Scientists at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco have discovered a marijuana compound that has the ability to stop cancer, effectively switching off DNA that causes some cancers to spread.
The scientists discovered that cannabidiol, a compound derived from cannabis, can be used successfully to stop growth in many different fatal cancers, reports The Examiner.
The compound has been tested in animals and has successfully stopped metastasis of aggressive cancers when the subject is exposed to cannabidiol.
Satisfied with their successful study, the two molecular biologists are looking forward to human trials. Pierre Desprez, a molecular biologist at California Pacific Medical Center, stated:
“It took us about 20 years of research to figure this out, but we are very excited. We want to get started with trials as soon as possible.”
Desprez also gave credit to fellow researcher Sean McAllister, saying that they may not have found the breakthrough on their own but that McAllister, who was performing studies on the cannabis plant, helped them find and test the compound.
The Daily Beast notes that McAllister has been studying cannabinoid compounds for a decade in the hopes of developing new therapeutic interventions for cancers. Cannabidiol (CBD), which is a nonpsychoactive component of marijuana, has been found to inhibit breast cancer cell proliferation, metastasis, and also tumor growth.
McAllister is currently seeking support to conduct human clinical trials with this marijuana compound using breast cancer patients. The doctor stated:
“Cannabidiol offers hope of a non-toxic therapy that could treat aggressive forms of cancer without any of the painful side effects of chemotherapy.”
McAllister’s lab is also working to analyze how the marijuana compound works when combined with first-line chemotherapy agents. So far, his research has shown that the cannabidiol works synergistically with several anti-cancer pharmaceuticals. It enhances the impact of the medication while also cutting down on the toxic dosage needed for maximum effect.
If proven in clinical trials, the marijuana compound’s effectiveness may put an effective end to the debate about medical marijuana.
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