Effects Of Marijuana And Its Effects On Cancer Cells

1585 Words Feb 4th, 2015 7 Pages
The process by which ∆^9–Tetrahydrocannabinol, more commonly known as THC, a major component of Cannabis sativa, has been found to possess anti-tumor properties of many cancer types. However, the use of THC is limited; particularly its usage during chemotherapy due to its psychotropic activity, the ability to affect mental activity, behavior, or perception. In addition, the exact mechanism in which THC produces this activity is not fully known. For these reasons, there has been debate about its incorporation as a common treatment for cancer. There is growing evidence that some pharmacological effects of marijuana are due to Cannabis components other than THC. C. sativa contains at least 400 chemical components, 66 of which have been identified belonging to the class of cannabinoids¹. However, after much study, it has been shown that cannabinoids do have inhibitory growth effects on cancer cells. What is still yet to be precisely determined is the manner in which cannabinoids produce these effects. Cannabinoids have shown to act through many different mechanisms: inducing apoptosis, cell cycle arrest, cell growth inhibition, or even angiogenesis, the physiological process through which new blood vessels form from pre-existing vessels, and cell migration. In addition, the antitumoral property can be ambiguous: triggered by either the CB1 gene or CB2 gene, or both. The discovery of CB1 and CB2, two specific molecular targets for THC, showed that the effects in the brain and…
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