Guillermo Velasco of Complutense University in Madrid and colleagues reported the results in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
"Our findings support that safe, therapeutically efficacious doses of THC may be reached in cancer patients."The researchers showed giving THC to mice with cancer decreased tumor growth and killed cells off in a process called autophagy. Autophagy is the breakdown of a cell that occurs when the cell essentially self-digests.
Besides experiments on mice, the researchers also studied the effects of THC injections directly into the brain as an experimental treatment for a highly aggressive brain tumor in the case of two patients. They saw findings "in line with the preclinical evidence," with incraase autophagy activity.
While some states in the U.S. have legalized the use of medical marijuana, which is generally used to treat pain and nausea in patients with severe pain or nausea from cancer and other diseases, the federal government has yet to recognize such a use, and has in the past raided clinics selling marijuana to those with a prescription.
Recently, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder stated that federal agents will no longer go after medical marijuana providers unless that service is a front for illegal activities.
This, of course, would be using THC rather than marijuana itself, but you could think of it as "extreme medical marijuana."