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Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) Might Prevent Development of Colon Cancer, Study Suggests

Jan, 2021 - By WMR

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) Might Prevent Development of Colon Cancer, Study Suggests

According to a new research study initiated by the researchers of University of South Carolina have reported to find that Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a cannabinoid that is found in the cannabis plant barred the development of colon cancer in mice model, by suppressing the inflammation in colon. Moreover, it is evident that inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) including Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are caused due to uncontrolled inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract and patients suffering from IBD are at higher risk for developing colorectal cancer.

Researchers suggested that there is rising incidence of IBD across the globe, which further indicates that risk of cancer associated with IBD are going to increase. Moreover, the risk of colon and rectal cancers is high among young and middle-aged adults and the reason is still not clear. Researchers suggested that it is vital to understand the mechanisms of IBD that can aid further in developing novel drugs for prevention of IBD and associated cancers.

Prakash Nagarkatti stated, “The fact that we were able to show that treatment with THC prevents inflammation in the colon and at the same time inhibits the development of colon cancer supports the notion that inflammation and colon cancer are closely linked. Thus, in patients who are at a higher risk of developing colon cancer, THC or other anti-inflammatory agents may be beneficial”.

In addition, researchers also informed that CB1 and CB2 are the two known receptors through which cannabinoids act. The CB1 receptor is expressed in the brain and the receptor, CB2, expresses mainly on the immune cells, indicating that activation of CB2 receptors does not activate psychoactivity.

Researchers concluded that THC acts through CB2 receptors and further suggests that compounds that activate CB2 with no psychoactive effects exhibit potential to prevent IBD and colon cancer.

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