Marijuana compound may halt breast cancer spread

November 19, 2007

, Xinhua (China)

BEIJING, Nov. 20 (Xinhuanet) -- A compound found in cannabis known as CBD may prevent breast cancer spreading to other parts of the body and be a realistic alternative to chemotherapy, scientists believe.

    However, the study carried out by the California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute does not advocate marijuana use among cancer patients.

    It said it was unlikely that the right concentrations of CBD could be achieved through smoking cannabis.

    CBD fights the disease by stopping the activity of a gene called Id-1, which is believed to be responsible for the spread of cancer cells from the site of the original tumor -- a process known as metastasis.

    The study found CBD had this affect on breast cancer cells in a laboratory.

    Researchers are now optimistic that the compound can become an effective -- and non-toxic -- alternative to chemotherapy.

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