Breast cancer cells killed by CBD on right compared to untreated breast cancer cells on left. Image via Pacific Medical Centre
A new study conducted by two scientists at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco has found a compound derived from marijuana that could potentially stop the growth of cancerous tumors. Sean McAllister studied the effects of Cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive compound which is found in marijuana. Simultaneously, Pierre Desprez spent 20 years examining ID-1, the gene which causes cancer to spread. The two scientists eventually collaborated and merged the two compounds together in a petri dish.
They found that Cannabidiol, when combined with ID-1, deactivates ID-1’s ability to spread cancerous tumors. Desprez spoke to Huffington Post about the discovery saying, “We likely would not have found this on our own. That’s why collaboration is so essential to scientific discovery.” He went on to say, “We started by researching breast cancer, but now we’ve found that Cannabidiol works with many kinds of aggressive cancers–brain, prostate–any kind in which these high levels of ID-1 are present. We’ve found no toxicity in the animals we’ve tested, and Cannabidiol is already used in humans for a variety of other ailments.”
Cannabidiol is a non-toxic compound and does not cause any type of “high.” Desprez cautioned against smoking marijuana to reap the benefits of Cannabidiol. He said, “you could never get enough Cannabidiol for it to be effective just from smoking.” [Via Huffington Post]
Claudia McNeilly is an editorial intern at the Toronto Standard. You can follow her on twitter at @claudiamcneilly