Hemp Could Be Used to Treat Ovarian Cancer

Similar to marijuana, hemp contains therapeutic components such as cannabidiol, cannabinol, and tetrahydrocannabinol, but doesn’t have any psychoactive properties or cause addiction. Yet, unlike cannabis, hemp’s medicinal effects have not been studied—until now.

Two new studies examined the medicinal benefits of an extract KY-hemp, which is produced in Kentucky. This particular stain, along with its growing and processing conditions, were all enhanced to produce an extract containing substances with potential therapeutic abilities.

In one study, researchers discovered that adding different doses of KY-hemp extract to cultured ovarian cells resulted in a substantial dose-dependent slowing of cell migration, which can be used to stop or slow down metastasis—the spreading of cancer to other parts of the body. In the other study, researchers explored KY-hemp’s biology to determine its protective effects against ovarian cancer, discovering that the extract slowed the secretion of the interleukin IL-1 beta responsible for producing damaging inflammation.

Sara Biela and Chase Turner, both graduate students in the lab of Wasana Sumanasekera at Sullivan University College of Pharmacy in Kentucky, presented the findings at the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology annual meeting during this year’s Experimental Biological gathering held in late April in San Diego. They plan to test the extract in mice after they complete further studies in cultured cancer cells to determine if it can result in cancer cell death.

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