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Cannabis: A Future in Treating Cervical Cancer?

Recent research from South Africa has highlighted the potential cannabis has to treat cervical cancer, a disease that kills over a quarter of a million women annually. This latest study was not conducted on humans, but is the first of it’s kind and shows promising results.

Cervical cancer used to be the leading cause of cancer death among women in the United States, but those rates have gone down by almost 50 percent due to the widespread use of the Pap test for cervical cancer. In South Africa, however, over 80 percent of the population still relies on medicinal plants, which begs the question: do these women have the same access to the Pap test as American women do? Not likely.

In the absence of a solid medical infrastructure capable of administering Pap smears to its entire female population, rural regions of the world need a cheap and easily accessible treatment for the disease that won’t have them riddled with toxic side effects.

Researchers from the Department of Biochemistry at North-West University in Potchefstroom, South Africa used in vitro analyses to assess the efficacy of cannabis in killing cervical cancer cells. They used herbal extracts and pure CBD, and they found that CBD is most likely the compound responsible for the anti-cancer effects of the Cannabis sativa extract. However, they did not perform the analysis with pure THC (the psychoactive component), meaning this compound is not off the hook for having any anti-cancer effects similar to CBD. Cannabis killed cervical cancer cells by inducing apoptosis; literally forcing cancer cells—and only cancer cells—to kill themselves.

Research in this field has a long way to progress before cannabis can become part of an official treatment program for cervical cancer. If regulatory agencies do one day approve cannabis as a treatment option, this could spell great news for the rural populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and around the world. Growers contracted by local pharmacies could grow the same indigenous varieties of cannabis used in this study and send them to extraction labs for processing into medicinal formulations.

A search on pubmed.gov for “cervical cancer cannabis” gave only six results. This latest study is the first one to look at the effects of cannabis on cervical cancer. One previous study investigated anandamide, a component of the body’s endocannabinoid system, and found this endogenous compound also killed cervical cancer cells, but anandamide is not the same as cannabis.

THC targets the same receptors as anandamide but in very different ways.

Recent research from South Africa has highlighted the potential cannabis has to treat cervical cancer, a disease that kills over a quarter of a million women

Cannabis Research for Cervical Cancer

The main types of cervical cancer are squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma. Squamous cell carcinoma begins in the thin, flat cells that line the cervix. Adenocarcinoma begins in cervical cells that make mucus and other fluids.

Long-lasting infections with certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV) cause almost all cases of cervical cancer. Vaccines that protect against infection with these types of HPV can greatly reduce the risk of cervical cancer. Having a Pap test to check for abnormal cells in the cervix or a test to check for HPV can find cells that may become cervical cancer. These cells can be treated before cancer forms. Cervical cancer can usually be cured if it is found and treated in the early stages.— National Cancer Institute

Below is a Library of Cannabis Research Studies for Cervical Cancer.

Cannabinoids in Gynecological Diseases

The Role of the Endocannabinoid System in the Gynaecological Malignancy

Prospective Analysis of Safety and Efficacy of Medical Cannabis in Large Unselected Population of Patients with Cancer

GPCRs: Emerging Anti-Cancer Drug Targets

Cannabinoids as Anticancer Drugs

Cannabinoids as Modulators of Cell Death: Clinical Applications and Future Directions

Promises and Pitfalls of Cannabinoids as Agents with Potential Anticancer Efficacy

Cannabidiol Rather Than Cannabis Sativa Extracts Inhibit Cell Growth And Induce Apoptosis In Cervical Cancer Cells

Cannabinoids as Therapeutic Agents in Cancer: Current Status and Future Implications

Inhibition Of Cancer Cell Invasion By Cannabinoids Via Increased Expression Of Tissue Inhibitor Of Matrix Metalloproteinases-1

Arachidonyl Ethanolamide Induces Apoptosis Of Uterine Cervix Cancer Cells Via Aberrantly Expressed Vanilloid Receptor-1

Cannabis Research Library

Over 1000 studies covering over 130 topics compiled for easy browsing.

Mission Statement: Rebrand Marijuana to Cannabis to facilitate the education of Cannabis (and to have fun)!

Disclaimer: Sativaisticated staff are not medical or legal professionals. All subjective writings are merely opinions.

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Library of Cannabis Research Studies for Cervical Cancer by SATIVAisticated: A collection of scientific research studies that focus on Cannabis, Cannabinoids and Endocannabinoid System and how they might affect Cervical Cancer.