Another Study Confirms Anti-Cancer Effects of THC and CBD

Another Study Confirms Anti-Cancer Effects of THC and CBD

Certain types of brain cancer appear to be vulnerable to cannabinoids such as THC and CBD. Scientific research has demonstrated that THC and other cannabinoids can kill extremely aggressive brain cancers known as glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) or grade IV astrocytomas. Researchers have also experimented with combining different cananbinoids for the treatment of aggressive brain cancers. So far, the results have been extremely promising. There is a need for new treatments for GBMs, as current  treatments for these cancers can extend life for up to 15 months, if you’re lucky.

Last year, the journal of Molecular Cancer Therapeutics published research demonstrating that combination’s of THC and CBD, the two most abundant cannabinoids on the plant, can lead to a greater-than-additive or synergistic inhibition of cancer growth. Now, nearly a year to the date, the journal has published another article studying the anti-cancer effects of THC and CBD. The new article takes the next steps towards getting this therapy in to the clinic by testing THC and CBD in animals along side a common brain tumor drug TMZ (temozolomide).

The study was conducted in Spain, and the experiments analyzing the effects of cannabinoids were conducted with tumors or brain cancer cells from human samples and a tumor xenograft mouse model. A tumor xenograft model is basically a cancer that is induced into an animal that has a compromised immune system. This allows researchers to give a mouse a tumor consisting of human cells, thus a promising anti-cancer treatment can be tested on a human tumor in a more natural environment, than a petri dish.

The plant cannabinoids used for this study were “kindly provided by GW pharmaceuticals.”  THC and CBD were also provided as plant extracts or “botanical drug substances,” meaning they contained small amounts of other cannabinoids. Allowing these researchers to construct a custom anti-cancer, Sativex-like substance.  Other synthetic cannabinoids such as SR141716A and SR144528 were donated by Sonafi-Aventis.

In the figure provided it shows that THC and TMZ can drastically inhibit the size of tumor. The pictures on the graph are of tumors after 15 days of treatment.

In other experiments the authors also examined combinations of THC,CBD, TMZ , and SAT-L (a “botonical drug substance” or extract containing a 1:1 ratio of THC and CBD, 7.5mg each). Interestingly their results also showed that TMZ resistant cells, can be killed by cannabinoids or in combination with cannabinoids.

The researchers conclude that:

“Taken together, our observations support that the administration of cannabinoids, and in particular of Sativex, which is currently used for palliative applications in patients with cancer and multiple sclerosis, alone or in combination with TMZ, could be of potential interest for the management of GBM.”

Cannabis-based medicines are most often prescribed to increase quality of life or treat symptoms of disease. As research continues on this ancient medicine, scientific data suggests that cannabinoids are not only promising treatments but represent potential cures.

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