Smallpox. Polio. Malaria. Over the course of mankind’s brief history on this earth, human beings have come a long way in improving life expectancy by fighting and eliminating the various terrible diseases that have plagued us over time. Now, in 2019, it seems that humans may have stumbled upon a solution to pancreatic cancer, the deadliest of all cancers, in the form of a compound found naturally in cannabis.
Pancreatic Cancer: Practically A Death Sentence
Medically speaking, now is the best time to be alive. Even cancer survival rates are improving and at an all-time high. Despite this, however, one cancer’s survival rates have remained relatively unfazed. Pancreatic Cancer.
Infamous for taking the lives of the likes of Steve Jobs and Patrick Swayze, pancreatic cancer maintains an abysmal mortality rate. The highest of all cancers. People who are diagnosed are 80% likely to die within the first year, and 92% likely within 5 years.
Despite it being a relatively rare cancer, it is somehow the 3rd leading cause of death by cancer in 2018. The reason for this being that it’s difficult to detect in its early stages when it’s most vulnerable. Often times, it displays no symptoms until it metastasizes, or spreads to other organs. By then it is usually too late. A pancreatic cancer diagnosis was practically a death sentence with no hope. Until now.
A New Hope: Cannabis
In July 2019, a new study was published by scientists at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard Medical School. The study found that a compound derived from cannabis flavonoids “demonstrates significant therapeutic potential in the treatment of pancreatic cancer.”
The scientists in the study, expose the compound – called FBL-03G – to pancreatic tumor cells. The results show boosts in “both local and metastatic tumor cell kill.” This means that it can kill cancer cells even after it spreads, significantly increasing life expectancy.
The Miracle Compound
Scientists derived compound FBL-03G, used to kill pancreatic cancer cells, from the flavonoids of Cannabis Sativa L. Flavonoids are naturally occurring, anti-inflammatory chemicals found in plants, fruits, and vegetables. However, they make up only .014% of the cannabis plant, making it very hard to acquire in large quantities. Luckily, scientists recently figured out how to synthesis cannabis flavinoids, opening up the potential for extensive research.
A Brighter Future
Because “Metastasis accounts for most of all cancer-associated suffering and death,” the results of this study will be huge. Most importantly, for the first time ever, mankind has an opportunity to fight the previously untouchable pancreatic cancer. This is great news for the cannabis community as well. Cannabis’ reputation as a medical solution is likely to skyrocket. Consequently, this may lead to less regulation and more legalization. The Harvard researchers hope to finish their clinical studies by the end of 2020, opening doors for testing on human patients.