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Cannabis can fight cancer.

CANNABIS could provide an unlikely new weapon in the fight against cancer, new research suggests.

Scientists have discovered that the chemical in the drug which gets users ``high'' combats cancer-causing viruses.

Experiments show that the active cannabis ingredient tetrahydrocannibol (THC) can prevent the activation and replication of gamma herpes viruses.

Two of these viruses, Kaposis sarcoma associated herpes virus and Epstein-Barr virus, predispose infected individuals to various cancers.

Gamma herpes viruses are different from the herpes simplex viruses responsible for cold sores and genital herpes.

Kaposis sarcoma is especially prevalent among Aids sufferers, especially in Africa.

Once infected, it is almost impossible to get rid of the viruses as they lie dormant for long periods within white blood cells.

The dormant viruses can reactivate, replicating themselves and bursting out of the cells to spread between individuals and cause illness.

Scientists in Florida found that reactivation was prevented if infected cells were grown in the presence of THC.
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Copyright 2004 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Sep 15, 2004
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