A decreased influence of cannabinoids on macromolecular biosynthesis and cell proliferation in human cells which metabolize polycyclic hydrocarbon carcinogens

Linda G. Green, University of Florida College of Medicine
Janet L. Stein, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Gary S. Stein, University of Massachusetts Medical School

Abstract

The influence of psychoactive and nonpsychoactive cannabinoids on macromolecular biosynthesis and cell proliferation was compared in normal and transformed human cells which differ with respect to their abilities to metabolize polycyclic hydrocarbon-containing carcinogens. delta 9-THC, delta 8-THC, 11-OH-delta 9-THC, cannabinol and cannabidiol cause a dose-dependent inhibition of [3H]thymidine, [3H]uridine and [3H]leucine incorporation and a dose-dependent inhibition of cell growth in both normal and transformed human cells. The effectiveness of cannabinoids in modifying nucleic acid biosynthesis, protein biosynthesis, and cell growth does not appear to be related to expression of the transformed phenotype; however, cells with enhanced drug metabolizing capacities, including abilities to metabolize polycyclic hydrocarbon-containing carcinogens, are significantly less sensitive to cannabinoid-induced effects on macromolecular biosynthesis and cell growth.