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Cannabinoid Offers Cardioprotection, Study Says

Thursday, 16 February 2006

Ramat-Gan, Israel: The administration of delta-9-THC protects heart muscle cells from injury during hypoxia (a deficiency in the levels of oxygen in the blood), according to preclinical trial data published in the February issue of the journal Molecular and Cellular Boichemistry.

Researchers at the Bar-Ilan University in Israel investigated the effect of THC on cultured heart cells during hypoxia. "The present study confirm[s] the ability of THC to confer cardioprotection on hypoxia-exposed cardiac cells in culture," authors concluded. Investigators defined" cardioprotection" as "delaying the onset of irreversible cell injury."

Authors also noted that THC appears to be non-toxic to heart cells.

"This research demonstrates that THC has beneficial effects on cardiac cells and supports the consideration of marijuana for specific medical uses," investigators concluded.

Previous research indicates that cannabinoids may also protect brain cells against alcohol-induced brain damage, stroke, and acute head trauma.

For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Senior Policy Analyst, at (202) 483-5500. Full text of the study," Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol protects cardiac cells from hypoxia via CB2 receptor activation and nitric oxide production," is available in the February issue of Molecular and Cellular Boichemistry.