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Medical Exploration of Marijuana Continues

Medical Exploration of Marijuana Continues

Marijuana’s been making the news more and more lately as parents start to fight for its legalization for their kids.  It may sound crazy at first glance, but the plant is said to help control certain rare forms of epilepsy.  Now researchers at the University of South Carolina are exploring what other uses, or problems, can be derived from the cannabis plants.


Finding a cure for cancer has long been on the list of things that people have wished for the world.  Researchers at the University of South Carolina have now started to explore the effects of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on cancer cells.  The study that is currently underway is exploring how microRNAs (miRNAs).  In short, the scientists are exploring the ways that THC can work with these miRNAs to suppress the effects that auto-immune diseases such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, and arthritis can have on the body.


While the study seems to indicate that THC is great for suppressing the inflammation that can occur in the body of persons with these diseases, there is a fear that suppressing the miRNA cells that cause the inflammation could lead to the body’s vulnerability in other ways.  According to Dr. Venkatesh Hegde at the University of South Carolina, using medical marijuana for medicinal purposes could produce "a double-edged sword.”  While patients will have the chance to achieve greater comfort from their illnesses with decreased inflammation, the body becomes susceptible to other diseases that had not yet entered the picture for that patient.


Of course, researching marijuana’s medicinal effects on the body is really in its infancy in the big scheme of things, and much more work is likely to take place.