Harnessing the Body’s Own Pot Powers to Fight Cancer • High Times

Friday, Aug 25, 2017

The numerous drugs used to treat cancer after surgery are meant to slow its progression, but they don’t always stop cancer cells from spreading to other parts of the body, nor do they help with the pain associated with certain types of cancer.

But there is a remedy that can do both of these things—cannabis.

Preparations of cannabis plants have been used successfully for medicinal purposes for thousands of years, and we need to take up the practice once again.

While research is limited, some studies suggest that cannabis may do more than just reduce pain; it may also kill cancer cells and limit their spread.

Research conducted at St. George’s University of London, found the two most common cannabinoids in marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), weakened the ferocity of cancer cells and made them more susceptible to radiation treatment.

The human body produces chemicals that are similar to these cannabinoids, called endocannabinoids.

One strategy to boost the action of the body’s own cannabis-like system is by inhibiting the enzymes that break down our natural endocannabinoids, Aymen Idris, a researcher, inventor and senior lecturer of pharmacology at the University of  Sheffield, explained. One of these enzymes, called monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL), is found in healthy tissues such as the brain, bone and the immune system.