Research into the use of cannabis and cannbinoids has been studied to some extent, for conditions such as pain relief, nausea, vomiting, anxiety and so on. In fact, two cannabinoids (dronabinol and nabilone) are approved by the FDA for the treatment of chemotherapy related nausea and vomiting.
A lot of cannabis research cannot be undertaken at the moment, because marijuana is outlawed and branded as a dangerous drug with no medicinal value. However, scientists in other countries have studied the molecular activity of cannabinoids. For example, Spanish molecular biologist Christina Sanchez from the Compultense University in Madrid has been studying cannabinoids and has leaned that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the pshychoactive component of cannabis, causes tumor cells to die (apoptosis), while leaving healthy cells alone. These findings were published in a paper on the anti-cancer effects of THC in the European biochemistry journal FEBS Letters.
More studies highlighting the potential of cannabis for brain cancer
- A study published in The Journal of Neuroscience showed that THC reduced neuronal injury in rats and provided evidence that the cannabinoid system can protect the brain against degeneration.
- A study published in The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics acknowledged the fact that cannabinoids have been shown to possess antitumor properties. This study examined the effect of cannabidiol (non psychoactive cannabinoid compound) on human glioma cell lines (Glioma is the word used to describe brain tumor) and the study concluded that cannabidiol was capable of producing significant anti-tumor activity.
The human body is designed to utilize cannabis compounds, research from the 1980s shows. The body contains two targets for THC, the psychoactive compound of the marijuana plant, therefore the human body benefits from the cannabinoids found in cannabis. Research on animals has proven that cannabinoids help to inhibit tumor growth in three ways: by causing cell death, blocking cancer cell growth and preventing the development of blood vessels needed by tumors in order to grow.