Sep 4, 2016 9:20 AM

Can Cannabis Treat Liver Cancer?

Nowadays, liver cancer is one of the most prevalent types of cancer worldwide. Hepatitis, alcohol abuse, and birth defects may provoke the development of the disease. According to the estimates, this year, about 18,000 men and over 9,000 women will die from liver cancer. As you can see, mostly males are affected by the disease. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and cholangiocarcinoma are the two main types of liver cancer. Radiation, chemotherapy, opioid painkillers, and liver transplant are the standard elements of treatment for liver cancer. However, all these kinds of treatment do not provide sufficient improvements.

A new cell line study by Chinese researchers shows that cannabinoids can effectively stop the activity of hepatocellular carcinoma (the most common type of liver cancer) cells. The researchers used a synthetic cannabinoid that is an analog of THC, one of the main compounds of natural cannabis. The results of the study were quite promising: the cannabinoid suspended the division of cancer cells, which means they stopped their growth. Moreover, there is a range of studies on other forms of cancer that demonstrate the same ability of cannabis compounds. Below are the three ways how cannabinoids can help fight cancer.

1. Anti-Metastatic

Metastatic cancer can move from its original location and spread to other parts of the body. A recent review says that cannabinoids may prevent the formation of distant tumor masses in animal models. This property of cannabis can be very helpful for preventing cancers from getting worse.

2. Prevents Blood Vessel Development

Tumors grow only if they have their own blood supply. That is why tumors create special blood vessels. However, recent research shows that both THC and CBD prevent tumors from creating their blood vessels, making them suffocate and starve.

3. Stimulates Programmed Cell Death

Laboratory and animal models have demonstrated that THC and CBD trigger programmed cell death in tumor cells.

However, there is still no evidence of the effectiveness of cannabinoids in humans. We do hope that scientists will fix this shortly and provide proof that our beloved marijuana can indeed fight cancer.

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