National Geographic : 2015 Jun
Marijuana 51 a trauma, an aversive memory of some kind. The cannabinoid system is crucial in helping us push bad memories away.” But it’s Guzmán’s brain tumor research that has captured headlines—and the interest of pharmaceutical companies. Through his years of research he has ascertained that a combina- tion of THC, CBD, and temozolomide (a mod- erately successful conventional drug) works best in treating brain tumors in mice. A cocktail composed of these three compounds appears to attack brain cancer cells in multiple ways, pre- venting their spread but also triggering them, in effect, to commit suicide. Now a groundbreaking clinical trial based on Guzmán’s work is under way at St. James’s University Hospital, in Leeds, England. Neuro- oncologists are treating patients who have aggressive brain tumors with temozolomide and Sativex, a THC-CBD oral spray developed by GW Pharmaceuticals. Guzmán cautions against overoptimism but welcomes the beginning of human studies. “ We have to be objective,” he says. “At least the mind- set is opening around the world, and funding agencies now know that cannabis, as a drug, is Helped by her granddaughters, Mari Schwarting (opposite) prepares soil for a family business that makes cannabis-based creams and salves in Washington State, which has legalized the drug. Members of a Seattle cannabis business association called Women of Weed (above) gather to share trade secrets—and intoxicating talk.