Anna Hunt, Staff Writer
Research institutions around the world are beginning to discover the many positive effects that the cannabis plant has on the human body. More scientists are researching how the properties of marijuana could fulfill the need for effective cancer prevention and treatment. As a result, a growing amount of research now supports the claims that both cannabinoids (CBD), the non-psychoactive component of the marijuana plant, and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component, can “have a protective effect against the development of certain types of tumors” and potentially inhibit the growth of all types of cancer such as brain and breast cancer. (source: National Cancer Institute)
In a growing number of countries, marijuana is being prescribed to cancer patients allowing them to better manage cancer symptoms such as loss of appetite, pain and nausea. Research is also supporting the idea that both THC and CBDs may have antitumor properties and retard cancer cell growth. The first clinical study assessing the antitumor effect of THC in human beings was conducted by Guzman et al. at Complutense University in Spain. Published in 2006, the study revealed that THC “inhibited tumour-cell proliferation.” (source: British Journal of Cancer)
In 2007, McAllister et al. from California Pacific Medical Center, published the results of a study highlighting the cancer-fighting properties of CBDs. “CBD represents the first nontoxic exogenous agent that can significantly decrease Id-1 expression in metastatic breast cancer cells leading to the down-regulation of tumor aggressiveness.” (source: PubMed.gov)
“Cannabidiol offers hope of a non-toxic therapy that could treat aggressive forms of cancer without any of the painful side effects of chemotherapy” – Dr. Sean McAllister (source: The Daily Beast)
Below is a video excerpt from the show “Clearing the Smoke: The Science of Cannabis,” which aired on Montana PBS. The video outlines how CB2 receptors in the brain bind with CBDs from the marijuana plant that then communicates through the body and results in the death of cancer cells.
Similar findings have been published by scientists at St. George’s University in London, Harvard University, Lancaster University… and the roster of research organizations that claim marijuana is an effective anti-cancer agent is growing. Of course, don’t expect CBD and THC-based cancer medication anytime soon due the complicated politics and regulations in our pharmaceutical industry.
Luckily, there are now various hemp-based nutritional supplements, such as hemp oil and shelled hempseed, available following FDA’s approval of CBD cannabinoids in 2004 (source: Scientific American) in response to the discovery that our own body produces compounds very similar to that of CBDs. Perhaps within the near future, the anti-cancer properties of cannabis will further build the case for the legalization of industrial hemp and marijuana.
About the Author
Anna Hunt is writer, yoga instructor, mother of three, and lover of healthy food. She’s the founder of Awareness Junkie, an online community paving the way for better health and personal transformation. She’s also the co-editor at Waking Times, where she writes about optimal health and wellness. Anna spent 6 years in Costa Rica as a teacher of Hatha and therapeutic yoga. She now teaches at Asheville Yoga Center and is pursuing her Yoga Therapy certification. During her free time, you’ll find her on the mat or in the kitchen, creating new kid-friendly superfood recipes.
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