The taboo associated with the intoxicating nature of marijuana and it’s illegal status across many countries largely kept cannabis off the laboratory tables until recently. However, as the legalization drive of the drug continues to gain pace across the globe, intriguing pieces of research are coming in with each passing day.
A recent research conducted at the University of Newcastle in Australia has found that cannabis has the potential to attack cancer cells in a patient without harming the healthy ones.
Researcher Matt Dun devoted the last 3 years to study how various cannabis strains affect cancer cells. During the research, he modified one particular strain, named Eve – which according to the university press report – contained high levels of ‘wonderful’ CBD and less than 1% of the expected amount of psychoactive THC.
After a few trials, it was established that the compounds derived from Eve could successfully kill leukaemia cells, while not inducing any threats against the white blood cells, hence keeping the body’s immune system in harmony.
The challenging road ahead
Although cannabis has time and again proved effective to prevent and treat a number of conditions, it’s classification as a narcotic drug in many countries has restricted the pace of the research. The United States Federal Government, for instance, still categorizes it in the same list as heroin, despite the fact that cannabis is considered harmless when consumed through methods other than smoking.
Dun and his team though thank the Australian Natural Therapies Group (ANTG) for their help and cooperation in modifying the strain.
What lies next?
The researchers are now all set to test Eve on other types of cancer cells and take this ‘breakthrough’ ahead. Although many pieces of research have been published showing the hostile effect of cannabis compounds on cancer, nearly all of them focussed on treating or suppressing the symptoms, rather than entirely killing of the cancerous cells.