A molecular biologist from Compultense University in Madrid, Christina Sanchez, has been studying the molecular activity of cannabinoids for over a decade. Through her studies, she and colleagues found that tetrahydrocannabinol , (THC) which is the main psychoactive part of cannabis, kills tumerous cells while allowing healthy cells to be. It was an unexpected discovery when Sanchez and crew were studying brain cancer cells to grasp a better understanding of how they function. They observed that when cells were exposed to THC, the tumeral cells stopped growing then destroyed themselves. This occurred both in lab tests and animal trials. Sanchez first reported her miraculous findings back in 1998, which were reported in a European biochemistry journal called FEBS Letters .
According to Sanchez ,”After the discovery of this compound that is called THC, it was pretty obvious that this compound had to be acting on the cells, on our organism, through a molecular mechanism.” Research finds that the human body is designed to use cannabis compounds. In the eighties, research first showed the human body contains two targets for THC. One is the endocannabinoid system which processes THC through an endogenous framework. Then the various cannabinoid receptors throughout the body that use them. In conjunction, the body benefits from cannabinoids via these two natural systems. Cannabis is the only place in nature where some certain cannabinoids are found.
Sanchez continues, “The endocannabinoids, together with the receptors and the enzymes that synthesize, that produce, the endocannabinoids and that degrade the endocannabinoids, are what we call the endocannabinoid system. We now know that the endocannabinoid system regulates a lot of biological functions: appetite, food intake, motor behavior, reproduction, and many, many other functions. And that’s why the plant has such a wide therapeutic potential.”
Cannabis cannabinoids, when consumed, work with the body’s natural endocannabinoid system and bind to the receptors in the same manner as endogenous cannabinoids. The effects cancer-wise as demonstrated in animal models of breast and brain cancers is that the cancerous cells self destruct. A big advantage of cannabinoids is their unique ability to specifically target tumor cells with no effect on normal cells. This gives cannabinoids the advantage over chemotherapy which targets way more then the actual target.
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