A young cannabis plant flourishing in an outdoor garden.

Tom Booth

Researchers from Potchefstroom, South Africa’s North-West University’s biochemistry department, suggest that CBD extracts inhibit cell growth and induce cell death in cervical cancer cells, according to an outline of the study by Motherboard. The study’s authors concluded that the disease is “the most lethal cancer amongst black women” in Africa as over a quarter of a million women die from cervical cancer each year.

“Results obtained indicate that both cannabidiol and Cannabis sativa extracts were able to halt cell proliferation in all cell lines at varying concentrations,” the authors determined in the article, published in the BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine journal. “In conclusion, these (sic) data suggest that cannabidiol rather than Cannabis sativa crude extracts prevent cell growth and induce cell death in cervical cancer cell lines.”

The study was conducted through in vitro, or test tube/petri dish analysis using CBD supplied from biochemistry firm Sigma-Aldrich. The cannabis used in the study was collected from Nhlazatshe 2, in the eastern Mpumalanga province. In South Africa, over 80 percent of the population is still dependent on medicinal plants, the researchers noted.  

This is the second such study looking at the possibility of using cannabis as a cervical cancer treatment. A 2004 French study, published in the journal Gynecologic Oncology, had similar findings, which concluded “endogenous cannabinoids or synthetic molecules offers attractive opportunities for the development of novel potent anticancer drugs.”       

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