How cannabis compound could slow tumor growth

Researchers at at the University of East Anglia have identified the mechanism by which THC, the main psychoactive compound in cannabis slows tumor growth at low and high doses. But they don't want you to self-medicate, because "the correct concentration is vital". Plus, the pharmaceutical industry needs to make a profit, so you should wait for a few years, or decades, till they make a proprietary compound that has the same effect but they can charge you a few orders of magnitude more for it.

Scientists have shown how the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, THC, could reduce tumor growth in cancer patients. New research reveals the existence of previously unknown signaling platforms which are responsible for the drug's success in shrinking tumors.

Research published today reveals the existence of previously unknown signaling platforms which are responsible for the drug's success in shrinking tumours.

Dr Peter McCormick, from UEA's school of Pharmacy, said: "THC, the major active component of marijuana, has anti-cancer properties. This compound is known to act through a specific family of cell receptors called cannabinoid receptors.

"We show that these effects are mediated via the joint interaction of CB2 and GPR55 -- two members of the cannabinoid receptor family. Our findings help explain some of the well-known but still poorly understood effects of THC at low and high doses on tumour growth.

"By identifying the receptors involved we have provided an important step towards the future development of therapeutics that can take advantage of the interactions we have discovered to reduce tumour growth."

Dr McCormick added that cancer sufferers should not be tempted to self-medicate.

"Our research uses an isolated chemical compound and using the correct concentration is vital. Cancer patients should not use cannabis to self-medicate, but I hope that our research will lead to a safe synthetic equivalent being available in the future."


Tags: cancer, marijuana

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Replies to This Discussion

Unfortunately, it won't stop leukemia or other blood diseases, or am I wrong? I will say one thing. I have had two chemos so far over a period of 13 years. One of cytoxin and floudarabine, the other Ritoxin and some other drug. Both times my oncologist told me I would get nausea and gave me a script for an anti-nausea drug. I put the first in the freezer in case I needed it and did not even fill the second script. I found that by getting stoned each night, I missed nausea entirely and only had some stomach cramps, not bad ones. I am a total advocate for weed as a means of avoiding chemo side effects, and once I retire I plan on testifying before the committee that decides the coming bill in Texas to legalize medical m.j. I know, I know, it is only anecdotal. But the more anecdotes we present the more likely it is that such a bill will pass...eventually.

Anecdotal or not it should be up to the individual. It helps me with nausea and stomach pain.

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