Time to Add Transplants to the Benefits of Medical Cannabis

Photo Credit: Blaze Now

Photo Credit: Blaze Now

There has been some controversy in politics recently on whether or not medical marijuana patients should be allowed on organ transplant lists, but new research suggests medical cannabis could actually help those who receive organ transplants.

The Journal of Leukocyte Biology recently published a clinical study conducted at the University of South Carolina's School of Medicine. The study analyzed the effects of THC on the suppression of host-versus-graft disease (HvGD), which is a common issue when it comes to tissue and organ transplants. Researchers took two groups of mice with different genetic makeups and administered THC to one group and placebo to the other. The mice then received skin transplants from the opposite group, ensuring the tissue would be rejected due to the differences in genetic makeup. The mice who had received THC before the operation had superior skin-graft survival rates and delayed rejections in comparison to those that did not. This is because the THC reduced T cell proliferation, which promotes transplant rejections. The authors concluded, "Our research shows, for the first time to our knowledge, that targeting cannabinoid receptors may provide a novel treatment modality to attenuate HvGD and prevent allograft rejection."

While these results are promising, they are not conclusive as to how they would translate to the human species. In the future, it would be interesting to see how the clinical trial would perform on actual patients. This information has been provided by Blaze Now and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.