Source: redOrbit Staff
Researchers in Spain wrote in a study released Thursday that the main chemical in marijuana appears to aid in the destruction of brain cells, offering hope for future anti-cancer therapies.
The research team from Complutense University in Madrid, along with scientists from other Universities, found that the active component of marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), causes cancer cells to undergo a process called
autophagy, a breakdown which occurs when the cells essentially self-digests.
The research appears in the April edition of the Journal Clinical Investigation and it demonstrates that THC and related “cannabinoids” appear to be “a new family of potential antitumoral agent.”
The chemical might prove useful in the development of future “antitumoral agents,” the authors said.
The scientist’s study was conducted on mice by first stimulating the growth of cancer in the animals, then injecting them with a daily dose of THC near the site of their tumors.
Two patients with highly aggressive brain tumors were also examined in an experimental trial and researchers saw their findings “in line with the preclinical evidence” first observed in the laboratory with mice.