Marijuana Compound Good for Controlling Diabetes, Cholesterol and Obesity
(Photo : REUTERS )
Studies on two key compounds in the narcotic drug can be used to increase sensitivity to insulin and lowering fat in liver
The British researcher's claim that two compounds present in marijuana leaves could treat patients who are obese and battling with heart diseases and stroke. These compound acts as a appetite suppressant.
The researchers at Britain's GW Pharmaceuticals, who are responsible for the latest weed development, claim that marijuana when tested in mice showed the two compounds THCV and cannabidiol not only helps in treating Type II diabetes, but also drops the levels of cholesterol in the blood stream and fat in the key organs like the liver.
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The same study is being conducted on 200 patients in the hope of producing a drug that can be used to treat patients suffering from "metabolic syndrome", in which diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity combine to form the perfect storm of heart disease and stroke.
GW Pharmaceuticals research director Dr. Steph Wright said, "Humans have been using these plants for thousands of years. So we have quite a lot of experience of the chemicals in the plants. We are conducting four Phase 2a clinical trials and we expect some results later this year.
"The results in animal models have been very encouraging. We are interested in how these drugs effect the fat distribution and utilisation in the body as a treatment for metabolic diseases."
Although cannabis is an illegal drug, GW pharmaceutical has managed to get the licence to grow mellow bud in southern England. The company is also developing a cannabis based drug to treat multiple sclerosis and epilepsy.
Till date it was considered that cannabis induces hunger in those who smoke it, often referred as munchies. But on conducting this study they learnt that compounds THCV and cannabidiol actually kill appetites. It has a suppressing effect. THCV was also found to increase the animal's sensitivity to insulin while also protecting the cells that produce insulin, allowing them to work better and for longer.
Professor Mike Cawthorne, director of metabolic research at the University of Buckingham who has been conducting the animal studies, said: "Overall, it seems these molecules increase energy expenditure in the cells of the body by increasing the metabolism."
This new findings raises hope that this drug can be used into treatments for obesity related diseases and Type II diabetes.