A recent scientific review conducted by researchers at Amity University in India has concluded that the legal status of marijuana should be reconsidered given that there is a lot of research suggesting that compounds from marijuana can inhibit the growth of tumors and also aid the management of different forms of cancer.
The researchers focused on the scientific literature available on the subjects of how different cannabinoids act on various cancers, stimulate appetite, relieve pain and combat nausea.
They discovered that while marijuana compounds can help in treating the symptoms caused by chemotherapy, marijuana shows promise in slowing down the growth of tumors and it can actually kill cancer cells in some cases.
The vast majority of the scientific studies which were included in this review were in vitro (in a test tube) studies while other studies had mice as their test subjects.
There was also a clinical trial which showed that the patients who had an aggressive form of brain cancer exhibited a higher (83 percent) one-year survival rate when given certain cannabinoids as compared to the patients who were treated using a placebo (53 percent one-year survival rate).
Another study included in the review also showed that blood cancer cells which were exposed to two synthetic cannabinoids showed a high rate of mediated apoptosis (programmed cell death). This means that the cannabinoids caused the cancer cells to “commit suicide.”
The researchers point out that not much research has been done on the effect of cannabinoids on breast, oral, liver and lung cancers but those researchers were able to find some studies which revealed that mice with certain types of lung cancer exhibited reduced tumor growth beneath the skin and the cancers didn’t spread as fast from their lungs once those mice were treated with THC.
Even if THC has been given a lot of attention by researchers studying how marijuana can help in the treatment of different cancers, the Amity University team found evidence that other cannabis compounds could also be therapeutic.
For example, they found a study which showed that a certain line of breast cancer significantly reduced its invasiveness and proliferation when those breast cancer cells were exposed to a synthetic form of CBD.
The researchers conclude that on the strength of the existing research pointing to the potential of different marijuana compounds as therapeutic, it is important for the legal status of marijuana (currently regarded as a controlled substance by international conventions) to be revised.
Analysts believe that this call for the revision of the legal status of marijuana is one that industry participants like VIVO Cannabis Inc. (TSX.V: VIVO) (OTCQX: VVCIF) support wholeheartedly since it would unlock the full potential of the cannabis plant once unfettered research is done.
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