As new studies are released showing just how miraculous the compounds of marijuana are, the argument for legalized marijuana or at least legal access to medicinal marijuana seems to build a little more each month. One new study, from researchers with Saint George’s University of London and published in Anticancer Research, reveals how various compounds within cannabis are able to work together to kill human leukemia cells.
The study looked at three non-psychoactive cannabinoids, including cannabidiol, cannabigerol, and cannabigevarin. These compounds were tested on two leukemia cell lines where they acted synergistically to fight the cancerous cells.
According to a press release from the University, these “non-hallucinogenic components of cannabis could act as effective anti-cancer agents.”
Research into the psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and its effects on cancer are well-recognized. But research into these lesser known and non-psychoactive compounds is limited. To be clear, THC is the compound in marijuana that gets you “high”. Those tested in this latest study, however, have no such effects.
In total, six compounds were tested and each had anti-cancer properties as effective as those in THC. When combined with one another, the compounds had an even greater effect.
“This study is a critical step in unpicking the mysteries of cannabis as a source of medicine,” explained Dr. Wai Liu, lead researcher. “The cannabinoids examined have minimal, if any, hallucinogenic side effects, and their properties as anti-cancer agents are promising.”
Back in 2006, another study was developed by a team of medical researchers at the Virginia Commonwealth University’s Pharmacology and Toxicology department on leukemia patients. The researchers essentially outlined that if taken daily for an extended period of time, cannabis oil actually reverses the growth of cancer and possibly leads to remission in the patient – with zero added side effects. The marijuana and cancer relationship can’t be ignored.
In the battle for marijuana legitimacy, critics often point to the fact that a “drug” like marijuana’s primary effect is in altering consciousness or getting high. It’s this point that stops many people from being able to see it for its benefits. When scientists are able to deconstruct the plant and use non-psychoactive compounds to achieve similar results, it turns this worthless argument on its head.
“These agents are able to interfere with the development of cancerous cells, stopping them in their tracks and preventing them from growing. In some cases, by using specific dosage patterns, they can destroy cancer cells on their own.”
Used in combination with existing treatment, we could discover some highly effective strategies for tackling cancer. Significantly, these compounds are inexpensive to produce and making better use of their unique properties could result in much more cost effective anti-cancer drugs in future.”