Cannabis May Offer Novel Approach For Brain Tumors, Journal Says

Madrid, Spain: Compounds in marijuana inhibit malignant brain tumor growth in animals, and may provide a potential therapy for human glioma patients, according to a clinical review appearing in the September issue of Neuropharmacology.

“Current therapeutic strategies for the treatment of [gliomas] are usually ineffective or just palliative,” researchers from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Madrid’s Complutense University wrote. “During the last few years, several studies have shown that cannabinoids … slow the growth of different types of tumours, including gliomas, in laboratory animals. Cannabinoids induce apoptosis (programmed cell death) of glioma cells [in vitro.] In addition, cannabinoid treatment inhibits angiogenesis (growth) of gliomas in vivo. Remarkably, cannabinoids kill glioma cells selectively and can protect non-transformed glial cells from death. These and other findings reviewed here might set the basis for a potential use of cannabinoids in the management of gliomas.”

Last year, a clinical review in the journal Nature Reviews Cancer made similar recommendations, noting that cannabinoids possess a “favorable drug safety profile” and have shown in clinical trials to inhibit various forms of cancerous tumors, including gliomas, lung carcinoma, breast cancer, skin cancer, thyroid cancer, lymphoma, and prostate cancer.

For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Senior Policy Analyst, at (202) 483-5500. Abstracts of the review are available online at: