Marijuana May Be Used to Kill Cancer Cells

A study conducted by a group of Spanish researchers seem to indicate that there may be a more specific use for the cannabis plant in cancer treatment that goes beyond pain management.

The study indicates that an active ingredient in marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), may trigger a natural process that will eventually lead to the death of a cell. The study was reported in the April 1 issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

If the study is pursued further and medical viability is established, medical marijuana may be more than just a way for terminally ill patients to deal with their respective diseases. It will become an erstwhile way to win one’s battle over cancer.

Experiments were conducted at the cellular level, and biopsy tissues taken from two patients with glioblastoma multiforme who were treated with THC were examined. The researchers cultured a human glioma cell line as well as mouse cancer cells and treated a population of cells with THC. Both the process of treatment and the observation of the reaction of both treated and untreated cells were done under an electron microscope and recorded.

It was observed that in cells treated with THC, the introduction of the ingredient triggered a process known as autophagy. Autophagy is a regulated process that is a normal part of cell growth, development and homeostasis. It is a process that will eventually lead to cell death.