Hemp may aid in the fight against ovarian cancer, according to the preliminary studies of a group of researchers from Kentucky.
Hemp is one of the earliest plants to be cultivated and used by humans for thousands of years. Items that have been made from hemp includes paper, clothing, ship’s sail, shoes, and ropes. However, it went out of service during the 20th century.
However hemp is relishing in a rebirth today. According to new studies, it might one day be vital in the treatment of ovarian cancer.
The laboratory of Wasana Sumanasekera, located at the Sullivan University College of Pharmacy in Louisville, KY, is currently a center of research into the potential ability of hemp to combat cancer.
A fresh strain of hemp
Sara Biela and Chase Turner, two researchers at the lab of Wasana Sumanasekera, presented their latest findings at the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology annual meeting, which ran alongside the 2018 Experimental Biology meeting, held in San Diego, CA.
“Hemp, like marijuana contains therapeutically valuable components such as cannabidiol, cannabinol, and tetrahydrocannabinol. However, unlike marijuana, hemp’s therapeutic ability has not been studied in detail.”
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Biela and Turner used a cultivated strain of hemp called KY hemp, which is grown in Kentucky. This strain of hemp is designed to contain top levels of therapeutic ingredients and is grown in an environment that restricts the likelihood of contamination.
Hemp and the metastatis of ovarian cancer
The researchers added KY hemp to cultured ovarian cancer cells in the first study to be presented. The hemp reduced the ability of the cells to migrate. This is actually the first time that the anti-migration powers of hemp have been studied.
The researchers believed that the extract might one day be useful for slowing or preventing the metastasis of ovarian cancer. The study authors write, “Based on the data here, we conclude that KY hemp has substantial anti-metastatic properties against ovarian cancer.”
The second study was set out to examine how KY hemp might actively protect against ovarian cancer. The researchers were interested in a chemical involved in inflammation that is assumed to help cancer progress, called interleukin IL-1 beta.
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“We hypothesized that the hemp-induced modulation of interleukin-1 beta production may play a role in hemp-induced anti-cancer effects,” the researchers concluded.
The hemp reduced the levels of interleukin IL-1 beta that were produced, as expected. They expect this might form a new way to approach cancer treatments in the future.
Chase Turner said:
“Our findings from this research, as well as prior research, show that KY hemp slows ovarian cancer comparable to, or even better than, the current ovarian cancer drug Cisplatin.”
Turner continues, “Since Cisplatin displays high toxicity, we expect that hemp would carry less side effects. However, that needs to be tested in the future.”
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