UK Scientists Lead Research to See if Cannabis Slows Growth of Cancer Cells  

While some people have long expressed gratitude to cannabis oil for almost clearing their tumors, British researchers are experimenting with cannabinoids to see if it could slow the growth of cancer cells.

At MediPen research facility at the port city of Cardiff, south coast of Wales, the team’s managing director dubbs the experiment as the first of its kind in the world, Metro reported on Sunday.

“The end goal is to bring a treatment to market for lung cancer,” MediPen labs’ managing director Jordan Owen told Metro.

The researchers are tackling lung cancer since it is the most aggressive form of these tumors, and tends to spread quickly.

“The process which we’re currently going through now is looking at the cells. We want to slow down the process of metastasis,” Owen said.

“If we can slow down that process by doing different experiments with cannabinoids, then we can effectively slow down the growth of cancer.”

This pioneering research is currently being led by head scientist Jordan Copner.

If the team finds a treatment, it will be “ground-breaking,” Copner said.

“It will be huge,” he says. “The first of its kind in the world. It will certainly shift perceptions of how people look at cannabis.”

Cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide. In 2015, cancer claimed the lives of 8.8 million deaths. Globally, nearly 1 in 6 die because of cancer.

THC Included in the Study

In mainstream medical marijuana, CBD, the non-psychoactive component of cannabis, tends to dominate. However, in this study, THC, the psychoactive ingredient that gives people the high is included without any discrimination.

“We’re approaching around 15,000 studies, not just on the non-psychoactive side, but also on the psychoactive side such as THC, which can help with things like pain, anxiety,” he said.

Dr. Wai Liu, a senior research fellow at the St George’s University of London, told Metro that scientists are beginning to understand that some agents found within cannabinoids can deactivate the growth of cancerous cells.

MediPen, the UK’s first publicly available cannabis research facility, has started its research last year.