Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cannabis: The good, the evil, the ugly

Date:
February 28, 2012
Source:
Ume University
Summary:
Cannabis-like substances that are produced by the body have both therapeutic and harmful properties, besides their well-known intoxicating effects, and the body’s cannabinoid system may be a target for new strategies in cancer treatment, new research suggests.

Cannabis-like substances that are produced by the body have both therapeutic and harmful properties, besides their well-known intoxicating effects, and the body's cannabinoid system may be a target for new strategies in cancer treatment. This is what Sofia Gustafsson finds in the dissertation she recently defended at Ume University in Sweden.

Related Articles


Abuse of cannabis and preparations containing synthetic cannabis-like substances (cannabinoids) is on the rise all over Europe. At the same time, cannabis-based drugs have been approved for certain medical purposes, and in Sweden a compound was approved for symptom alleviation in multiple sclerosis (MS) just the other day. Intensive research is underway about whether new substances that affect the body's own cannabinoids can be exploited for medical purposes, for instance, to relieve pain and to inhibit the growth of tumors. These are the reasons why Sofia Gustafsson studied the impact of cannabinoids on both the nervous system and tumor cells.

The body's own cannabinoids, so-called endocannabinoids, mediate a number of different functions in the central nervous system and in the immune system and are involved in motor movement, reward effects, and learning and memory processes. Cannabinoids from the plant kingdom and synthetically produced cannabinoids affect both of these functions, all of which are mediated via cannabinoid receptors.

Cannabinoids have moreover been shown to affect the fate of cells. Cannabinoids protect some brain cells, whereas cells in certain types of brain tumors, such as glioma, are stimulated to commit controlled cell suicide (apoptosis). Most research on the effects of cannaboids on the nervous system has focused on the adult, fully developed nervous system, while we have relatively little knowledge about the effects on a nervous system that is still developing.

In summary, the findings of Sofia Gustafsson's studies show that cannabinoids can be toxic for cancer cells as well as for nerve cells, and that they decrease emryonal survival. These findings are important for our knowledge both of the potential of the cannabinoid system as a target system for new strategies in cancer treatment and of the risks of new drugs, such as Spice, on nerve development.

Further information: http://umu.diva-portal.org/smash/record.jsf?pid=diva2:488475&rvn=1


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Ume University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Ume University. "Cannabis: The good, the evil, the ugly." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 February 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120228114159.htm>.
Ume University. (2012, February 28). Cannabis: The good, the evil, the ugly. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120228114159.htm
Ume University. "Cannabis: The good, the evil, the ugly." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120228114159.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Reuters - Entertainment Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) The iconic piano from "Casablanca" and the Cowardly Lion suit from "The Wizard of Oz" fetch millions at auction. Sara Hemrajani reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Feast Your Eyes: Lamb Chop Sent Into Space from UK

Feast Your Eyes: Lamb Chop Sent Into Space from UK

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 25, 2014) Take a stab at this -- stunt video shows a lamb chop's journey from an east London restaurant over 30 kilometers into space. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins