Every week there is a lot that goes on in the world of cannabis, and sometimes it can be a little hard to keep up with. The Cannabis Catch Up is a weekly series that collates some of the most important news in cannabis from throughout the week and puts it all in one place.
This week there was a breakthrough in the use of cannabis for cancer treatment, an Indian state moves to legalizing cannabis cultivation and the Liberal Democrats in the UK released their party manifesto with plans to legalize cannabis. Read on for further information!
Cannabis could help with liver cancer treatment
Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have found that cannabis could play a big role in the delivery of chemotherapy to liver cancer patients.
The method would use a combination of cannabidiol (an active cannabinoid within the cannabis plant) and a low dose of doxorubicin (a chemotherapeutic agent) to directly target malignant cells and bypass healthy ones.
Prof. Alexander Binshtok, head of the Pain Plasticity Research Group at the Hebrew University’s Faculty of Medicine and Edmond & Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences explained, “Most anticancer treatments are not sufficiently specific, meaning they attack healthy cells together with the malignant ones they’re trying to get rid of.”
This is what causes the serious side effects of chemotherapy. The use of cannabis could eliminate these and reduce the suffering of liver cancer patients.
This treatment would be specifically for liver cancer as liver cancer cells express a protein, TRPV2, which when activated, creates a pore in a usually impassable membrane. CBD could be used to open this pore which would then allow a small dose of the drug to be inserted to kill the cancer cells without attacking healthy cells.
Binshtok said as soon as his team are able to prove the concept in a laboratory on animals, it wouldn’t take long to reach humans.
The Indian state of Madhya Pradesh is set to legalize cannabis cultivation
Madhya Pradesh is the second largest state in India and has recently shared that it will be the second Indian state to legalize the cultivation of cannabis for medicinal and industrial purposes.
Legal affairs minister PC Sharma said that the cannabis cultivated in Madhya Pradesh will be used to make medicine to treat the pain symptoms of cancer treatment as well as clothes and bioplastic.
India could potentially become a major player in the cannabis industry due to cheap labour and production costs and a desirable climate for growing cannabis.
UK Liberal Democrats launch election manifesto that will legalize cannabis
The Liberal Democrats in the UK recently released their election manifesto, hidden under the Health and Social Care section of the manifesto mentions the legalization of cannabis.
The party’s policy would “help to break the grip of the criminal gangs by introducing a legal, regulated market for cannabis. We will introduce limits on the potency levels and permit cannabis to be sold through licensed outlets to adults over the age of 18.”
The party criticized the ‘prohibitionist attitude to drug use’ of Labour and the Tories’ and believes a cannabis tax could raise 1.5 billion pounds which could be used to fight crime.
Party leader, Jo Swinson stated that “If instead we can regulate the cannabis market, we can raise taxation revenue from that, we can set regulations about the safety of the cannabis which is bought and sold.”
The party would follow a similar model from the US and Canada by legalizing the sale of cannabis through licensed shops.