Certain kinds of cannabis may help kill cancer cell, study

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Past research has suggested that medical marijuana might have the ability to slow the growth of cancerous tumors. Now, new research suggests that cannabis could also help kill certain cancer cells. brings us a little closer to understanding how to maximize this potential, writes Calvin Hughes.

Everyone has heard of THC, but there are over 100 other cannabinoids in cannabis, and science has yet to scratch the surface on what they can do for our bodies. But recent research shows that some of these lesser known compounds could play a key role in using medical marijuana as a potential cancer treatment. Researchers found that THC was not an effective cancer treatment on its own, but when combined with other cannabinoids, the anti-tumor properties of medical marijuana were greatly improved.

For the study the researchers tested the anti-tumor properties of 12 different cannabis extracts containing varying combinations and concentrations of various cannabinoids on 12 different human cancer cell lines. What they discovered was that some of the tested cannabis extracts were far more successful at reducing the growth of cancer cells than others.

"Our results show that specific cannabis extracts impaired the survival and proliferation of cancer cell lines as well as induced [cell death]," reads the study.

Additionally, different cannabis extracts appeared to be particularity effective treatments for certain kinds of cancer, but less effective at treating other kinds. For instance, when the researchers found that the same cannabis extract was effective at treating one form of prostate cancer, but not so effective at treating other distinct forms of prostate cancer.

The researches concluded their study by saying medical marijuana is "very potent in producing [cancer] cell death." However, they note that the use of THC alone is not an effective cancer treatment and future research should focus on developing cannabis extracts targeted at specific kinds of cancer to yield peak performance as a treatment.

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