Previous studies have suggested that cannabinoids, of which tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is one, have anti-cancer properties. In 2009, researchers at Complutense University in Spain found that THC induced the death of brain cancer cells in a process known as "autophagy."
When human tumors in mice were targeted with doses of THC, the researchers found that two cell receptors were particularly associated with an anti-tumor response.
The researchers found that administering THC to mice with human tumors initiated autophagy and caused the growth of the tumors to decrease. Two human patients with highly aggressive brain tumors who received intracranial administration of THC also showed similar signs of autophagy, upon analysis.
The team behind the new study - co-led by Complutense University and the University of Anglia (UEA) in the UK - claims to have discovered previously unknown "signaling platforms" that allow THC to shrink tumors.
Study source: medicalnewstoday.com