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Researchers are investigating cannabis’ potential for treating brain tumors

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Researchers are investigating cannabis’ potential for treating brain tumors

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

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Researchers in Australia are planning to trial the use of medical cannabis on people with brain tumors. The plant, which is known to kill brain cancer cells in Petri dishes, will be used to conduct a clinical trial that will hopefully expose whether or not cannabis also kills cells in living patients.

In order to carry out this particular study on cannabis to treat brain tumors, researchers will work closely with 82 glioma patients. Gliomas are an aggressive type of tumor that comprise approximately 30 percent of all brain tumors. They can also occur in the spinal cord.

Research on cannabis to treat brain tumors will take three months

Study subjects will be orally administered with THC-rich medicinal cannabis for a total of three months. In the meantime, patients will continue to undergo standard treatment.

The Australian researchers are hopeful that their study will demonstrate cannabis’ efficacy at slowing the growth of tumors and enhancing the quality of life for patients enduring treatment. In addition to this, the researchers want to uncover the plant’s medical potency not only for killing cancer cells but also, for preventing them from returning.  

According to the study’s key investigator and neurosurgeon Michael Sughrue, the tumors are tricky to treat. Mainly, the reason for this is due to the fact that they comprise 100 unique kinds of cancer cells.

“We know our drugs work on some, but not all of them. So we need more bullets in our gun essentially,” he said to the AP during a recent interview.

Key investigator was previously uncertain about using cannabis to treat brain tumors

At the very beginning, Dr. Sughrue was uncertain about using cannabis as a treatment for brain tumors. However, things soon changed when his close friend miraculously removed a glioma using cannabis medicine. Dr. Sughrue claims that patients with brain tumors are queuing up to be a part of the impending trial, which will be organized and conducted by the Endeavour College of Natural Health.

A 59-year-old woman named Lyn Boyle is just one example of the people participating in this study on cannabis to treat brain tumors. Even though she was “dead against” cannabis for the entire duration of her life, Boyle says that this study is her final chance at successfully abolishing glioma from her brain. She was diagnosed back in 2013 and to this day, doctors have not yet found a cure. At one point, Boyle thought she had tackled the problem when a standard type of treatment managed to shrink the tumor. Unfortunately, the tumor has started regrowing with a “vengeance.”

“As I get closer to my mortality, I get more desperate,” says the brain tumor patient. While she understands that her time on this Earth may come to an end before a cure is found, Boyle is hopeful that scientists and doctors will be able to join forces and discover a cure for other patients.

Study on cannabis to treat brain tumors will be funded by Bioceutocals

Why Australia? Well, the “Land Down Under” legalized medicinal cannabis two years ago. Lead researcher of the study Janet Schloss thinks that Australia is in a prime position to enrich the lives of people with glioma around the globe, what with cannabis being legal across the board.

“I deal with people suffering with cancer on a regular basis, and I see the loss of hope. This trial means the world – not just for me, but for patients,” expressed Dr. Schloss.

Working alongside Dr. Sughrue will be internationally acclaimed Australian neurosurgeon and previous “Australian of the Year,” Professor Charlie Teo. The inspirational Aussie neurosurgeon will join forces with Dr. Sughrue to seek out patients for the forthcoming trial.

BioCeuticals will fund this study on cannabis to treat brain tumors. The company is Australia’s leading provider of therapeutic and nutritional supplements.

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Researchers are investigating cannabis’ potential for treating brain tumors