Funding cancer research | CBD project


Cannabinoids extracted from cannabis – special THC, CBNand CBD – showed a cancer-inhibiting effect in mice for the first time almost 50 years ago.1 Since then, many researchers have studied the ability of endogenous, plant and synthetic cannabinoids to cause cancer cell death in vitro (outside a living organism) and inhibit tumor growth in animals.

However, due to the federal cannabis ban, promising research on the anti-carcinogenic effects of cannabinoids – supported by anecdotal reports of cancer remission from cannabis oil extracts – has not yet been translated into clinical trials. Much work remains to be done to determine that cannabis and cannabinoids can fight cancer in humans, also as a complement to other therapies such as chemotherapy and radiation, and to integrate their use into treatment protocols.

With 1.9 million Americans diagnosed with cancer each year, this blatant lab-clinic divide is another worrying by-product of the war on drugs. While it is true that cannabis is widely accepted due to its ability to treat cancer symptoms and chemotherapy side effects, until the plant is moved / moved to the federal level, dramatic changes in the research landscape are unlikely. Meanwhile, the preclinical work continues. Below are five more articles published in the past few weeks with generally encouraging results.

CBD & Lung cancer stem cells

Cannabidiol (CBD) has previously been shown to fight several different types of cancer cells, but its effects on cancer stem cells2 – a small subpopulation of self-renewing cells that drive tumor initiation and progression – is less well known. A couple of Danish researchers wanted to find out more. In an article published in the magazine drug3 in November 2021 they describe a study in which they tested CBDEffect on hard-to-treat lung cancer stem cells and cancer cells. “We found that CBD Decreased viability and induced cell death in both cell populations “dose-dependent, the authors write. “However, the exact mechanisms of CBD in cancer stem cells have not yet been elucidated and appear to be dependent on the cell context. “

CBD combined with chemotherapy

Three researchers from the Ontario Veterinary College in Canada conducted a study CBDthe ability of Canin to treat canine urothelial cancer, the most common form of canine bladder cancer, both alone and in combination with chemotherapy in vitro. In veterinary practice, treatment with chemotherapy alone causes most dogs to succumb to the disease within a year, the authors write. In their study, the results of which were published in the journal PLOS one4th, CBD reduced cell viability and induced cell death in urothelial cells in dogs alone – and worked even better in combination with chemotherapy. “Further studies in vivo are warranted and clinical studies are needed to investigate how best to implement this CBD-Chemotherapy combination treatments in a clinical setting, ”conclude the authors – in a familiar refrain that could also apply to cancer in humans.

Cannabinoids for chemotherapy-induced neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy is a side effect of chemotherapy drugs that occurs in nearly 70 percent of patients within the first month of treatment. Caused by nerve damage, it manifests as weakness, numbness, and pain in the hands and feet. According to a group of authors with Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and Sutter Health in California in November 2021 Integrative Cancer Therapies Paper5topical creams with THC and or CBD could help patients with this condition. Her article examines the cases of 26 cancer patients who tried topical cannabinoids to treat the condition, 22 of whom reported finding relief. These data “provide the rationale for conducting a randomized, placebo-controlled study with a standardized product to determine the actual effectiveness of such a treatment,” the authors write.

Another article in the magazine two weeks later Neurotherapeutics6th showed that administration of a synthetic analog of CBD called PECS-101 together with the chemotherapy agent paclitaxel provided long-lasting relief from mechanical and cold allodynia (a model of neuropathic pain) in mice. Further analysis by the Brazil-based researchers suggested that this effect was mediated by PPARy nuclear receptors, a known target of CBD.

Cannabinoids for cancer-associated cachexia

In a review in Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia, and Muscle7tha group of researchers from University College London is studying the potential of cannabinoids to treat cancer-related cachexia, a condition characterized by involuntary weight loss and anorexia. “Previous studies support the use of cannabinoids for cachexia in other chronic diseases, including HIV and multiple sclerosis, ”write the authors – but there is a lack of data on this intervention in cancer populations. A literature search revealed ten studies: four randomized controlled studies and six non-randomized studies. Meta-analyzes of these limited studies did not show any statistically significant benefits from cannabinoid use, but anecdotal, patient-reported observations from the non-randomized studies showed improvements in appetite.

Inhibition of endocannabinoid-degrading enzymes

If preclinical research shows that cannabinoids can suppress tumor cell proliferation, tumor invasion, and metastasis (the spread of cancerous tumors to new sites), and aid in the death and breakdown of cancer cells, approaches to increasing the levels of your own cannabinoids, or endocannabinoids, could be, too serve as cancer therapy? That is the core question that is being explored in a recent review article in the journal cancer8th. “In addition to the direct activation of cannabinoid receptors through the exogenous application of appropriate agonists, another strategy is to activate these receptors by increasing the endocannabinoid level at the corresponding pathological hotspots,” suggest the authors based in Germany. They go on to review results from previous studies that show the inhibition of the enzymes FAAH and MAGLwho mine the THC-like endocannabinoids anandamide and 2-AGis associated with a reduction in tumor development and spread. Modulation of enzymatic activity to enhance endocannabinoid tone is a topic of continuing interest for a variety of therapeutic outcomes, but little progress has been made in terms of clinical advances.

Nate Seltenrich, an independent science writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area, covers a wide range of topics, including environmental health, neuroscience, and pharmacology. Copyright, project CBD. May not be reprinted without permission.