By: Brendan Bures
Though many research institutions face regulatory limitations on cannabis research, one high school student in Pennsylvania decided to base his whole school science project on marijuana — and it earned him the highest honor at the regional science fair. Let this be a lesson for every underachieving child who recycles the cliché baking soda volcano at their school’s science fair.
Lancaster Catholic High School sophomore Daniel Baksh wanted to study what effects cannabinoids had on squamous cell carcinoma cells. Would the cancer continue to grow or would the cannabinoids have no effect?
To [investigate], he created and tested cells to find out if the use of cannabinoids decelerated their growth. And they did.
Daniel’s conclusion: Marijuana could have a beneficial effect on squamous cell cancer by decreasing cell proliferation and growth.
Daniel said he wasn’t surprised by the results, as it aligned with his hypothesis, which he made about three months ago on, of all days, Christmas.
Baksh isn’t the first of his family to claim grand champion status at the North Museum Science & Engineering Fair — his older brother Sanjeethan earned the title back in 2008. Part of Baksh’s inspiration was personal, as his grandfather has prostate cancer and he believes medical marijuana has the potential to help those suffering from cancer or other ailments.