Not like we encourage drug dependence but it has been found that Cannabis can have a dramatic effect on aggressive forms of brain cancer.
The new research, conducted by specialists at St George’s, University of London, studied the treatment of brain tumours in the laboratory.
It found the most effective treatment was to combine active chemical components of the cannabis plant, which are known as cannabinoids.
Two of these – called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) – were tested as part of the research into brain cancer.
This is particularly difficult to treat and claims the lives of about 5,200 patients each year.
It also has a particularly poor prognosis as the rate of survival after five years of patients’ diagnosis is around 10 per cent,
The new research is the first to show a drastic effect when combining THC and CBD with radiation.
Dr Wai Liu, Senior Research Fellow and lead researcher on the project, said: ‘The results are extremely exciting.
‘The tumours were treated in a variety of ways – either with no treatment, the cannabinoids alone, and radiation alone.
‘Or, with both the cannabinoids and radiation at the same time.
‘Those treated with both radiation and the cannabinoids saw the most beneficial results and a drastic reduction in size.
In some cases, the tumours effectively disappeared in the animals.
‘The benefits of the cannabis plant elements were known before.
‘But the drastic reduction of brain cancers – if used with radiation – is something new and may well prove promising for patients who are in gravely serious situations with such cancers in the future.’