New Research Results Announced
Researchers at St George’s, University of London, have discovered that the main ingredients found in marijuana (phytocannabinoids) – kill cancer cells.
Published in the prestigious International Journal of Oncology, the team – led by Senior Research Fellow Dr. Wai Liu, investigated the role cannabinoids could have in the treatment of leukemia. Researchers in a University of London laboratory took cancer cells and exposed them to a cocktail of chemotherapy drugs and phytocannabinoids obtained from cannabis (marijuana).
Cannabinoids have a ‘significant’ effect on the death of cancer cells
When researchers examined the results, they discovered:Chemotherapy was MOST EFFECTIVE when combined with cannabinoids
- ‘Cannabinoids have a very exciting prospect in oncology’
– Dr. Wai Liu (Lead author, Senior Research Fellow London University)
The research suggests that a compound or group of compounds found in marijuana, are ‘significantly’ effective in destroying cancerous tumors caused by leukemia. In addition, when phytocannabinoids where added to the cancer treatment protocol, lower doses of toxic chemotherapy drugs were required AND more cancer cells were ultimately destroyed.
During the study, researchers discovered that the timing of when a patient consumed phytocannabinoids (e.g. before or after chemotherapy) made a very significant difference in the results. Phytocannabinoids consumed after chemotherapy where much more effective in killing cancer cells than when these same cannabinoids where consumed just prior to chemotherapy.
The study also confirmed that phytocannabinoids alone – have significant ‘anticancer activity.’
The compounds used in this study were not obtained by smoking marijuana. Instead, the phytocannabinoids were obtained by extraction and purification. Dr. Liu and his team examined the effects of the following phytocannabinoids on laboratory leukemia cells:cannabidiol (CBD)
- cannabidiolic acid (CBDA)
- cannabigerol (CBG)
- cannabigerolic acid (CBGA)
- cannabigevarin (CBGV)
- cannabigevaric acid (CBGVA)
Somehow these phytocannabinoids managed to ‘target and switch off pathways” that allowed cancer cells to survive and grow.
Leukemia, an umbrella term covering four main types of cancer, effects both the young and old. It is the most common form of cancer in children; yet 90% of all leukemia cases are found in adults. Although the exact cause of Leukemia is unknown, the cancer usually begins in the bone marrow and results in the production of abnormal, underdeveloped (leukemic) white blood cells. The symptoms of leukemia include fatigue, bleeding, bruising and an increased risk of infections, and a diagnosis is determined by blood work.