Cannabidiol is the main psychoactive ingredient in the cannabis plant. This is the same plant that you also know by the name of marijuana. Cannabidiol or tetrahydrocannabinol has been found helpful to reduce the tumor growth in cancer patients. This new study proposes striking benefits of cannabis for cancer patients.
You can’t say this is a pioneer research. Previous studies on cannabis also suggested that cannabinoids particularly tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), have anti-cancer properties. The research team from at Complutense University in Spain found that THC works to destruct brain cancer cells by the process of autophagy. (Here is a link of this research)
They conducted this research by testing THC on mice with human tumors. The processed initiated was autophagy and it showed the reduced growth of tumor cells.
Two human patients having brain tumors were studied in this regard. They received intracranial administration of THC and on analysis, they exhibited similar signs of autophagy.
What does this study tell?
This new study is collaboration or Complutense University and the University of Anglia (UEA) in the UK. This is a further research on the previous grounds in order to investigate the previously unknown “signaling platforms” for tumor shrinkage.
The research team also induced tumors to the mice using breast cancer cells from of human samples. The THC administration on these cells showed that two cell receptors are particularly active for this anti-tumor response.
THC is the major component of cannabis and proved promising effects in cancer. This compound acts by acting on specific cellular receptors called cannabinoid receptors.
The tumor shrinkage effects are mediated by the joint interaction of two receptors namely CB2 and GPR55. The effect of THC on low and high doses on tumor growth is still poorly understood. However, the researchers were unsure which receptor contributes more for the anti-tumor effects.
This is a highly interesting field to understand the molecular mechanisms behind how cannabis linked cancer pathology and treatment. It is also motivating for the pharmaceutical industries to create the medical versions of cannabis. It will make cannabis a legal and effective anti cancer treatment.
So far, the discovery of the receptors is one step ahead to understand cannabis for cancer treatment. For future, more research is needed to develop treatment plans taking advantage of interactions to reduce cancer growth.
Self-medication with cannabis (medical marijuana)
Though a popular way to use cannabis is through self-treatment. But for cancer patients, this method is not encouraged. In fact, a self-treatment using such a potent plant as cannabis not recommended anyway.
As a part of cancer cell growth reduction, only using the chemical compound from cannabis in a correct concentration is necessary. Therefore, cancer patients should not use cannabis on their own. There is a dire need for developing a synthetic product using cannabis as a cancer medicine.