Researchers from China’s Guangzhou Medical University have demonstrated that cannabinoids from the marijuana plant may be considered as therapeutics for those suffering from one of the deadliest forms of cancer. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the leading cause of cancer-associated mortality worldwide and only limited therapeutic treatments are currently available.
Unlike metastatic liver cancer, HCC starts and remains in the liver where it causes the scarring within this vital organ (the cirrhosis of the liver). By utilizing synthetic cannabinoids on the damaged cell lines, the scientists discovered that cannabinoids inhibited the growth of HCC, leading to a healthier liver and cell cycle arrest. The scientists hope that findings will contribute to the design of new therapeutic strategies for the management of HCC.
Needless to say, this discovery adds to a growing body of research building a compelling case for cannabis as cancer medicine. Let us remind you that the National Cancer Institute has recently acknowledged marijuana’s role in killing cancer cells. Although this was big news, it happened very quietly, because cannabis is still categorized as a Schedule I drug – a place for drugs without medicinal value and high potential for abuse, such as heroine. Funny, huh? Even cocaine is considered to have more medicinal effects than cannabis according to these categories. Luckily, American Cancer Society has called for rescheduling of cannabis to better facilitate its research. Hopefully it will happen soon!