Previous research has shown that cannabinoids can help lessen side effects of anti-cancer therapies. Now a new British Journal of Pharmacology review has examined their potential for the direct treatment of cancer.
Phytocannabinoids are the most notable type of cannabinoid, and they occur naturally in the cannabis plant.
Studies have shown that cannabinoids may stop cancer cells from dividing and invading normal tissue, and they may block the blood supply to tumors.
Some studies also indicate that cannabinoids may enhance the body's immune response against the growth and spread of tumors.
"There is still a need for additional anti-cancer drugs. In this context accumulating data from preclinical models suggest that cannabinoids elicit anti-cancer effects on several levels of cancer progression," said author Prof. Burkhard Hinz, of Rostock University Medical Center, in
"Clinical studies are now urgently needed to investigate the impact of cannabinoids on cancer growth and progression in patients."
According to an article in EurekAlert, the British Journal has a review looking at the likelihood that a particular cannabinoid — one of many compounds found in marijuana — has the potential to treat cancer.
The type of cannabinoid under examination, phytocannabinoid, has been shown to “stop cancer cells from dividing and invading normal tissue, and they may block the blood supply in tumors.”
Additionally, the review found that this weed compound may be able to “enhance the body’s immune response against the growth and spread of tumors.”
Professor Burkhard Hinz, of Rostock University Medical Center in Germany, authored the study and is high on pot’s potential. He said that this should ignite more research on the topic.