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rotecMelanoma is considered to be the most serious form of skin cancer: a cancerous tissue that can form as moles or from already existing moles, it is considered to be caused by overexposure to UV rays or tanning beds. This is something that has affected many and it’s not exactly easily avoidable, as humans we require some time in the sunlight for our mental and physical health. Though results were created in a laboratory petri dish and not in the complex system of a human, recent research does offer a potential solution: THC and CBD seem to discourage these cells from forming.

Found in the 2015 issue of the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, the study claims that, put simply, certain cannabinoids decreased the viability of melanoma cells by helping the body clear out unhealthy cells.

In scientific parlance, these cannabinoids decrease viability via autophagy-dependent apoptosis. THC results in the creation of a fat known as sphingolipid ceramide, which puts stress on the membranes of cells and prevents the signaling of pathways known as Akt/mTORC1. This pathway is highly useful in most situations, preventing cell suicide in certain conditions, but ends up protecting harmful cells like melanoma by preventing their being cleared naturally from the body. This is obviously a problem, but the research shows that

This is obviously a problem, but the research shows that THC, and even moreso in the presence of the cannabinoid CBD, helps prevent the body from accidentally protecting dangerous cancerous cells. When THC and CBD are in the presence of the melanoma cells, the fats created by the THC decreases the survival rate of the melanoma, weakening it and giving the body a pathway to clear them from the system. The study also showed that while the melanoma cells were targeted and weakened by the cannabinoids, healthy cells didn’t see losses. Though the research hasn’t been applied to human test subjects, it’s a massive step in the right direction.