Naples, Italy: Compounds in marijuana inhibit cancer cell growth in animals and in culture on a wide range of tumoral cell lines, including human breast carcinoma cells, human prostate carcimona cells, and human colectoral carcinoma cells, according to preclinical trial data published in the May issue of the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.
Investigators at Italy's Instuto di Chemica Biomolecolare assessed the anti-cancer activity of various non-psychoactive cannabinoids - including cannabidiol (CBD), cannabigerol (CBG), and cannabichromine (CBC) - in vivo and in vitro. Researchers reported that CBD acts as a more potent inhibitor of cancer cell growth than other cannabinoids, including THC, and noted that the compound is particularly efficacious in halting the spread of breast cancer cells by triggering apoptosis (programmed cell death).
Cannabigerol and CBC also possess anti-tumor properties, but lack the potency of CBD, they found.
"These results suggest the use in cancer therapy for cannabidiol," investigators concluded.
Previous studies have shown cannabinoids to reduce the size and halt the spread of glioma (brain tumor) cells in animals and humans in a dose dependent manner. Separate preclinical studies have also demonstrated cannabinoids to inhibit cancer cell growth and selectively trigger malignant cell death in skin cancer cells, leukemic cells, lung cancer cells, and prostate carcinoma cells, among other cancerous cell lines.
For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Senior Policy Analyst, at (202) 483-5500. Full text of the study, "Antitumor activity of plant cannabinoids with emphasis on the effect of cannabidiol on human breast carcinoma," is available online at: http://jpet.aspetjournals.org/cgi/reprint/jpet.106.105247v1. Additional information on cannabinoids' anti-cancer properties is available in NORML's report, "Cannabinoids as Cancer Hope," online at: http://www.norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=6814