If someone asked you to tell them which the most controversial plant in the world is, it won’t take you long to figure out your answer. Cannabis (existing in 3 different species: Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis) is indeed surrounded by so much discussions, polemics and theories concerning its known and unknown effects, that it’s no wonder it probably takes the number one spot for controversy.
Cannabis has been long used for nutritional and even clothing purposes, but its uses as a recreational drug and a natural medicinal means arouse higher interest.
The variant of cannabis widely used as a drug is commonly known as marijuana. What gives its special “high” effect is the cannabinoid compound called Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the reason why the authorities in many countries pursue the plant and proclaim it as a forbidden narcotic. Whether this is right or not, is a matter of discussion that probably won’t stop any time soon.
But because many people believe hemp is wrongly accused, and because they fight for decriminalization and legalization, some states in the U.S.A and in other countries around the world have legalized medicinal sorts of marijuana. Uruguay has even decided to open the world’s first legal marijuana market.
But why are people trying to decriminalize cannabis? Although there’s still much to be studied and concluded, science implies that there are massive potential health benefits of hemp, plus there are thousands across the world claiming they have overcome life-endangering diseases all due to marijuana.
Of course, there are those who believe that cannabis is a two-edged sword, and that its negative influence overshadows the positive. However, every psychological estimation from hemp consumption is generally based on observations, suggestions, and suppositions. When we look at the science behind the plant, we can say the downsides of cannabis are rather difficult to confirm.
Among all the ailments that hemp has propensity to relieve (such as insomnia, asthma, appetite loss, vomiting and nausea, post-traumatic stress, glaucoma, and pain) people tend to pay most attention to its anti-cancer properties, as they believe (many from personal experience) that cannabis can cure cancer. At this point we have to go back at the part when we told you about THC, which is a kind of cannabinoid.
Cannabinoids on the other hand are matters that feature cannabinol and the active constituents of hemp, and activate the body’s cannabinoid receptors. The body too produces similar compounds named endocannabinoids, which take part in many processes for creating a healthy environment. Besides being included in various body functions such as: controlling nerve and brain activity, heart work, and energy metabolism, it’s also worth saying that cannabinoids participate in the generation, and regeneration of our immune system.
The body regenerates at best when it’s concentrated with Phyto-Cannabinoids
Namely that is why they are shown to reduce cancer cells. Trials conducted in petri dishes, and on rats have shown some promising results:
- Stopping cancer cell division
- Causing apoptosis, which is a programmed cell death
- Slimming the chances of cancer cells spreading in bigger body areas, by stopping cell movement and invasion upon healthy tissue.
- Preventing new blood vessels from becoming tumors.
- Boosting the inner ‘waste disposal machine’ of the cells. This is known as autophagy, and can trigger cell death.
These effects are supposedly caused by cannabinoids located in the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors.
Although not every cannabis strain possesses the same effect, the number of people seeking to successfully shrink cancer tumors in shorter time with marijuana, is increasing tremendously. Please, do note, that marijuana is more effective for medicinal purposes when eaten, rather than smoked. But without further ado, let’s see which types of cancer the plant has potential to ameliorate.
1. Cannabinoids stimulate growth prohibition and apoptosis in matle cell lymphoma
2. Hemp may cure lung cancer
A study carried out by Harvard Medical Schools Experimental Medicine Department, and published in the Oncogene journal, showed that THC inhibits epithelial growth factor, induced lung cancer cell migration, and more. The discovery made them suggest that THC should be further explored as new therapeutic molecules in regulating the metastasis and increase of particular lung cancers.
3. Cannabis’s cannabinoid system has the potential to shield the brain from neurodegeneration
This was the outcome of a certain study published in the Journal of Neuroscience. The experiment itself follows biochemical events in both slowly progressive neurodegenerative ailments and strong neuronal damage. The study involved a magnetic resonance that concentrated on the THC marijuana compound, which was shown to lower neuronal impairment in rats.
The tumor inhibiting properties of THC were also concluded by another study, published in the British Journal of Cancer. The study ascertained that cannabinoids, including THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) prohibit tumor growth. Cannabinoid delivery was cleared safe, and was achieved with zero psychoactive effects. Results of another experiment showed that 2 out of 9 patients had their tumor cells decreased after systematic use of THC.
The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics has published a study related to the antitumor qualities of cannabinoids. The study centers around a non-psychoactive cannabinoid constituent called cannabidiol (CBD), and its effect on human glioma cell lines. The addition of this compound led to a fundamental drop in the activeness of glioma cells (glioma means brain tumor).
Another study, released in the Journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics gravitates towards the need of finding new medical approaches designed for improving the bad prognosis of individuals who’re suffering from the dangerous disease, as mainstream anticancer treatments don’t seem to be that efficacious, because tumors are very resistant to them. Also, the study aimed at proving that a reversal of tumor activity in Glioblastoma multiforme is possible.
4. THC in marijuana has liver cancer curing properties
The liver cancer-curing potential of THC in cannabis has been hinted in a study released by the US National Library of Medicine. It deduces that THC lowers the activeness and growth of human HCC cell lines (Human hepatocellular liver carcinoma cell).
5. Cannabis may cure prostate cancer
This was concluded by studies published in the US National Library of Medicine. They all illustrate a decrease and apoptosis in prostatic cancer cells via cannabinoid receptors.
6. Cannabis has great potential in fighting breast cancer
There are 4 separate experiments published in different journals, and they all center around the breast cancer healing properties of cannabis.
The first one was released in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. It found out that cannabidiol and THC drastically decreased breast tumor increment.
Carried out by the California Pacific Medical Centre, the second study was published in the US National Library of Medicine, and determined that human breast cancer expansion is restrained by CBD (cannabidiol). The experiment also showed that CBD lowers tumor mass.
The third study was released in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America and pointed that human breast cancer cell proliferation can be inhibited by cannabinoids.
The final study was released in the Journal of Molecular Cancer, and established that THC can lower tumor numbers and tumor augmentation. It was also determined that besides stimulating cancer cell apoptosis, and forbidding cancer cell expansion, cannabinoids also prohibit tumor angiogenesis. This study has provided solid evidence that THC in cannabis can indeed help cure breast cancer.
7. Pancreatic Cancer
The American Journal of Cancer has published some interesting material, ascertaining that pancreatic tumor cells are influenced by cannabinoid receptors at fairly higher rates than in regular pancreatic tissue. The results concluded that cannabinoid administration reduces tumor growth and the spreading of pancreatic cancer cells, plus it stimulates apoptosis.
8. Cannabinoids are noxious to malignant oral tumors
And not only that, as they also and inhibit cellular respiration. This was established through a study again released in the US National Library of Medicine.
THC destroying cancer cells
Marijuana’s THC cells killing cancerous cells
Image credit: reset.me
Watch the video below to learn more about cannabis’s influence on cancer cells