THC for tumours

Last issue we reported that THC and cannabidiol, both compounds found in marijuana, are potent antioxidants which can prevent brain damage from strokes, head trauma and even nerve gas. Now, further research shows that THC can be used to fight brain tumours, and also seems to offer protection against a variety of other cancers.
Cell studies performed by researchers at Madrid?s Complutense University have demonstrated that high concentrations of THC can induce cell death in a variety of brain tumor cells, without damaging the surrounding healthy cells. Brain tumour cells such as glioma and neuroblastoma were induced to die upon exposure to THC in a process called “apoptosis”, a “self-programmed” death. In contrast, healthy brain cells were not harmed even after 15 days exposure to extremely high concentrations of THC.

The researchers noted that they hoped their work “might provide the basis for a new therapeutic application of cannabinoids.”

THC prevents cancer

This study echoes the findings of a 1994 US study, which documented that THC may protect against malignant cancers. The $2 million federal study involved injecting rats and mice in the stomach with extremely high doses of THC, hoping to find a connection between THC and cancer.

What the researchers found was exactly the opposite of what the feds had hoped for. Their study showed that rats given high doses of THC suffered from fewer cancers than their non-injected pals. The feds buried the study for almost 3 years, and it became known only after it was leaked to AIDS Treatment News in January of 1997. The Boston Globe broke the story nationwide days later.

Anandamide fights breast cancer

Another study, published in the July, 1998 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that anandamide, a molecule which resembles cannabinoids but is formed naturally in the body, can inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells by interfering with their DNA production cycle. The study was done by the Italian National Institute for the Chemistry of Biological Systems, in Naples.

The amounts of THC used in these studies were all hundreds or even thousands of times greater than that found in the blood of even the heaviest cannabis users.



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