For quite some time now, cannabis has been examined as a treatment for cancer – which has very few therapy options, all of which come with a whole slew of unwanted side effects. Currently, medical marijuana is mostly used as a way to curb the side effects that come with treatments like chemotherapy, such as nausea, pain and loss of appetite. However, there are a number of studies which suggest that cannabis has far more potential in the fight against cancer.
There is plenty of evidence already that shows that some strains of cannabis have the ability to kill or shrink cancer cells naturally, without the need for radiation treatments. Now a combined effort from CURE Pharmaceutical, CannaKids and Technion Israel Institute of Technology is attempting to determine which strains will work to kill which kinds of cancer cells, and help to treat other symptoms related to cancer.
“This research partnership with Technion, which has one of the leading cannabis laboratories in the world, is a crucial step in our goal to bring new cancer-fighting cannabinoid molecules to market,” said Rob Davidson, CEO of CURE.
The idea is to figure out which strains are best suited to shrink or kill cancer cells, and which particular compounds react to which kinds of cancer. Once they know which strains have a positive effect they will be able to isolate which cannabinoids and terpenes are actually causing the tumors to shrink. This will hopefully help to refine the way we use cannabis as a treatment for cancer by providing people with information on which strains of cannabis will be more helpful for their particular form of cancer.
“In this work the Technion team aims to clarify the antitumor effects of phytocannabinoids and terpenes on various cancer-driving mutations and pathways, as well as further elucidating the mechanism of the cannabinoid-mediated antitumor effects. This will allow not only the identification of new drug candidates but also will create the ability to optimize cannabis treatment options for patients. Together these options further efforts toward the creation of personalized medicine.”
Though this research is only in its earliest stages right now, in a matter of time we will have a far better understanding of how cannabis is able to fight cancer without the need for expensive – and often painful and uncomfortable – radiation and chemotherapy treatments. While this research is being done overseas in Israel, where cannabis research is federally legal, their success will likely lead to studies around the globe, including the U.S. Perhaps in time, we will finally have a real cure for cancer.