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Study: Synthetic THC Shows Promise As ‘Alternative Drug’ For Stomach Cancer

By on July 4, 2013

Fluorouracil has been used to treat cancer for over 40 years

Fluorouracil has been used to treat cancer for over 40 years – A new study out of Korea suggests that marijuana compounds could fight stomach cancer more effectively than leading chemotherapy drugs.

Fluorouracil – sold as Adrucil or Efudex – is the most common form of chemotherapy used for cancers of the stomach and intestine, despite only helping about 20% of patients.

(MORE: Medical Marijuana and Colon Cancer)

But there may be hope for the other 80%, according to ground-breaking findings published last month in the Anticancer Research journal.

Using chemotherapy-resistant cancer cells, the researchers observed a remarkable reduction in the survival of the cells that were exposed to a synthetic version of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – the main chemical found in cannabis.

What’s more, treatment with THC had a dose-dependent effect on the cancer cells – larger doses of THC led to higher rates of cancer cell death.

Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that cannabinoids – the scientific name for compounds like THC – could be an “alternative chemotherapeutic agent” for stomach cancer that fails to respond to chemotherapy.

In recent years, scientists have gained a much clearer understanding of how THC works – by activating a biological system known as the endocannabinoid system.

Natural adaptations of the endocannabinoid system have also been observed in various types of cancer, leading many researchers to suggest that cannabinoids may play a role in the body’s natural defense against cancer.

Although the study was conducted using a synthetic version of THC called WIN-55,212-2, the authors point to previous studies where plant-derived THC has demonstrated similar effects.

Along with other compounds found in marijuana, THC has been shown to slow the growth and spread of cancer cells as well as cause cancer cells to kill themselves – a process known as apoptosis. And unlike chemotherapy, cannabis compounds leave healthy cells unharmed.

(MORE: Medical Marijuana – A Cause Or Cure For Lung Cancer?)

But the connection between THC and marijuana leads some to believe that political barriers prevent human studies from being conducted.

According to former Department of Health (UK) advisor Dr. David Nutt, “this hindering of research and therapy is motivated by politics, not science.”

Previous studies published by the Korean researchers seem to support this notion. By the end of 2011, lead author Dr. Jerry Park had published two separate studies showing that THC compounds were effective at fighting stomach cancer.

But despite calling for more advanced trials, Dr. Park’s research on cannabinoids and stomach cancer has yet to progress from observing these promising chemotherapy alternatives at the microscopic level.

  • kathy n

    i call BS! cannabis oil, thc heavy, indica strain. extract the oil from it. take that oil for 3 months, no matter your cancer. it will kill it in its tracks but leave you healthy. SAY NO TO CHEMO. and DO NOT USE synthetics. Why would you? we have the real thing. any of us should be able to grow it and make our own oil, our own cancer treatment, as well as a treatment for every known dis-ease. these articles make me batty. they are so behind the reality and truth and they always push the ‘synthetics’. big pharma’s way of sneaking in the back door that they helped keep shut for 75 fcking years!

    • TruthOnPotcom

      We do not push synthetics at all. We tried our best to emphasize the similarity of WIN-55,212,2 with natural THC, but we can’t change the fact that the researchers conducted the study using synthetic cannabinoids.

      • kathy n

        understood. my comment was to them and to anyone who may read this and be misled into using fake vs real.

  • Rhyso

    I have read far too many testimonies from cancer patients having battled their ailments with THC oil derived from natural plant matter.

    I agree that this article comes across as the synthetics being as good as the real thing. The problem is with synthetics they only include what they know, what we don’t know probably plays a bigger part in the process.

    • Rhyso

      And I also agree that this allows big Phama to use the technology, and keep prohibition going for their own profit.

  • HD420P

    why would anyone use synthetic cannabis when the plant in its natural state has NO KNOWN SIDE EFFECTS other than the munchies

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