The American Cancer Society estimates that 1,800 Oklahomans will be diagnosed with colon cancer this year.
Now, scientists say they may have found a way to slow or even stop the growth of those cancer cells by using marijuana.
New research from Penn State College of Medicine tested compounds found in medical marijuana and the effects it has on cancer cells.
“Of the 370 compounds, it turns out that 10 were fairly effective against all colon cancer cell lines,” said Kent Vrana, chair of the Department of Pharmacology at Penn State College of Medicine.
Officials said the two main ingredients in marijuana, CBD and THC, were not particularly effective in treating the cancer.
Now, researchers will take a closer look at the compounds and see if they can modify it in a way to truly treat colorectal cancer.
“The possibility for medical marijuana is immediate because that can be used now in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” said Vrana. “We just don’t know what it’s doing. In terms of these specialized chemicals, they probably wouldn’t become true drugs for another five to 10 years.”