Two great stories came through on my newsfeed this morning; both medical-related, and both claiming that cannabis could be of potential medical benefit for Autism and Cancer.
I’ve written about the medical applications of cannabis as a treatment for Cancer in previous posts on this blog. However this story, which has been republished from The Huffington Post, claims that scientists in San Francisco have discovered a cannabis-derived compound that could halt metastasis in many kinds of aggresive cancer. There’s an aggresive cancer-causing gene called ID-1 which CBD, apparently, turns off. The full story can be read by clicking here.
The other story about Autism and cannabis is also very interesting. It comes straight from Nature.com and the story is here for you to read the full version. It’s a bit long-winded and techy so you have been warned!
Anyway, the crux of the story is that there is a genetic condition called ‘Fragile X syndrome‘, which is the most common gentic cause of autism. Males are more prone to this syndrome as we only carry one X chromosone (females obviously have two of these, so if one is damaged the other X chromosone compensates). Scientists have been testing on mice and they’ve found that by linking the pathways dependent on these 2-AG endocannabinoid transmitters, it corrects the Fragile X fault. This apparently led to a dramatic improvement in behaviour in the mice that had the condition.
Testing on mice is one thing, testing on humans is something altogether different, but it’s all good steps in the right direction, and yet another reason to continue the research into what else cannabis can offer us in terms of medical breakthroughs.