The “high” of Hashish

According to certain recent studies with Cannabis Sativa L  (better know as Marijauna), several of  its psychoactive compounds are Delta9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other cannabinoids which can inhibit tumour growth and angiogenesis in animal models, so their potential application as antitumoral drugs has been suggested.

However, the antitumoral effect of cannabinoids has never been tested in humans. Here we report the first clinical study aimed at assessing cannabinoid antitumoral action, specifically a pilot phase I trial in which nine patients with recurrent glioblastoma multiforme were administered THC intratumoraly. The patients had previously failed standard therapy (surgery and radiotherapy) and had clear evidence of tumour progression.

The primary end point of the study was to determine the safety of intracranial THC administration. We also evaluated THC action on the length of survival and various tumour-cell parameters. A dose escalation regimen for THC administration was assessed. Cannabinoid delivery was safe and could be achieved without overt psychoactive effects. Median survival of the cohort from the beginning of cannabinoid administration was 24 weeks (95% confidence interval: 15–33). Delta9-Tetrahydrocannabinol inhibited tumour-cell proliferation in vitro and decreased tumour-cell Ki67 immunostaining when administered to two patients. The fair safety profile of THC, together with its possible antiproliferative action on tumour cells reported here and in other studies, may set the basis for future trials aimed at evaluating the potential antitumoral activity of cannabinoids.

But other studies sugest that delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), has been shown to modulate immune responses and lymphocyte function. After primary infection the viral DNA genome of gamma herpesviruses persists in lymphoid cell nuclei in a latent episomal circular form. In response to extracellular signals, the latent virus can be activated, which leads to production of infectious virus progeny. Therefore, we evaluated the potential effects of THC on gamma herpesvirus replication.

Besides of all of the above, the current believe based on studies from the 1960s, Marijuana consumption elicits diverse physiological and psychological effects in humans, including memory loss. Here we report that Delta9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the major psychoactive component of marijuana, is toxic for hippocampal neurons. Treatment of cultured neurons or hippocampal slices with THC caused shrinkage of neuronal cell bodies and nuclei as well as genomic DNA strand breaks, hallmarks of neuronal apoptosis. Neuron death induced by THC was inhibited by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, including indomethacin and aspirin, as well as vitamin E and other antioxidants. Furthermore, treatment of neurons with THC stimulated a significant increase in the release of arachidonic acid. We hypothesize that THC neurotoxicity is attributable to activation of the prostanoid synthesis pathway and generation of free radicals by cyclooxygenase. These data suggest that some of the memory deficits caused by cannabinoids may be caused by THC neurotoxicity.

From these variety of testimonies, I admonish some sort of precaution at the hour of medicate hashish as potencial therapy.