Dr.Sean McCallister and Dr.Pierre Desperez of the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco have found that a compound derived from medical marijuana could stop metastasis in many kinds of aggressive cancer, offering the first legitimate hope for curing cancer in decades.
Despite years of government claims that marijuana has no medicinal properties, multiple studies have shown that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the principal psychoactive ingredient of marijuana, is the mortal enemy of the cancer cell. That being said, not everyone that might like to utilize medical marijuana and its potential benefits are interested in smoking or ingesting the plant.In 2007, Dr. McAllister, a scientist at the Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco who has been studying cannabinoid compounds for 10 years, found that cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive component of the marijuana plant, is a potent inhibitor of breast cancer cell proliferation, metastasis and tumor growth.
Apparently, cannabidiol kills breast cancer cells and malignant tumors by switching off expression of the ID-1 gene, a protein that appears to play a major role as a cancer cell conductor. The scientists say CBD offers hope of a non-toxic therapy that could treat aggressive forms of cancer without any of the painful side effects of chemotherapy.
The announcement has been hailed by medical marijuana legalization advocates as further proof that the government should stop restricting access to this medically-beneficial plant. Still, the scientists are quick to point out that just smoking a joint won’t cure cancer. ”We used injections in the animal testing and are also testing pills,” said Dr.Desperez.
“But you could never get enough Cannabidiol for it to be effective just from smoking.” In addition, the team has just begun the process of synthesizing the compound in the lab instead of using the medical marijuana in plant form in an effort to make it more potent.
The team is hopeful that this development will allow clinical trials to advance as soon as possible. It is very likely that positive results with human, clinical trials could present the first ray of hope for those suffering from this debilitating disease that has affected many people all over the world. Although development of a synthesized cannabidiol medication would still ultimately benefit pharmaceutical companies, it may also remove some of the unnecessary controversy that surrounds the use of medical marijuana by young cancer patients.