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Marijuana vs Cancer: Weed Can Kill Brain Cancer, New Study Explains

Feb 21, 2017 09:32 AM EST
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The year 2017 begins with another good news for marijuana sympathizers. A new study shows that a variation of weed can have beneficial effects on cancer victims, especially those suffering from brain cancer.

According to a report Inverse, the study from GW Pharmaceuticals focused on eliminating glioblastoma -- a type of cancer that attacks the brain and is hard to cure because the tumor is located directly in the brain. Any method to try to remove the tumor can fatally damage patients, which means more efficient methods have to be thought of.

This is where marijuana came into play. The researchers combined the compounds in weed, which proved to be effective in eliminating the glioblastoma. This included a combination of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), both different cannabinoids which are compounds in cannabis that can induce psychoactive effects.

Read: Marijuana Could Treat Severe Epilepsy, New Study Finds

U.K.-based company GW Pharmaceuticals announced in a press release that a Phase 2 study involving an experimental drug has been able to treat glioblastoma.

The trial involved 21 patients, all with positive results. The drugs had an 83 percent chance of increasing the survival rates of patients for up to one year -- a big difference compared to untreated patients who only have a 53 percent survival rate. This is amazing because chemotherapy and other treatments generally just prolong the lives of patients with glioblastoma for up to 18 months.

According to Susan Short, the principal investigator of the study, the results are interesting because the product they used is different from the usual products used to treat glioblastoma.

Justin Gover, head of GW Pharmaceuticals, said in a statement that this can reinforce the role of cannabinoids in the potential treatment of cancer.

However, this isn't the first time that GW Pharmaceuticals have explored the role of cannabis in therapies. Back in 2007, the company began studying different cannabinoids in cancer treatment, which led to the creation of Epidiolex, a drug used for epilepsy.

GW Pharmaceuticals says that before any revolutionary product based on the study is released, more legislative processes is needed as marijuana is still illegal in the U.K. and is not an approved method of treatment.

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