ingredient in marijuana appears to target cancerous brain cells
for destruction while leaving healthy cells alone, according to
a study conducted by researchers from the Complutense University
in Madrid, and published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
first conducted an experiment in mice that had been engineered to
carry three different grafts of human brain cancer. They injected
the mice daily with the molecule tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) near
the site of the tumors once each day. The chemical appeared to stimulate
the cancerous cells to engage in a process known as autophagy, in
which cells initiate their own breakdown.
results may help to design new cancer therapies based on the use
of medicines containing the active principle of marijuana and/or
in the activation of autophagy," researcher Guillermo Velasco
to a class of chemicals known as cannabinoids, named after the cannabis
(marijuana) plant in which they occur. It is the chemical responsible
for the psychoactive effects of marijuana consumption.