Beiträge vom Februar, 2010

Dienstag, 16. Februar 2010 18:36

Some researchers are looking at the potential for marijuana extracts to target and kill cancer cells, in particular as a treatment alongside radiation therapy. One of the most promising approaches involves using cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive compound found in marijuana. This component has been shown to inhibit tumor growth and other tumors in laboratory tests. As a result, more people now want to learn about medical marijuana.

It might also be able to treat chronic pain conditions, including PTSD, or to stop seizures. CBD’s unique properties mean it could be useful in many different settings, according to researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia, who tested it on mice with glioblastoma multiforme, a type of brain tumor. The drug was safe and effective at improving survival by almost 50 percent.

The drug was also effective against other types of tumors, and had few side effects. The scientists also believe that cannabidiol may have the ability to prevent brain tumors from spreading, an area of research that they hope to follow up on in humans.

Medical marijuana has recently become legal in 23 states, including four that have legalized recreational use. But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies the plant as a Schedule 1 drug, which means that scientists can’t study it, nor do they have access to its ingredients. The fact that the FDA hasn’t approved this compound for medical purposes could deter researchers, as it has for other treatments.

Cannabinoids, which include the cannabinoids found in marijuana, can have many different effects, including pain relief, anti-inflammatory and antidepressant benefits, as well as anti-cancer.

„There is a growing interest in the use of cannabinoids, not only for medical applications, but for applications that have a role in the development of new therapies,“ said Joseph T. Rannazzisi, a research scientist at the University of California, Davis, and one of the team that discovered THC’s effects.

Other researchers have already shown that cannabinoids can help to fight certain cancers, including prostate cancer and pancreatic cancer. The researchers recently published results in the journal Nature Medicine, showing that a synthetic version of THC (dronabinol) taken in pill form can reduce the development of cancerous tumors in mice. In addition to finding the drug’s medical value, the team found that the THC has a number of other medical effects, including a positive effect on pain and inflammatory pain. „There’s great excitement about the prospects for the medical benefits of marijuana,“ Rannazzisi said. „Our next step is to understand the pathways, mechanisms and processes by which cannabinoids work.“ The research was conducted in collaboration with scientists at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. „The next phase of research will see the development of a pharmaceutical and/or a nutraceutical product,“ Rannazzisi added. „A pharmaceutical-grade synthetic cannabis extract will allow for the drug to be administered through oral pills or patches.“

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