Marijuana is a psychoactive product of the plant Cannabis sativa, or more often, Cannabis indica The major biologically active chemical compound in cannabis is Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), commonly referred to as THC.
That's the finding of a new study published in the latest issue of the journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics.
The study, by scientists at the California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute, is raising hope that CBD, a compound found in Cannabis sativa, could be the first non-toxic agent to show promise in treating metastatic forms of breast cancer.
Cannabis compound 'halts cancer'
The California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute team are hopeful that cannabidiol or CBD could be a non-toxic alternative to chemotherapy.
Unlike cannabis, CBD does not have any psychoactive properties so its use would not violate laws, Molecular Cancer Therapeutics reports.
The authors stressed that they were not suggesting patients smoke marijuana.
They added that it would be highly unlikely that effective concentrations of CBD could be reached by smoking cannabis.
CBD works by blocking the activity of a gene called Id-1 which is believed to be responsible for the aggressive spread of cancer cells away from the original tumour site - a process called metastasis.
Past work has shown CBD can block aggressive human brain cancers.
The latest work found CBD appeared to have a similar effect on breast cancer cells in the lab.