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Thailand on the trail of a new medical cannabis formula for cancer

Tests on breast, kidney, pancreatic, colorectal and brain cancer cells grown in laboratories were recently conducted in Thailand by the Plant Research Institute of the Department of Medical Sciences as part of research into the medical use of cannabis. The results suggest that four species of Thai cannabis are effective in preventing cancer cells from growing.

Could this be the beginning of an alternative to traditional treatments for various cancers?

According to Dr Supphakit Siriluck, and director general of the department, the cannabis species concerned are Hang Sua Sakon Nakkhon TT1, Hang Karok Phu Phan ST1, Tanao Sri Kan Khao WA1 and Tanao Sri Kan Daeng RD1. This is because they are particularly rich in tetrahydracannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). These cannabinoids can be extracted for incorporation into medicines using the supercritical fluid extraction method.

Experiments have shown that THC and CBD collected from these cannabis species have the ability to prevent the development of different types of cancer, while possibly helping to repair damage done to lung cells. All this was observed on cells grown in the laboratory during the experiment.

Research that must continue...

The experiment from a toxicological point of view would also have revealed that, although cannabis does not cause mutagenicity in bacteria, it could nevertheless become toxic for kidney, lung and liver cells, grown in laboratories.

These initial findings were published in the department's medical journal to show the medical side of Thai cannabis, without ignoring its possible toxicity to cells of other specific organs.

Dr Supphakit added that the department would continue its research in animals and then move on to clinical trials to ensure that cannabis extracts could be used safely in patients with either cancer.

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