Numerous studies have documented the cancer fighting properties of CBD and THC two of the most abundant cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. Of the two, CBD is arguably the most important due to its therapeutic potential. It is non-psychotropic containing no THC. CBD actually inhibits tumour growth in lab animals and kills cancer cells. It has been shown to be especially effective in killing extremely aggressive brain cancers. A study in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics examined the impact CBD has on brain cancer and found it produced significant anti-tumour activity. This is particularly good news for those with brain cancer which has a very poor prognosis with a rate of only 10% survival after 5 years. Studies are currently underway to confirm the best protocol for treatment and are showing that a combination of THC, CBD and irradiation have the most promising results.
Although cannabis based medicines are typically prescribed to enhance the quality of life and treat symptoms of the disease in question, current research indicates strong evidence that they may also have the ability to function as cures. For example, CBD inhibits the processes that allow breast cancer cells to grow and spread (metastasis) reducing tumour mass. In other words, CBDs are associated with cancerous tumour reduction and reduced cell proliferation. Moreover, unlike standard chemotherapy treatment, CBD is capable of targeting the tumour without affecting the healthy tissue. CBD also prevents new blood vessels from growing into tumours and speeds up the cells’ internal waste disposal mechanism.
Pierre Desprez, Ph.D a molecular biologist has spent decades studying the gene, ID-1, that causes cancer to spread. In the meantime, fellow researcher also from the California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute in San Francisco, Sean McAllister, Ph.D had been studying the effects of CBD. When they eventually collaborated, they put the ID-1 high cells and CBD together in a petri dish and found the CBD functioned to ‘turn off’ the ID-1 cells. “The cells stopped spreading and returned to normal.” They have found CBD to work well in the lab and with animals and are hoping to begin clinical trials soon with synthetic version of CBD currently under development. According to McAllister, “The preclinical trial data is very strong and there is no toxicity. There’s really a lot of research to move ahead with and to get people excited.”
Another instance of promising preclinical trial data can be found in an article published in the Journal of Molecular Medicine that holds promise for CBD cancer fighting properties and its effect on colon cancer in mice. The data confirm “(1) protective effects in an experimental model of colon cancer and (2) antiproliferative actions in colorectal carcinoma cells.”
One other positive factor in the consideration of CBD in the treatment of cancer is the fact that drugs derived from cannabis are significantly cheaper than traditional cancer therapies. Author Wai Liu, Ph. D, explains in an article published online in Anticancer Research “Significantly, these compounds are inexpensive to produce and making better use of their unique properties could result in much more cost effective anti-cancer drugs in future.”
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