Cannabis extracts can help slow the growth of cancerous tumors when used alongside radiotherapy treatments, says a new study.
The research found that that two active chemical components found in cannabis plants, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) were tested as part of research into the treatment of brain cancer tumours.
A team at St George's, the University of London, treated brain tumours in mice in a variety of ways, either without any treatment, the cannabinoids alone, irradiation alone or with the cannabinoids and irradiation at the same time and found tumours growing in the brains of mice were drastically slowed down when the THC and CBD cannabinoids were combined with irradiation.
Dr Wai Liu, Senior Research Fellow and lead researcher on the project described the results as "extremely exciting" and said that those treated with both irradiation and the cannabinoids saw the most beneficial results and a drastic reduction in size. In some cases, the tumours effectively disappeared in the animals. This augurs well for further research in humans in the future. - this is a mostly fatal disease at the moment.
The study was published in the Molecular Cancer Therapeutics journal.