Israel Institute of Technology
Cannabis plants contain more than 150 phytocannabinoids which are presumed to have bioactive properties. Yet, the identification of Cannabis components is usually limited to several species. Recently, the therapeutic potential of these phytocannabinoids has been rediscovered in cancer research as these compounds were found to have palliative effects in oncology. Moreover, there is accumulating evidence showing antitumor effects. In response to phytocannabinoids, several studies showed a regression of different tumors in vivo. Further investigations in vitro have revealed that they can induce cell death and inhibit proliferation of cancer cells. The concentrations and combinations of various phytocannabinoids determine both medicinal and adverse effects in patients. Therefore, analyzing the chemical content of differing Cannabis plants is of major importance.
The objective is to assess a variety of Cannabis preparations and to elucidate which factors are responsible for their antitumor effects, in order to better understand how Cannabis may effectively treat cancer
We perfected extraction techniques and identified distinct compositions of 12 clinically-used Cannabis strains. We then explored the differential antitumor effects of these Cannabis extracts (differing in cannabinoid compositions) on 12 cancer cell lines.
Categorizing cancer cells according to their response to medicinal Cannabis will provide valuable information for the development specific Cannabis treatments for subgroups of cancer patients.