(This is a guest blog by cannabis researcher and ASA Medical & Scientific Advisory Board Member Jahan Marcu)
As a member of ASA’s Medical & Scientific Advisory Board, I’ve been actively engaged in pursuing further evidence of the medical efficacy of cannabis-based medicine. Some of this work occurred while I was working at the California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute (CPMCRI), and yesterday the findings of that work were published by the peer-reviewed journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics. With this study, we have shown that cannabis compounds can work together to inhibit glioblastoma (GBM), one of the nastiest and most aggressive of all brain cancers. GBM is the type of brain cancer that caused the recent death of Senator Ted Kennedy.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the most prevalent compound found in the cannabis (marijuana) plant. Many studies have focused on THC and its therapeutic qualities, however other compounds in the plant should not be overlooked from a medical and scientific standpoint. In fact, the recently published study illustrates how THC and other compounds (known as Cannabinoids) found in the cannabis plant work synergistically to kill cancer cells and reduce tumor size. The anti-cancer effect, which is mediated through the activation of cannabinoid receptors on cancer cells, has been shown through both in vitro and in vivo experimentation.
The other most abundant compound in the cannabis plant is Cannabidiol (CBD). One of the main findings of our research was how THC and CBD act synergistically to inhibit GBM brain cancer cell proliferation. The research team at CPMCRI, lead by Dr. Sean McAllister, discovered that a ratio of about 4:1 of THC to CBD resulted in a synergistic or enhanced killing effect. This THC and CBD combination was determined after assessing anti-cancer activity resulting from the interaction of THC with some of the more-than-70 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. (more…)