Recent cannabis research studies reveal it to be a potential drug to be used in cancer therapy.
GERMANY – All known chemotherapeutic agents damage rapidly growing tissue, so that it comes to the known side effects such as hair loss, nausea, damage to the blood forming, etc. The cannabinoids Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), the main ingredients of the cannabis plant, spare healthy cells and act specifically against cancer cells.
Although there is evidence of a cancer inhibition by cannabis was already known since the 90s – cannabis smokers had significantly less lung cancer than would have been expected of the pollutants in the flue – the potential to combat cancer was discovered only in recent years. Now there is intensive research worldwide on cannabis and cancer treatment.
Recent studies see great potential of cannabis in cancer therapy
” What is special about cannabinoids in cancer treatment is their capacity to only induce programmed cell death (apoptosis) in cancer cells, but not in healthy cells,” explains Dr. Franjo Grotenhermen, chairman of Medical Cannabis Declaration. “This makes cannabinoids unique and fundamentally different from standard chemotherapeutics which can cause severe side effects by harming healthy cells.”
A few weeks ago, a special issue on cannabis in cancer therapy, entitled: “Use of Cannabinoids in Cancer Care” was published the journal “Current Oncology”. This most comprehensive document shows the many facets of THC and CBD in cancer treatment.
The working group of Burkhard Hinz of the University of Rostock has presented in April 2016 a summary study how cannabinoids attack cancer cells. The article titled “Antitumorigenic targets of cannabinoids – current status and implications” was published in the journal Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Targets. Looking ahead, the authors wrote: “Considering the remarkable safety profile of cannabinoid compounds, in particular that of CBD, introduction of cannabinoid compounds may serve as a considerable tool cancer patients would benefit from.”
Another journal article, also from this year, will show how intense currently the subject of cannabinoids and cancer is investigated. Entitled “Anticancer mechanisms of cannabinoids” published by Guillermo Velasco and colleagues from the University of Madrid. In summary they said: “To summarize, cannabinoids induce tumour cell death and inhibit tumour angiogenesis and invasion in animal models of cancer, and there are indications that they act similarly in patients with glioblastoma. Given that cannabinoids show an acceptable safety profile, clinical trials testing them as single drugs or, ideally, in combination therapies in glioblastoma and other types of cancer are both warranted and urgently needed. “
Two different mechanisms seem to play a special role in the inhibition of tumor growth by cannabinoids; programmed cell death (apoptosis) and inhibition of new blood vessel formation (angiogenesis). Both effects are probably caused by the docking of cannabinoids bind to cannabinoid receptors. Other effects that scientists and scholars have seen include an inhibition of cell division, reduced metastasis and lower spread into nearby tissues and disorders of the waste management of cancer cells, which can lead to cell death.
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