The truth about the healing powers of cannabis is starting to see the light of the day in many parts of the world.
Cannabis, or better known as marijuana, has been used as a remedy for thousands of years. Today, it is known that the reason lies in the compounds found in cannabis called cannabinoids. Some of them are psychoactive and act on the brain by changing mood or consciousness. They can be taken by mouth, inhaled, or sprayed under the tongue.
They have been studied and tested in labs and clinics for relieving pain, nausea and vomiting, anxiety, and loss of appetite. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have approved two cannabinoids (dronabinol and nabilone) for the prevention or treatment of chemotherapy related nausea and vomiting.
According to Christina Sanchez, a molecular biologist from Compultense University in Madrid, Spain, who has been studying the molecular activity of cannabinoids for more than 10 years, tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the primary psychoactive component of cannabis, induces tumor cell “suicide” while leaving healthy cells alone. During a study where they researched brain cancer cells for the purpose of better understanding how they function, they noticed that when exposed to THC, tumoral cells not only ceased to multiply and proliferate but destroyed themselves, both in lab tests and animal trials.
A 1980s’ research revealed that the human body contains two specific targets for THC. The endocannabinoid system processes THC and other cannabinoids, along with containing various cannabinoid receptors throughout the body that utilise them. This system regulates a lot of biological functions: appetite, food intake, motor behaviour, reproduction, and many, many other functions. Tests done on mice and rats have shown that cannabinoids help to inhibit tumor growth by causing cell death, blocking cell growth, and the development of blood vessels needed by tumors to grow larger.
Cannabis has great benefits in fighting, so far, nine types of cancer.
The journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics published a study that outlines how brain tumors are highly resistant to current anticancer treatments, which makes it crucial to find new therapeutic strategies aimed at improving the poor prognosis of patients suffering from this disease.
The British Journal of Cancer published a study conducted by the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Complutense University in Madrid, where it was determined that THC and other cannabinoids inhibit tumor growth. THC was found to decrease tumour cells in two out of the nine patients, and the delivery was safe and was achieved with zero psychoactive effects.
The Journal of Neuroscience published a study that examined the biochemical events in both acute neuronal damage and in slowly progressive, neurodegenerative diseases. They looked at THC and found that it reduced neuronal injury in rats, and provide evidence that the cannabinoid system can protect the brain against neurodegeneration.
The Journal of Pharmacology And Experimental Therapeutics published a study that already acknowledged the fact that cannabinoids have been shown to possess antitumor properties. This study examined the effect of cannabidiol (non psychoactive cannabinoid compound) on human glioma cell lines (Glioma is the word used to describe brain tumor). The addition of cannabidiol led to a dramatic decrease in the viability of glioma cells, the study concluded that cannabidiol was able to produce a significant antitumor activity.
The American Journal of Cancer published a study where it was determined that cannabinoid receptors are expressed in human pancreatic tumor cell lines and tumor biopsies at much higher levels than in normal pancreatic tissue. Results showed that cannabinoid administration induced apoptosis. They also reduced the growth of tumor cells, and inhibited the spreading of pancreatic tumor cells.
The US National Library of Medicine published a study conducted by the California Pacific Medical Centre, where it was determined that cannabidiol (CBD) inhibits human breast cancer cell proliferation and invasion. They also demonstrated that CBD significantly reduces tumor mass.
The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics published a study where it was determined that THC as well as cannabidiol dramatically reduced breast cancer cell growth.
The Journal Molecular Cancer published a study where it was shown that THC reduced tumor growth and tumor numbers. They determined that cannabinoids inhibit cancer cell proliferation, induce cancer cell apoptosis and impair tumor angiogenesis (the creation of new blood vessels), providing strong evidence for the use of cannabinoid based therapies for the management of breast cancer.
The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) published a study that determined that cannabinoids inhibit human breast cancer cell proliferation.