New research unveils the mechanism behind the cannabis plant’s cancer-fighting effects.
Specialists in the UK have now traced Rick Simpsons Oil ability to prevent the growth and spread of cancer to specific pathways found in tumour cells, known as cannabinoid receptors.
Dr Peter McCormick of the University of East Anglia (UEA)’s School of Pharmacy explained the conclusions to Medical News Today:
“THC, the major active component of cannabis oil, has anti-cancer properties. This compound is thought to act through a selected family of cell receptors referred to as cannabinoid receptors.”
The analysis, published last month in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, showed that injecting THC into mice with implanted tumours caused the cells to kill themselves — a process known as autophagy.
It also slowed the growth of tumours in breast and brain cancer cell lines.
While anecdotal reports have suggested that cannabis oil can fight cancer in some patients, Dr McCormick notes that pharmaceutical companies have focused on developing synthetics and that the actual mechanisms remain “poorly understood.”
But Dr McCormick hopes his team’s findings will help speed along with the development of new cancer treatments.
“By recognising the receptors involved we have provided an important step towards the future development of therapeutics that can take advantage of the interactions we have observed to reduce tumour growth.”
The previous study had already linked the anti-cancer effects of THC to the CB1 receptor, which is the most common cannabinoid pathway found in the body. CB1 receptors, when activated by THC, are also responsible for the cannabis oil high.
Nevertheless, the cluster given for the primary time that CB2 receptors and GPR55 receptors also are concerned, disposal more proof that willnabis oil can treat numerous cancers by acting through more than one pathway.
It may not be the only THC in the plant that fights cancer, though.
A 2013 research by a team at St. George’s, University of London recognised six different compounds in cannabis with anti-tumour properties including cannabidiol (CBD), cannabigerol (CBG) and cannabidivarin (CBGV).
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