A non-psychoactive chemical found in marijuana called cannabidiol (CBD) could offer an effective treatment for brain cancer and is potentially an effective anti-cancer drug in the management of gliomas, without side effects, according to a new study from a team of Investigators in Spain, Italy and Canada. The results suggest that CBD helps battle brain cancer through a combination of anti-cancer effects at the molecular level.
With funding from the drug company, GW Pharmaceuticals, Paola Massi, PhD from the University of Milan, and her colleagues have been conducting a number of pre-clinical studies on cannabinoids and cancer. Funded by the University of Milan and GW Pharmaceuticals, the latest study suggests marijuana-based therapies may target multiple pathways of the disease.
The researchers have summarized their findings on the effects of CBDs, ranging from triggering tumor cell death (apoptosis) to interfering with tumor blood supply (angiogenesis) associated with tumor growth in their latest report. While marijuana’s cancer-fighting potential is well documented, this study that involved conducting experiments using CBD and glioma cell cultures shows the effect of this cannabinoid on multiple tumoral features and molecular pathways. It also provides new insights into the antitumor action of CBD and the molecular mechanisms it influences. Strong pre-clinical evidence shows that CBD effectively limits human glioma cell growth (both in vitro and in vivo) by inhibiting the LOX (lipoxygenase) pathway, modulating the endocannabinoid system, and triggering oxidative stress and apoptosis.
GW Pharmaceuticals recently announced the start of the first clinical trials involving cannabis-based medicine as a cancer therapy.