A recent study shows that cannabis, at least its non-hallucinogenic elements, could serve as a valuable ally in not only treating cancer patients suffering from a myriad of debilitating symptoms, but it could also cure them of the deadly disease.
According to researchers at St. George Hospital Medical School, a subsidiary of the University of London, there is significant evidence that suggests certain cannabinoids found in marijuana could be used as a highly effective anti-cancer drug without patients being forced to experience the psychotropic effects of its use.
“This study is a critical step in unpicking the mysteries of cannabis as a source of medicine," said Dr. Wai Liu, lead author of this research. "The cannabinoids examined have minimal, if any, hallucinogenic side effects, and their properties as anti-cancer agents are promising. 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."
For many years, researchers have closely studied the clinical advantages of utilizing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) as a far less callous remedy in fighting cancer than popular treatments like chemotherapy and radiation. While the active chemical found in marijuana has produced excellent results in successfully battling against cancer cells, the downfall, some say, is the hallucinogenic effects, which can force those patients unenthusiastic about being stoned into exchanging their mental faculties for medicine.
That is, until now.
Researchers say that in experimenting with a variety of non-hallucinogenic marijuana compounds, they have concluded that at least six other cannabinoids demonstrate cancer-fighting components that are as effective as those exhibited by THC. What’s more is that the overall effects of cannabinoids formulated from cannabidiol, cannabigerol and cannabigevarin proved to have an increased ability in eliminating cancer when administered in unison.
“Used in combination with existing treatment, we could discover some highly effective strategies for tackling cancer," said Liu. "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.”