Studies Say Cannabis Can Kill Cancer Cells

Would you rather have chemo or kush?

The scientific community doesn’t know as much about marijuana as it would like to. As such, researchers routinely conduct studies on the interactions between weed and the human body. These endeavors typically explore questions along the lines of: What are the long term effects of smoking the herb? Will a life of smoking weed fry your brain cells? Is marijuana bad for pregnant mothers? Can consuming cannabis make the music of rapper Post Malone enjoyable in the slightest? 

The last of these inquiries, we can safely conclude to be a definitive no, with no further research necessary––sorry, Malone.

But if changing cannabis legislation leads to increased researcher access to the plant, questions involving marijuana’s medical value may indeed lead to actual clinical discoveries. Toward that end, President Obama in October lifted constraints that had the University of Mississippi as the sole supplier of research-grade weed for federally approved medical cannabis studies. 

From the New York Times:

The new policy is expected to sharply increase the supply of marijuana available to researchers. "It will create a supply of research-grade marijuana that is diverse, but more importantly, it will be competitive and you will have growers motivated to meet the demand of researchers,” John Hudak, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, told the Times.

This demand could result in researchers learning that marijuana is something that could help a great number of suffering people. For instance, the possibility that cannabis can aid in killing cancer cells creates a glimmer of hope for a healthier future.

For instance: In 2014, researchers found that cannabis could potentially be used to treat patients suffering from Glioma, an extremely aggressive form of brain cancer.  According to the study's authors, published in Molecular Cancer Therapeutics

"Cannabinoids have been shown to specifically inhibit glioma growth as well as neutralize oncogenic processes such as angiogenesis. . . Our data highlight the possibility that these cannabinoids can prime glioma cells to respond better to ionizing radiation, and suggest a potential clinical benefit for glioma patients" 

Cannabis's potential to destroy, or at least deter the spread of, cancer cells is recognized even by the National Cancer Institute, which says: "Laboratory and animal studies have shown that cannabinoids may be able to kill cancer cells while protecting normal cells." And that: "Studies in mouse models of metastatic breast cancer showed that cannabinoids may lessen the growth, number, and spread of tumors."  

As KINDLAND previously noted, a study at North-West University in Potchefstroom, South Africa, had cannabis extracts stopping cervical cancer cells dead. 

"North-West's biochemists isolated cervical cancer cells in a Petri dish-test tube environment and subjected the cells to extracts of basic cannabis sativa and distilled CBD. The in vitro experimentation showed that both basic cannabis sativa and CBD were able 'to halt cell proliferation in all cell lines at varying concentrations.'”

"Beyond halting proliferation, the CBD concentrates induced a process the scientists call apoptosis in the cervical cancer cells. Apoptosis, in general, means 'the normal and controlled death of cells that occurs as part of an organism’s growth or development.'"

Another study has the CBD cannabinoid found in marijuana potentially reducing the risk of colon cancer, by slowing the growth of cancer cells, according to a report from the National Center for Biotechnology Information. 

Cannabis is a complicated substance, and perhaps the people who use it are a complicated lot. But if weed can kill cancer, maybe it's worthwhile to study, uncover, and put to use all the herb's hidden properties.