Well Being

Another Reason To Legalize Marijuana: It Can Now Fight Cancer

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The evidence on legalizing marijuana continues to mount. This time, it's a new study that found marijuana could fight the growth of breast cancer and other types of aggressive cancer and potentially save many lives from this disease.

This finding was discovered on accident when Cristina Sanchez, a biologist at Complutense University in Madrid, was studying cell metabolism in cancer patients. Each time the brain cancer cells she was studying were exposed to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the principal compound in marijuana, they died–leading her, and others, to believe that pot could be a new anti-cancer drug that halts the growth of aggressive forms of cancer.

Some cancer patients have been using marijuana for years to manage the awful symptoms of this disease, including nausea, pain, loss of appetite or fatigue. But now, scientists believe it could also have a direct anti-tumoral effect.

Pierre Desprez, one of the scientists behind the discovery, told The Huffington Post:

It took us about 20 years of research to figure this out, but we are very excited. We want to get started with trials as soon as possible.

Other recent studies have shown similar results. Harvard University scientists also concluded that the marijuana compound, THC, slows tumor growth in lung cancer and “significantly reduces the ability of the cancer to spread.” It also targets and destroys only the tumor cells while ignoring healthy cells–something that traditional chemotherapy doesn't always do.

Dr. Sean McAllister, a scientist at the Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, has devoted the last 10 years to studying this compound in marijuana says he is hoping to get trials approved for breast cancer patients:

Cannabidiol offers hope of a non-toxic therapy that could treat aggressive forms of cancer without any of the painful side effects of chemotherapy.

All in all, this seems very promising. A drug with no side effects that can effectively target and kill cancer cells and potentially save a lot of lives. It's yet another reason to look at legalizing marijuana. Although, with this type of treatment, patients would be injected with more potent levels of the drug or taking it in a pill form versus lighting up and inhaling it.

Tell us what you think. Would you be willing to test this if you were a cancer patient?


Photo: shutterstock.com