Sarah Climaco

A review of pre-clinical studies by the British Journal of Pharmacology has found widespread evidence indicating that phytocannabinoids from the cannabis plant are effective treatments for many facets of cancer, ScienceDaily reports. The review included dozens of studies from a wide range of academic institutions.

“In addition to the well‐established palliative effects of cannabinoids in cancer therapy, phytocannabinoids, synthetic cannabinoid compounds as well as inhibitors of endocannabinoid degradation have attracted attention as possible systemic anticancer drugs. As a matter of fact, accumulating data from preclinical studies suggest cannabinoids elicit effects on different levels of cancer progression, comprising inhibition of proliferation, neovascularisation, invasion and chemoresistance, induction of apoptosis and autophagy as well as enhancement of tumour immune surveillance.” — Excerpt from abstract of “Anti Tumoural Actions of Cannabinoids,” Burkhard Hinz, Robert Ramer

The authors of the review have used the new meta-data to argue for clinical studies with patients, instead of pre-clinical lab work, of cannabinoids’ effect on cancer. Cannabis prohibition and its status as a Schedule I narcotic, according to the U.S. Government, has prevented clinical research with cannabinoids until the last ten years. A lack of preclinical background has since been rectified, allowing a scientific foundation that allows doctors and researchers to now consider and design clinical studies to understand the proper structures for cancer treatment using cannabinoids, both synthesized and directly from the cannabis plant.

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