 21, 2009
they talk about sativa, so I guess indica okay.
itistoday
5 / 5 (2) Jun 21, 2009
Outrage! Controversy! Indignation! Sham! Call the lawyers! The Legislators!

Guess what: No matter how dangerous something is, you can't stop me, or anyone else, from doing it. My decisions are mine, not yours, and I'll be damned if I let you determine them.

I will eat my carcinogenic, fat-filled cheeseburger, smoke my joint, and have anal sex with with my closest cousin (at the same time) because he enjoys it so much, just to spite you. I might even die because of my decisions, and there's not a goddamned thing you can do about it, and one day, when the Nazi Puritans are out of office, it just might be legal too.
ForFreeMinds
2.3 / 5 (6) Jun 21, 2009
This study doesn't prove much beyond what's in the first paragraph and the statement about acetaldehyde. It doesn't compare how other substances damage DNA damage as measured by this test. It's also just a laboratory test - certainly not the test (double blind human trials) that the FDA demands to approve a drug. This is also (probably) a test tube test, which might use cell tissue and might not. It mentions nothing about concentrations of the acetaldehyde and how measures of it compare to measurements of it blood streams of smokers. Overall, it just looks like a bit of propaganda - where some researchers wanted to obtain some income via a government grant to show marijuana is harmful.
Blair
not rated yet Jun 21, 2009
This is scare science.

It only serves propaganda.

I agree with the facts stated above by jway.

It is "sledgehammer science" that proves the obvious.

Obviously, some chemicals in smoke could damage DNA.

However, if cannabis smoking caused cancer,
then there would be an epidemic of potheads
dying of cancer today, and that is not so!!!!!!


Actually, the THC and related molecules have
been demonstrated to prevent or cure cancers.

I agree with lots of other comments above that
vapourizers and/or eating cannabis is superior.

A joint could be called a caveman's vapourizer.

The idea that cannabis should be smoked
is another side-effect of pot prohibition.

What this kind of "scare science" does is
help create headlines to keep growing
the fascist police state powers.

But then, getting funding for "research"
is much easier if one agrees to do that!
earls
not rated yet Jun 22, 2009
"Spider-man"
RAL
not rated yet Jun 22, 2009
This is pretty shocking material: An article on Physorg identifying some type of damage without blaming Anthropogenic Global Warming. Did the editors even proofread it? :-)
LuckyBrandon
1 / 5 (2) Jun 22, 2009
RAL-
you got it all wrong buddy...global warming increases teh marijuanas plants effective habitable ranges thereby leading to more pot smoking by us "damned hippies" thereby leading to our cancer...where the fact we smoked cigs for 10 yrs before the test is ignored :)
So global warming = increase in grow area increase in potheads = increase in cancer

yea...dont add up to me either with all = signs :)