Scientists Sean McAllister and Pierre Desprez have been studying cannabinoids, the active molecules in marijuana, as inhibitors of metastatic disease. Based out of San Francisco’s California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute, the two scientists believe that marijuana has properties that can stop cancer from spreading.
McAllister explained to the San Francisco Chronicle, “The preclinical trial data is very strong, and there’s no toxicity. There’s really a lot of research to move ahead with and to get people excited.” The scientists are hoping to start human clinical trials soon based on their findings.
The scientists began their research almost 20 years ago, and initially thought the results they discovered after testing cancer cells with CBD compounds were an error. They repeated the tests numerous times, and each test yielded the same results– when exposed to CBDs, cancer cells reverted to a normal, healthy state.
Because of marijuana’s illegal status under federal law, scientists are often ignored when they discover benefits of the drug. McAllister and Desprez’s findings have the potential to change millions of lives, but the scientists’ efforts may be limited by the federal prohibition of marijuana.
A catch 22, marijuana is currently deemed to have no medicinal benefits under its federal Schedule I classification, but its medicinal benefits cannot be studied due to its Schedule I classification. In recent months, a number of politicians have called for marijuana to be moved to a Schedule II drug, which would allow for the medicinal benefits to be studied further.
While marijuana has been proven to relieve nausea and pain related to cancer therapies, these recent findings demonstrate that scientists may be able to use marijuana, or its compounds, to actually cure cancer.