AUG 10, 2018 1:30 AM PDT

Cannabis Compounds Used as Anti-Cancer Agent

WRITTEN BY: Amanda Kahl

The video below sites several studies done on cannabinoids and how they can be used as an anti-cancer agent. Cannabinoids have multiple properties that allow them to fight cancer cells: 

Antiproliferative properties which slow or stop the reproduction of cancer cells. 

Antiangiogenic properties which prevent the formation of new blood vessels, that allow tumors to grow.  

Antimetastatic properties which prevent the spread of cancer to other tissues. 

Apoptotic properties which induce programmed cell death.

Cancer cells are killed by cannabinoids, but other healthy cells are left untouched, which is important when considering how to treat different types of cancer. 

One of the studies not talked about in the video is from two students at Sullivan University College of Pharmacy in Kentucky:

In a preliminary study conducted in 2018 by two students, Sara Biela and Chase Turner, show the therapeutic potential of using hemp to treat ovarian cancer. Hemp is in the same botanical family as marijuana. Biela explains that hemp contains, "...therapeutically valuable components such as cannabidiol, cannabinol, and tetrahydrocannabinol." The results from one study that used various doses of hemp extract on ovarian cancer cells showed slowed cell migration. This shows promise in slowing down metastasis, which allows cancer to spread to other parts of the body. Turner expresses the need for future testing but also states, "Hemp slows ovarian cancer comparable to or even better than the current ovarian cancer drug Cisplatin. Since Cisplatin exhibits high toxicity, we anticipate that hemp could carry less side effects." 

More studies are being done on the use of cannabis compounds to treat cancer. These studies come from multiple approaches and apply different compounds, which is important in furthering research.

Sources: Clinical News 

About the Author
  • Amanda has a Bachelor's in Biological Sciences from the University of Cincinnati. She has a passion for animals, conservation, and environmental sciences. Through her career in science and research, she is able to develop her passion and hopes to pass on to others the joy of learning about science.
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