by David Downs
It’s in the genes.
Researchers at the University of South Carolina have another clue as to why patients with auto-immune diseases like multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s and celiac disease sometimes respond to medical marijuana therapies, according to Science World Reports.
The main active ingredient in pot, THC, regulates gene expression in immune cells, effectively switching off runaway inflammation at the DNA level.
The researchers used mice cells in vivo and the results suggest that “THC activates the expression of a subset of genes while suppressing the expression of another subset of genes.” The net result is less inflammatory response, which can severely damage and kill cells.
Autoimmune diseases involve an abnormal immune response of the body, causing immune cells to attack healthy cells instead of pathogens. Autoimmune diseases — a collection of about 80 diseases — are the 10th leading cause of death of women in all age groups up to 65 years old.
Despite the safety and efficacy of medical cannabis, providers remain under attack across America. California senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein currently support the war on pot patients and providers. The Drug Policy Alliance has started a new campaign today to help citizens lobby Senators to defund the war on medical marijuana.