The numerous drugs used to treat cancer after surgery are meant to slow its progression, but they don’t always stop cancer cells from spreading to other parts of the body, nor do they help with the pain associated with certain types of cancer.
But there is a remedy that can do both of these things—cannabis.
Preparations of cannabis plants have been used successfully for medicinal purposes for thousands of years, and we need to take up the practice once again.
While research is limited, some studies suggest that cannabis may do more than just reduce pain; it may also kill cancer cells and limit their spread.
Research conducted at St. George’s University of London, found the two most common cannabinoids in marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), weakened the ferocity of cancer cells and made them more susceptible to radiation treatment.
The human body produces chemicals that are similar to these cannabinoids, called endocannabinoids.
One strategy to boost the action of the body’s own cannabis-like system is by inhibiting the enzymes that break down our natural endocannabinoids, Aymen Idris, a researcher, inventor and senior lecturer of pharmacology at the University of Sheffield, explained. One of these enzymes, called monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL), is found in healthy tissues such as the brain, bone and the immune system.
According to Idris, writing for the Conversation, research being done at the University of Sheffield has shown that inhibiting the activity of this MAGL enzyme reduces the growth of a variety of cancer cells in mice.
He cited a paper published in 2011 that showed treating mice with a drug that blocks the action of MAGL boosted the production of an endocannabinoid called 2-arachidonoylglycerol in healthy cells and in cancer cells.
They also showed that the drug reduced the growth of cancer cells and halted their spread to other parts of the body.
“At the University of Sheffield, we have validated the anti-cancer effects of various MAGL inhibitors on mice with breast and bone cancers,” wrote Aymen.
The results from this latest study will be published in 2018.
Idris noted that there is a risk that experimental drugs that block the action of MAGL may cause psychiatric problems similar to those experienced by some cannabis users. To get around that, they are pursuing a number of strategies to design and test new drugs that only enter and accumulate in the tumor cells. This is referred to as a “ball-and-chain” strategy.
“Our studies, carried out in test-tubes, have shown that the ball-and-chain drugs can kill cancer cells and stop them moving,” he explained. “Encouraged by these findings, we are now looking to validate the anti-cancer effects of the new drugs in mice.”
The team at the University of Sheffield, a public research university in England, is seeking funding to continue research to find out if the new drugs may be effective in reducing pain in mice suffering from osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer that causes bone pain.
“Treatment with drugs that stop the body breaking down its own cannabis in peripheral tissues, or drugs that mimic the action of natural cannabis outside the brain,” Idris explained, “may be a fruitful way to develop safer cannabis drugs for treating cancer.”
Mommy and Me Trip to the Weed Maze: Normalizing Cannabis for Toddlers
Bloom Farms Announces Commitment to Gender Equality in the Cannabis Industry
The Ultimate Stoner Grocery List
Doctor Who Uses Medical Marijuana Sues After Being Denied a Gun
News3 days ago
Federal Government Seeks Cultivators to Grow Thousands of Kilos of Cannabis
News5 days ago
Texas Representative Introduces Bill to Decriminalize Marijuana
News4 days ago
American Student Facing Death Penalty in China for Cannabis Distribution Released
News5 days ago
Two People Shot and Killed in Los Angeles Cannabis Dispensary
Culture5 days ago
Michelle Obama Writes About Smoking Pot in Upcoming Book
CBD5 days ago
The United Kingdom Will Soon Have First Cannabis-Infused Restaurant
News4 days ago
LA County Sheriff’s Deputy Allegedly Faked Raid to Rob Cannabis Facility
Dispensaries5 days ago
Cathedral City Just Opened SoCal’s First Legal Consumption Lounge