A study led by Robert J. McKallip, Catherine Lombard, Michael Fisher, Billy R. Martin, Seonghu Ryu, Steven Grant, Prakash S Nagarkatti, and Mitzi Nagarkatti was conducted in 2002 to see the effect of THC on tumor, leukemia, and lymphoma cells. The study used THC that was obtained from the NIDA in Rockville, MD and was used on cells in vitro and in vivo (mice). The use of THC induced apoptosis on all malignant cells in this study. In vivo many mice were even cured as a result of THC treatment. However, many mice also suffered death because the THC had immunosuppressive effects. The study suggested that in moderate doses and further research with THC can be used to create a treatment for tumors and carcinogenic cells.

For further reading on this study please visit: http://bloodjournal.hematologylibrary.org/cgi/reprint/100/2/627.pdf

A study led by Ligresti A, Schiano Moriello A, Starowicz K, Matias I, Pisanti S, De Petrocellis L, Laezza C, Portella G, Bifulco M, Di Marzo V was conducted in 2006 to study the effect of 5 natural cannabinoids found in a marijuana plant on breast cancer and leukemia cells. These 5 cannabinoids are cannabidiol, cannabigerol, cannabichromene, cannabidiol-acid and THC-acid. The study suggests that cannabidiol (CBD) induced cell apoptosis in vivo in animals. The researchers stated that CBD “may be a novel and highly selective treatment for leukemia.”

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A study led by Wentao Jia, Venkatesh L. HegdeNarendra P. SinghDaniel Sisco, Steven GrantMitzi Nagarkatti, and Prakash S. Nagarkatti was conducted in 2006 to see the effects of THC on Jurkat cells, which are immortalized type T leukemia cells. The study also wanted to see the role of cannabinoids receptors particularly CB1 and CB2 and their link to THC and induced apoptosis. The results of the study were quite fascinating it showed that there was apoptosis of the Jurkat cells when the cells were treated with a THC solution. When CB1 and CB2 antagonist (cannabinoids receptor blockers) were introduced into the cancerous there was no induced apoptosis. The study suggests that a multitude of factors result in the chemical reaction that THC has on the apoptosis of cancerous cells including leukemia and lymphoma cells in vitro and in vivo. The study states that cannabinoids have the potential to become anticancer drugs. However, the study suggests that because of the psychotropic effects these drugs could have it could lessen its viability as a drug.

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