The question gets asked all the time in green circles, though not always with the recommended dose of skepticism: Can marijuana cure cancer?
As far as science is concerned, the definitive answer is a resounding “Who knows?” But signs of hope are popping up everywhere, and a new one came to light in late October.
A researcher in the United Kingdom has discovered that certain cannabis compounds can kill cancer cells in people who suffer from leukemia. These findings could be significant for patients with the disease, a form of cancer estimated to kill 24,000 people yearly in the United States.
Liu, an oncologist at St. George’s medical school at the University of London, separated six non-psychoactive cannabinoids from marijuana and tested them against leukemia cells, alone and in combination. These chemicals include cannabidiol (CBD), cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), cannabigerol (CBG), and cannabigerolic acid (CBGVA). Liu didn’t test THC, the psychoactive chemical that gets pot users high.