Study: Medical marijuana compound can help treat breast cancer

In Cancer, Top Stories by Walter McDaniel

Recent findings published in the British Journal of Pharmacology have shown that treatment with CBD (cannabidiol) compounds found in marijuana may reduce the spread of breast cancer throughout the body by up to 75%.

In all the studies mentioned in this article, the scientists used mice with different cancers and injected or otherwise gave them quantities of medical marijuana compounds. However, scientists are lobbying for human testing with this kind of treatment, and some believe it may be coming soon.

In a recent breast cancer study, after CBD alone was introduced into the systems of the mice, the cancer’s spread slowed to 25% of the original rate in the control animals, a major decrease in the overall spread. THC’s effects are still undergoing further studies, but it has previously been shown to inhibit other cancers.

This research led the team to investigate an additional synthetic compound, known as O-1663, which combines some of the most impressive cancer-fighting factors of THC and CBD. The compound could be delivered in addition to medical marijuana to patients who need it the most, providing a double treatment.

Another study reports on its therapeutic uses. Not only does it help patients deal with procedures such as chemotherapy, but it also can restrict the growth of breast cancer.

These researchers also found that after tumor removal, the breast cancer stayed away in many of the treated animals. As anyone who has survived cancer knows, the fear of recurrence is always there for many patients – and medical marijuana could help.

Of course, not everyone has the same sort of cancer. There is also a wealth of information dealing with the positive effects of marijuana on other variations of the disease. One study, printed in The Journal of Neuroscience, found that cannabis is also an effective treatment for brain cancer. The calming effect on the mind is just the first benefit. The scientists injected THC into neonatal rats to test its effect on developing animals. Those given the injection suffered less brain damage from the cancer throughout the course of the study.

Researchers at Harvard University tested the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 on lung cancers. They found that the animals injected showed the same decreased spread that was seen in other studies, according to this report. The fact that the benefits are seen across a wide variety of different cancers lends even more credibility to the argument for medicinal marijuana.

Worth noting is this in-depth study from the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. The researchers tested many of the compounds mentioned above, such as CB1, CB2 and THC, using methods such as PCR (polymerase chain reaction) and ROS (reactive oxygen species) detection.

Overall, the pharmacology researchers came up with similar results on therapeutic effects and decreased rate of cancer proliferation. When they tested the effect of oxidation on some of their samples, they also found that the antioxidant qualities of medical marijuana could actually contribute to the health of the body and the death of cancer cells.

Each of these reports presents a different creditable and peer-reviewed study on the benefits of certain properties of medical marijuana. With this weight of evidence bearing down, it only seems to be a matter of time until human testing begins and we see the true medical marijuana benefits for cancer patients.