By Sasha Brown
As the years progress, marijuana has been shying away from their known Schedule I drug category. The once tabooed plant is being accepted by many medical professionals across the country because of their studied, and proven, medical benefits. Multiple states across the United States have legalized the medical use of marijuana, while a few states have gone so far as to legalize recreational use. Along with the United States, many countries have also been accepting marijuana for medical use.
Cannabinoids, which are found in hemp and cannabis, have a great impact on rebuilding the immune system, and have been proven to reduce cancer cells. It is important to note that not all strains of cannabis carry the same effect; and that it is more effective for medicinal purposes when consumed, rather than smoked.
Listed below are several studies that suggest the benefits of cannabis use to fight against cancer.
1. Oral Cancer
According to a study done by the US National Library of Medicine, cannabinoids are shown to be highly toxic to inhibitors of cellular respiration and malignant oral tumors. It is shown that cannabinoids can inhibit cellular respiration among oral cancer cells because they contain Delta (8)-THC and Delta (9)-THC; which are known to possess antitumor activities and resulted in a rapid decline in cellular respiration when added to the cells.
2. Brain Cancer
The Journal of Neuroscience published a study that provided evidence that THC, which is the main component found in marijuana, can aid in protecting the brain against neurodegeneration. The study was done on rats and examined the biochemical events in progressive neurodegenerative diseases, as well as acute neuronal damage. It was shown that THC possessed antitumor properties and can protect the brain from neuronal injuries.
3. Lung Cancer
Harvard Medical School conducted a study, published by the US National Library of Medicine; that concluded that cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2, inhibited lung metastasis and in vivo tumor grown in non-small cell lung cancer. CB1 and CB2 were also observed to inhibit phosphorylation of AKT; which is a molecule that controls cell migration, survival, and apoptosis. This study suggests that these cannabinoid receptors could be used as novel therapeutic targets against non-small cell lung cancer.
4. Breast Cancer
The journal, Molecular Cancer, published a study that suggests that tumor growth, and numbers, could be reduced by THC. The study determined that JWH-133, a non-psychotropic CB2, impairs tumor angiogenesis, inhibits cancer cell proliferation, and induces cancer cell apoptosis in ErbB2-positive breast cancer.
5. Pancreatic Cancer
The American Journal of Cancer published a study that apoptosis was induced by cannabinoid administration. Administration of cannabinoids also selectively increased TRB3 expression in pancreatic tumor cells, and inhibited the spreading, and growth, of tumor cells.
6. Prostate Cancer
US National Library of Medicine published multiple studies that determined that cannabidiol (CBD) inhibited cell viability, significantly. There was a decrease in prostatic cancer cells when acted through cannabinoid receptors, and was shown to have a more potent affect when BDS was in the presence of serum, versus pure cannabinoid compounds. The data produced from these studies all support the clinical testing of CBD against prostate carcinoma.
7. Liver Cancer
Because hepatocellular liver carcinoma (HCC) is the third cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide, it has been essential to search for new treatments since there are few therapeutic options available once the advanced stages of the tumor set it. A study done by the US National Library of Medicine determined that THC reduced the growth of human hepatocellular liver carcinoma cell lines, as well as reduced their viability. These findings may contribute to a new therapeutic strategy in the management of HCC.