Infamous for being a narcotic agent, marijuana also has anti-cancer properties, which could be used to treat malignant cells in the brain, a new study has claimed.

A team of Spanish researchers have found that Delta9 tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, the main active component of marijuana, induces death of various human brain cancer cell lines and primary cultured human brain cancer cells by a process known as autophagy.

“We found that the anti-tumoral action of THC is based on its ability to activate an intracellular signalling pathway that promotes the activation of a cellular process called ‘autophagy’. The activation of this pathway leads to cancer cell death,” revealed Guillermo Velasco, a scientist at Madrid-based Complutense University

reporting his findings in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Two patients with recurrent glioblastoma multiforme (a highly aggressive brain tumor) received THC treatment on the skull and showed signs of autophagy, prompting them to zero upon the curative values of marijuana.

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