Although colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, there is new data that suggests that a large majority of these cases could be treated, and possibly even cured, with a compound in marijuana known as cannabigerol or CBG.
While this particular cannabinoid does not receive as much press as some others, like THC or CBD, its non-psychoactive properties have been credited with the relief of symptoms associated with glaucoma and irritable bowel syndrome. However, in a recent study by the National Institute of Health, the federal agency that mostly conducts cannabis research to determine its negative qualities rather than its benefits, found that cannabigerol was effective in slowing the progression of colon cancer.
“Cannabigerol (CBG) is a safe non-psychotropic Cannabis-derived cannabinoid which interacts with specific targets involved in carcinogenesis [the creation of cancer cells]“, wrote the study authors. “Here, we investigated whether CBG protects against colon tumorigenesis.”
The study, which was published in a recent edition of the Oxford journal Carcinogenesis, details the effects of cannabigerol on the progression of developing colon cancer cells. Researchers found that when tested on animals “CBG inhibited the growth of xenograft tumors as well as chemically-induced colon carcinogenesis. CBG hampers colon cancer progression in vivo and selectively inhibits the growth of colorectal cancer cells.”
It is worth mentioning that cannabigerol is found more in industrial hemp than in strains of marijuana cultivated for their psychoactive properties. In fact, hemp can contain as much as 94 percent CBG, while maintaining a level of THC as low as 0.001 percent. Because of this, cannabigerol is not a scheduled substance under the United Nations anti-drug treaty known as the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971.
Researchers conclude that cannabigerol “should be considered translationally in colorectal cancer prevention and cure.” This could be good news for the more than 50,000 people The American Cancer Society estimates will die from colon cancer in 2014.