Medicine’s Secret Weapon Against Brain Cancer Is Weed

Glioblastoma is an aggressive form of cancer that attacks the brain. It is, for now, an extremely difficult disease to overcome — most people live about 15 months after radiation therapy and chemotherapy — but that is very likely about to change, thanks to marijuana. A new treatment incorporating weed’s active compounds has just been shown to be incredibly successful.

On Tuesday, the United Kingdom-based pharmaceutical company GW Pharmaceuticals announced “positive top-line results” from a Phase 2 clinical study in which a combination of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) were used to treat patients with glioblastoma. THC and CBD are different types of cannabinoids, the psychoactive chemicals found in cannabis.

The clinical study involved 21 patients and culminated in a very encouraging result: People treated with THC and CBD (together with temozolomide, a chemotherapy drug) had an 83 percent one-year survival rate.

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