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Pot Compound Inhibits Tumor Cell Growth, Study Says

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Milan, Italy: Administration of the non-psychoactive cannabinoid cannabidiol
(CBD) inhibits the growth of human glioma (brain tumor) cells both in vitro
(e.g., a petri dish) and in animals, according to clinical trial data
published in the November 14, 2003 issue of the Journal of Pharmacology And
Experimental Therapeutics.

"The addition of CBD to the culture medium led to a dramatic drop ... [in
the] viability [of] glioma cells in a concentration-dependent manner,"
researchers at the University of Milan found. The study also demonstrated
"for the first time, that the antiproliferative effect of CBD was correlated
to induction of apoptosis (programmed cell death of malignant cells)."

Scientists further demonstrated that the administration of CBD in mice
"significantly inhibited the growth of subcutaneously implanted U87 human
glioma cells." They concluded, "Non-psychoactive CBD ... produce a
significant antitumor activity both in vitro and in vivo, thus suggesting a
possible application of CBD as an antineoplastic agent (something which
prevents the growth of malignant cells)."

The study's findings come just one month after a clinical review in the
journal Nature Reviews Cancer suggested that cannabinoids' palliative
effects in cancer patients and ability to inhibit the growth of certain
types of malignant tumors make them a potentially desirable agents in the
treatment of cancer.

Mitch Earleywine, University of Southern California Clinical Science
professor and author of the book Understanding Marijuana: A New Look at the
Scientific Evidence, praised the Italian study's results. "Cannabinoid
research continues to show tremendous potential in the treatment of cancer,"
said Earleywine, who serves on NORML's Advisory Board. "The vast majority of
this work originates outside the US, often in countries that lack our
economic and scientific advantages. Let's hope that our drug policy won't
stymie the battle against the second leading cause of death in America."

Studies published earlier this year demonstrated that marijuana and its
derivatives induce tumor regression in rodents, including the inhibition of
malignant gliomas and skin cancer.

For more information, please contact either Paul Armentano or Allen St.
Pierre of the NORML Foundation, at (202) 483-8751. Abstracts of the study,
entitled "Antitumor effects of cannabidiol, a non-psychotropic cannabinoid,
on human glioma cell lines," are available online at:
Antitumor effects of cannabidiol, a non-psychotropic cannabinoid, on human glioma cell lines


November 20, 2003 - Milan, Italy

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