Researchers are finding new evidence that the cannabinoids found in marijuana can help inhibit the growth of cancer cells and fight side effects of the disease.
A report just published on thedailybeast.com sheds light on several new developments in recent months, including the discovery that THC (the psychoactive ingredient in pot) kills brain cancer cells. Such news can only add more fuel to the push to legalize medical marijuana, a measure which narrowly failed in Arkansas in November.
From the Daily Beast story: A team of Spanish scientists led by Manuel Guzman conducted the first clinical trial assessing the antitumoral action of THC on human beings. Guzman administered pure THC via a catheter into the tumors of nine hospitalized patients with glioblastoma, who had failed to respond to standard brain-cancer therapies. The results were published in 2006 in the British Journal of Pharmacology: THC treatment was associated with significantly reduced tumor cell proliferation in every test subject.
Around the same time, Harvard University scientists reported that THC slows tumor growth in common lung cancer and “significantly reduces the ability of the cancer to spread.” What’s more, like a heat-seeking missile, THC selectively targets and destroys tumor cells while leaving healthy cells unscathed. Conventional chemotherapy drugs, by contrast, are highly toxic; they indiscriminately damage the brain and body.