The anti-cancer assertions made by medical cannabis advocates are no longer just based on anecdotal success stories. In the following video, Dr. Christina Sanchez, a molecular biologist at the Complutense University of Madrid, explains how her research supports the claim that cannabis kills cancer.
Through several human and animal experimental observations, researchers, such as Dr. Sanchez, have discovered that the application of the popular psychoactive compound found in cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), has the potential to induce apoptosis in carcinogenic cells; in other words, THC kills cancer cells. This treatment significantly differs from other cancer treatments, such as chemotheraphy, because THC is able to distinguish between healthy and unhealthy cells, whereas chemotherapeutic agents cannot, resulting in a myriad of undesirable and deleterious side effects.
According to Dr. Sanchez, "One of the advantages of cannabinoids, or cannabinoid based medicines, would be that they target a specifically, tumor cells. They don’t have any toxic effect on normal, non-tumoral cells. This is an advantage with respect to standard chemotherapy that target basically everything."
Sanchez has further revealed that the cancer-killing effect of THC is potentiated by the presence of cannabidiol (CBD), a very potent antioxidant that protects the brain from stress and oxidative damage. These synergistic effects of both THC and CBD could make for a very safe and effective cancer concoction.
Sanchez states, "I cannot understand why in the states cannabis is under schedule I, because it is pretty obvious not only from our work but from work from many other researchers that the plant has very wide therapeutic potential."
Cannabinoids and the Endocannabinoid System
The human body responds to the cannabinoids found in cannabis because it also makes its own endogenous cannabinoids. These endocannabinoids, which are lipid-based retrograde neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors and proteins that are expressed throughout the mammalian central and peripheral nervous system, have been observed to mediate homeostasis via a variety of physiological and cognitive processes. This endocannabinoid system, named after the plant that led to its discovery, is a biological system of the body has many important regulatory functions affecting fertility, pregnancy, reproduction, appetite, pain-sensation, mood, locomotor behavior, exercise-induced euphoria, and memory.
The endogenous cannabinoid system is perhaps the most important physiologic system involved in establishing and maintaining human health. Endocannabinoids and their receptors are found throughout the body: in the brain, organs, connective tissues, glands, and immune cells. In each tissue, the cannabinoid system performs different tasks, but the goal is always the same: homeostasis, the maintenance of a stable internal environment despite fluctuations in the external environment.
A growing body of evidence continues to validate the miraculous healing capabilities of cannabinoids. Supporting the cultivation of cannabis and continued scientific research will lead to more availability of various cannabis strains specifically designed to have high doses and specific ratios of certain cannabinoids to serve as a safe and effective therapeutic treatment for a variety of disorders and diseases. The use of medical marijuana and cannabis-derived medicines in the treatment of diseases such as cancer, epilepsy, chronic pain, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, insomnia, depression, etc., will continue to grow. Cannabis may yet become one of the most useful natural remedies to some of the most crippling diseases of mankind.
Hunt, Anna. (2018). Molecular Biologist Explains How Cannabis Kills Cancer Cells. [online] Waking Times. Available at: http://www.wakingtimes.com/2017/12/21/molecular-biologist-explains-cannabis-kills-cancer-cells/ [Accessed 6 Jul. 2018].
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