A preclinical study performed by Cannabics Pharmaceuticals indicates that cancer cells are sensitive to two of the main active compounds in cannabis: THC and THCA. The results show that the cannabinoids have cell-killing effects depending on the dosage, type of cancer and the compound configuration...
Cannabics Pharmaceuticals, a US company with a research division based in Israel, is developing cannabinoid diagnostic tests for the personalized treatment of cancer. As part of their efforts, they were studying the effects of cannabinoids on cancerous tumor cells. Yesterday they announced that their team had seen positive results which defend theories that the chemical compounds present in cannabis have the ability to not only treat the nausea and pain related to cancer, but to also fight against cancer itself.
The researchers took circulating tumor cells, cancer cells that detached from a primary tumor and were circulating through the bloodstream, from blood samples of breast cancer and prostate cancer patients. The cells were then treated with two of the most common chemical compounds present in cannabis: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA). When the scientists monitored the cancer cells they saw that the cannabinoid compounds had cell killing effects.
The co-founder and chief technology officer of Cannabics, Dr. Eyal Ballan, was quoted as saying that not only did the results of the latest study validate the abilities of his company to perform such tests, but that "While the current use of medical cannabis is largely used for palliative purposes when it comes to cancer, we are seeing a growing number of clinical studies on the antitumor effects of cannabinoids and predict we will start to see eventual FDA approvals of cannabinoids to treat various types of cancer..."
It is notable that, while Cannabics Pharmaceuticals is based in the United States, their research and development arm is located in Israel where they are licensed by the Israeli Ministry of Health for their work in both scientific and clinical research. Despite their potentially life-saving research, they are forced to perform their studies in a foreign nation whose government has moved past stigmas and misinformation in order to support medicine and science.
This arrangement is a sign of the archaic and unscientific attitudes still present among some decision makers in the United States. Hopefully, as studies like this keep demonstrating the medical benefits of cannabis, the tide will turn and politicians here will allow it to take its place as an available treatment option for American patients and as a subject open to study by researchers.