Illustrated by Gabriela Alford.
It's all too easy to associate weed with a half-baked Matthew McConaughey in Dazed and Confused. But, marijuana may have some major benefits that don't even involve a trip. According to a new study from a team of scientists at St. George’s, University of London, research shows that the non-hallucinogenic compounds of cannabis — known as cannabinoids — may be effective anti-cancer agents. While the same properties have been recognized in the hallucinogenic components of the cannabis plant for years, this recent breakthrough is promising — especially considering that not everyone wants to take a magic-carpet ride.
There's more good news: The cannabinoids may have perks beyond their cancer-fighting properties. According to Dr. Wai Liu who led the study: "Used in combination with existing treatment, we could discover some highly effective strategies for tackling cancer. Significantly, these compounds are inexpensive to produce and making better use of their unique properties could result in much more cost effective anti-cancer drugs in future." We definitely appreciate anything that's both affordable and high quality.
Of course, there's still a lot of research to be done. Up next? Liu and his team will begin to examine and compare the compounds with existing treatments in an effort to create an anti-cancer powerhouse.
We say that's the best use of weed ever. (AlphaGalileo Foundation)