The More You Know: Why Cannabis kills cancer cells

Cannabinoids (THC and CBD) prevent tumor growth by causing cancer cell death, blocking cancer cell growth, and blocking the development of blood vessels needed by tumors to grow.

THC is a natural fit for the CB1 receptor on a cancer cell surface. When THC hits the receptor, the cell generates ceramide, a molecule that disrupts the mitochondria and closes off energy for the cancer cell. The disruption of the mitochondria releases an enzyme, called cytochrome C, and a reactive oxygen species, which furthers cell death.

CBD’s job in the cancer cell is to disrupt the endoplasmic reticulum by wrecking the calcium metabolism and pushing calcium into the cytosol. This always results in cell death. 

Both processes are specific to cancer cells, which means that it does not negatively affect our healthy cells. THC and CBD work together in tandem within the cannabinoid system in our bodies. This is why it is important to have both components.

The end result and overall goal we ultimately strive for is cannabinoid-induced apoptosis. In simpler terms, we are seeking cancer cell death from cannabis consumption. 

Edited by: KC Orcutt