Dr Wai Liu of St George’s, University of London, cares deeply about leukemia research, and has been leading studies within the science for quite some time. This test, which was published in the International Journal of Oncology, delivered a breakthrough for Liu. He said: “We have shown for the first time that the order in which cannabinoids and chemotherapy are used is crucial in determining the overall effectiveness of this treatment."
“These extracts are highly concentrated and purified, so smoking marijuana will not have a similar effect. But cannabinoids are a very exciting prospect in oncology, and studies such as ours serve to establish the best ways that they should be used to maximize a therapeutic effect.”
Cannabinoids are the active chemicals in cannabis, known more specifically as phytocannabinoids. When extracted from the plant and purified, they have been shown to possess anticancer properties, especially in certain cancers of the brain.
Researchers looked at cancer cells in the laboratory, trying different combinations of cannabinoids against leukemia cells. They tested whether existing chemotherapy treatments worked effectively alongside the cannabinoids, and whether using the drugs in a different order had an effect.
They concluded that the results were substantial, although it mattered greatly in the order and dosage of how they were administered. A number of clinical studies are underway that are assessing the full potential of cannabinoids in patients with cancer. Researchers say more trials need to be carried out to establish the veracity of the claims.
Even the American Cancer Society announced these claims: "Scientists reported that THC and other cannabinoids such as CBD slow growth and/or cause death in certain types of cancer cells growing in lab dishes. Some animal studies also suggest certain cannabinoids may slow growth and reduce spread of some forms of cancer."
Recently too, singer Olivia Newton-John plans to use cannabis oil and “other natural remedies” following her second breast cancer diagnosis. According to her daughter, the Grease star, 68, will try the controversial substance in addition to modern medicine.