“Other” Compound In Marijuana Shows Promise Fighting Cancer


Photo: Medical Marijuana Oil
Dr. Sean McAllister’s research has shown that CBD, a compound from cannabis, shows great promise in fighting cancer

‚ÄčTwo of the major compounds in marijuana — THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) have cancer-fighting properties, according to scientists researching them. But while the biological mechanisms THC uses are well documented, there are still mysteries surrounding the lesser-known CBD.

Clinical trials prove that CBD eases pain and inflammation, reports Dana M. Nichols at the Stockton Record. Sean McAllister, a scientist at California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute in San Francisco, has, along with his research associates, used CBD to shrink cancerous tumors.

But CBD doesn’t fit well in the already-discovered human receptors that fit THC, and scientists don’t yet know how it modulates some of the same systems as THC, according to McAllister.

“There is not a lot of data on it,” McAllister told the Record.
Right now, McAllister is investigating how CBD attacks a gene called Id-1 that is the key to the functioning of cancerous cells.
“If cancer cells adopt this protein, it allows them to metastasize,” McAllister said. “The hypothesis would be that if you can knock this gene down or inhibit it, then the cancer won’t metastasize.”
McAllister’s studies found that not only does CBD inhibit the growth of cancerous tumors, it also leads to programmed cell death, “which is very important if you want to kill these tumors so that they don’t grow back,” McAllister said.
One big advantage to both cannabis-derived compounds — THC and CBD — is that they are virtually non-toxic, unlike many cancer drugs, painkillers, and other pharmaceuticals.
“There is no way to actually kill yourself with the natural compounds,” McAllister said. Overdoses of the kind that kill opiate/opioid users are impossible with cannabis, because, again, they are nontoxic, and besides they interact with different receptors.
“There are no cannabinoid receptors on the brain stem which controls breathing,” McAllister said. “It is quite a safe compound actually.”