Cannabis and cancer – a quest for the truth

Cannabis and cancer – a quest for the truth
Cannabis Health News

Dr Wai Liu, a senior research fellow at St George’s, University of London has dedicated much of his career to the study of cannabinoids and their potential use in treating cancer. He spoke to Cannabis Health about his research. Dr Wai Liu first encountered cannabis in his medical profession over 20 years ago. After completing his PhD at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, he was approached by a consultant who told the young researcher that his patients who smoked cannabis were somehow more receptive to chemotherapy. Dr Liu was shocked. At the time, cannabis remained for most people a recreational drug, while the concept of cannabis as a medicine was still very much in its infancy. From then on, cannabinoids have been a major area of Dr Liu’s research. “All these drug companies are designing medicines that target cancer,” he told Cannabis Health.  “They design drugs because they target certain proteins that are not working in cancer cells. This takes 10 to 20 years while cannabinoids already have properties that drug companies are trying to design themselves. “Why not take these drugs that are already active and we know are relatively safe and use them in a way that can help treat cancer?” As a senior research fellow at St George’s, University of London, Dr Liu focuses on lab work and animal models to understand how different parts of the cannabis plant, including CBD, THC and CBG, can influence cancer growth. He is specifically interested in brain tumours and breast cancer, for which cannabis-derived compounds have shown their greatest potential. “As chemicals, THC and CBD are fantastic,” Dr Liu said. “They have so many properties and depending on what dosage you use, you can actually have different effects. “That’s what I find fascinating about CBD and THC and that’s why I’ve been…

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