The NCI has some interesting things to say in their Cannabis and Cannabinoids Overview and Q&A Here are a few excerpts from the NCI website:
Cannabis , also known as marijuana, is a plant grown in many parts of the world which produces a resin containing compounds called cannabinoids. Some cannabinoids are psychoactive (acting on the brain and changing mood or consciousness).
The use of Cannabis for medicinal purposes dates back to ancient times.
Cannabinoids are active chemicals in Cannabis that cause drug -like effects throughout the body, including the central nervous system and the immune system.
Cannabis and cannabinoids have been studied in the laboratory and the clinic for relief of pain, nausea and vomiting, anxiety, and loss of appetite.
Cannabis and cannabinoids may have benefits in treating the symptoms of cancer or the side effects of cancer therapies.
Two cannabinoids (dronabinol and nabilone) are drugs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the prevention or treatment of chemotherapy -related nausea and vomiting.
Cannabis has been shown to kill cancer cells in the laboratory and to affect the immune system. However, there is no evidence that Cannabis’ effects on the immune system help the body fight cancer.
Studies in mice and rats have shown that cannabinoids may inhibit tumor growth by causing cell death, blocking cell growth, and blocking the development of blood vessels needed by tumors to grow. Laboratory and animal studies have shown that cannabinoids may be able to kill cancer cells while protecting normal cells.
A study in mice showed that cannabinoids may protect against inflammation of the colon and may have potential in reducing the risk of colon cancer, and possibly in its treatment.
A laboratory study of delta-9-THC in hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer) cells showed that it damaged or killed the cancer cells. The same study of delta-9-THC in mouse models of liver cancer showed that it had antitumor effects. Delta-9-THC has been shown to cause these effects by acting on molecules that may also be found in non-small cell lung cancer cells and breast cancer cells.
A laboratory study of cannabidiol in estrogen receptor positive and estrogen receptor negative breast cancer cells showed that it caused cancer cell death while having little effect on normal breast cells.
Much Much More available at the National Cancer Institute Website