Cannabis advocates have long touted the medicinal benefits of cannabis, and more and more research is being conducted to test the plant's potential to cure a number of ailments. Medical marijuana has been given to cancer patients for years to ease symptoms, but can cannabis cure cancer? A new scientific study suggests that it can.
Researchers at Harvard University discovered that a cannabis flavonoid called FBL-03G is capable of killing pancreatic cancer tumors. The team conducted experiments involving mice with pancreatic cancer and found that FBL-03G killed tumor cells in 70% of the animals used.
Pancreatic cancer is deadly, aggressive, and has a mere 8% five-year survival rate. There are significant barriers that make this type of cancer difficult to treat due to the immunosuppressive pancreatic tumor microenvironment and the development of resistance to treatment. Current treatment options for pancreatic cancer include chemotherapy, surgery, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, and radiation therapy.
However, curative treatment is only available if the tumor is found early, so the idea that cannabis can be used to help cure it is very promising.
Does Cannabis Cure Cancer?
FBL-03G is a non-psychoactive, non-cannabinoid derivative of cannabis and shows significant therapeutic potential in treating pancreatic cancer. The study suggests that the compound is capable of attacking other cancer cells and stopping them from growing. But, does cannabis cure cancer?
It may still be too early to tell if this treatment will be as effective on humans with pancreatic cancer as it was on the mice, but it's definitely another major step in the right direction. This study, along with others, have shown that medical cannabis derivatives could enhance survival in pancreatic cancer animal models when used in conjunction with radiotherapy.
With this particular study, Harvard researchers were surprised to find that FBL-03G inhibited the growth of cancer cells in other parts of the body that weren't being targeted by the treatment.
At a minimum, this discovery could extend the life expectancy of those diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at a later stage, which is often when diagnosis occurs. The study was conducted on small animals, but after these positive results, researchers are planning on conducting further studies with the goal of clinical translation in the future.
Investing in Medical Marijuana
Although cannabis has been widely regarded for its therapeutic properties for thousands of years, it was regarded as a drug up until recently following a wave of regulations prohibiting it. Now, researchers and big corporations are pouring in millions of dollars to unlock the plant's healing powers against modern-day diseases.
Cannabis is currently being used to treat mild to severe medication conditions like chronic pain, epilepsy, and seizures, and to ease the symptoms of cancer and other diseases.
The medical marijuana market was valued at $18.9 billion this year and is expected to reach $44.4 billion by 2024, thanks to additional research and development and clinical trials on its vast medical capabilities. This recent study from Harvard University is just the tip of the iceberg for medical marijuana, and at this stage, the plant's potential is seemingly endless.
If you are interested in investing in cannabis, the medical sector is an ideal entry point. Unlike recreational cannabis, medical marijuana is becoming widely accepted across the globe. Last year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first-ever prescription cannabis medicine for epilepsy, Epidiolex, which was created by GW Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:GWPH).
Although the FDA has yet to approve additional drugs derived from marijuana, researchers continue to conduct studies on potential cures for everything from Alzheimer's disease to anxiety.
So, can cannabis cure cancer? Based on recent developments, things are looking very promising indeed.
Are there any medical cannabis stocks on your radar? Tell us about them in the comments!
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