Studies have shown cannabinoids have antitumor effects and that they can limit tumor growth and encourage cancer cell death. Studies have shown cannabinoids help cancer patients manage the nausea, pain, and weight loss related to treatments, and can even kill cancer cells. Overview of cannabinoids' actions in cancer cell lines. . Most of the research implicates that the action of CBD and other cannabinoids devoid.
Overview Tumors: Cannabinoids Research and CBD
They have been proposed to be classified as CB receptors, but their exact role in endocannabinoid signaling is still under discussion 3. Endocannabinoids are part of the endocannabinoid system, which is composed of cannabinoid receptors, their endogenous ligands, and the enzymes involved in their metabolism.
To date, two cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 have been identified in mammalian tissues 5 , 6. Its high expression has been observed in these areas of central nervous system, that are engaged in the modulation of motor behavior, memory, learning, emotions, perception, and endocrine functions 3 , 8. CB2 receptors have been found in immune cells, but their presence was revealed also in nervous system 10 , In addition to its neuromodulatory function, endocannabinoid system has been shown to play other important functions such as control of the energy metabolism, immunity, cardiovascular tone, and reproduction 12 , According to the contribution of the endocannabinoid system in a regulation of such variety of processes, its pharmacological modulation becomes promising therapeutic strategy.
To date, cannabinoids have been exploited in the palliative medicine. Nabilone THC synthetic analogue is allowed for the treatment of nausea and vomiting induced by chemotherapy, and sleep disorders. Dronabinol synthetic THC is approved also for nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy and for the treatment of weight loss associated with AIDS. Medical Cannabis in the form of marijuana dried flowers and leafs is illegal in the USA at the federal level according to the Controlled Substances Act as a Schedule I substance, but some states have legalized it for medical purposes Besides palliative properties of cannabinoids, it has been shown in wide range of in vitro and animal models, that they also exhibit anticancer effects 7 , 15 , 16 , Despite numerous studies conducted during the last decade, there are still inconsistent data regarding the exact role of cannabinoid system in cancer development.
The upregulated expression of CB receptors and the elevated levels of endocannabinoids have been observed in a variety of cancer cells skin, prostate, and colon cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma, endometrial sarcoma, glioblastoma multiforme, meningioma and pituitary adenoma, Hodgkin lymphoma, chemically induced hepatocarcinoma, mantel cell lymphoma , but it is not always correlated with the expression level of these receptors in tissue of origin 7 , 11 , 18 , Furthermore, concentration of endocannabinoids, expression level of their receptors, and the enzymes involved in their metabolism frequently are associated with an aggressiveness of cancer.
This implies that an overactivation of endocannabinoid system might be protumorigenic and plays an essential role in the development of cancer 20 , On the other hand, there are reports indicating that an activation of the cannabinoid receptors can impair cancer development and hence endocannabinoid signaling can be antitumorigenic.
Furthermore, it has been shown that silenced expression of CB1 receptor leads to an acceleration of intestinal adenoma growth, whereas activation of this receptor attenuates its growth in murine model The elevated level of endocannabinoids has been shown to reduce the development of precancerous lesions in mouse colon On the other hand, there are reports that have indicated that under certain circumstances, cannabinoids can be protumorigenic 31 , 32 , It has been shown that CB1 and CB2 receptor agonists stimulate apoptotic cell death in glioma cells by induction of de novo synthesis of ceramide, sphingolipid with proapoptotic activity 34 , If this response fails, ER stress can lead to activation of intrinsic apoptosis pathway The known mechanisms responsible for the induction of apoptosis by cannabinoids.
It has been demonstrated that process of autophagy is upstream of apoptosis in mechanism of cell death induced by cannabinoids. An inhibition of autophagy prevents apoptosis induced by cannabinoids, while an inhibition of apoptosis prevents only cell death but not the autophagy 39 , 41 , 42 , It has been shown that cannabinoids induce process of autophagy in cancer cell lines such as glioma, melanoma, hepatic, and pancreatic cancer 39 , 41 , 42 , Moreover, some additional mechanisms have been demonstrated to contribute to the process of an induction of cell death by cannabinoids in certain cell lines.
Similar results have been obtained in prostate carcinoma cells Table S1 Cannabinoids devoid of psychoactive properties also exhibit anticancer potential. They do not affect CB receptors directly and their exact mechanism of action is still not fully elucidated. Another interesting explanation is that CBD can prevent the degradation of anandamide AEA and subsequently leads to increased endocannabinoid concentration by acting as an inhibitor of fatty acid amide hydrolase FAAH 52 , This notion raises the possibility that the observed actions of CBD can be, in fact, partially the result of an elevated level of AEA.
These observations are in line with the described earlier relations between endocannabinoids and cancer development. Most of the research implicates that the action of CBD and other cannabinoids devoid of psychoactive properties is not linked to a direct activation of the CB receptors. However, there are reports suggesting that CBD can induce apoptosis in cancer cells partially via direct or indirect activation of CB2 receptor Recent studies have shown that CBD reduces cancer cell viability in many cancer types such as neuroblastoma, glioblastoma, melanoma, leukemia, colorectal, breast, lung, or prostate cancer Table S1 41 , 50 , 51 , 54 , 56 , 57 , 58 , The mechanism of the immunomodulatory effects of cannabinoids is still not fully elucidated.
Research has been focused mainly on the CB2 receptor, mostly due to its expression primarily in cells of the immune system. CB1 receptors have been noticed in the T lymphocytes and it is proposed that their activation may be connected with the cytokine biasing induced by cannabinoids The highest level of CB2 expression has been observed in B cells, followed by NK cells, monocytes, polymorphonuclear neutrophils, and T cells It has been shown that the expression level of CB2 correlates with the cell activation state and with the presence of immune modulators The immune system is postulated to be involved in the control of growth and development of many types of cancer.
One of the key regulators of the antitumor immune response is cytokines profile. It is postulated that a Th1 response is crucial for an effective immune response against many tumors Phytocannabinoids with high affinity for CB2 receptors, such as THC, exhibit modulatory effects on both cellular and humoral immunity. Nonpsychotropic cannabinoids with low affinity for CB receptors have also been proven to exhibit immunomodulatory action.
Most of the studies indicate that cannabinoids exhibit immunosuppressive action The most extensively examined immunomodulatory effects of cannabinoids in context of cancer are regarding the changes in the activity of T cells. It has also been proposed that cannabinoids can affect T cells by the induction of apoptosis 73 , Another possibility is that cannabinoids effects on immune cells are at least partially induced indirectly via other suppressive mechanisms such as release of cortisone The effects on the Th17 cells subsets have not been fully described to date.
Interestingly, CB receptors seem to take part in the modulation of those phenomena Indeed, there are reports indicating the suppression of anticancer immune response by THC.
It has been demonstrated that THC suppresses host immune reactivity against cancer in murine lung cancer model Lewis lung carcinoma, 3LL and line 1 alveolar cell carcinoma L1C2 , leading to the increase in the tumor growth CB2 receptors antagonists also blocked the effects of THC administration. Similar results were obtained in the study of mouse mammary carcinoma. It has been demonstrated that THC exposure leads to the significant increase in the 4T1 carcinoma growth and metastasis due to the inhibition of the specific antitumor immune response Observed effects were mediated by CB2 receptors It is possible that tumors originating from tissues of low CB receptors expression would be significantly less sensitive to cannabinoids anticancer action and, eventually, due to THC immunosuppressive properties, such tumors may find a favorable environment for growth and development.
It is also possible that anticancer properties of cannabinoids may be compensated by their immunosuppressive action, finally leading to promotion of the tumor growth. THC the most abundant compound in cannabis is the cannabinoid component that induces the euphoric psychoactive effect. The potency of smoked cannabis medical marijuana has increased due to higher concentrations of THC from plant preparations grown by caregivers and dispensaries. Decades ago the THC concentration was less than five percent, which resulted in more mellow effects and less toxicity.
CBD cannabidiol, another compound in cannabis does not cause psychoactive effects including euphoria. In fact, CBD has been found to decrease anxiety and improve sleep as well as provide other neuroprotective effects. Some research indicates CBD even protects against the psychoactive properties of THC in many locations within the central nervous system, thus helping to reduce or moderate the psychoactive behaviors of THC.
Thus, cannabis preparations with CBD alone may convey useful symptom-management effects without causing euphoria, although research still need to confirm this. CBD alone or cannabis preparations with lower percentages of THC closer to 5 percent may be a safer option. Regular cannabis users who wish to discontinue use should speak with a doctor. A medically supervised cessation plan may be advisable. As noted in the previous section regarding the differences in effects of THC and CBD, a similar difference is found in the dependence potential of these two substances.
BCCT staff December 28, Given my long practice in San Francisco, I can assume that a large proportion of my patients have used cannabis during their journey.
If cannabis cured cancer, I would have a lot more survivors in my practice today. In some states, certain qualifying medical conditions are recognized for permitted medical use of marijuana: Cannabinoids are also used to treat HIV-related peripheral neuropathy.
BCCT has not conducted an independent review of research of cannabis and cannabinoids. We are grateful to Donald Abrams, MD, for his generous sharing of research articles and commentary. This website is for informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for careful medical evaluation and treatment by a competent, licensed personal healthcare professional.
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Cannabinoids derived from hemp generally have no psychoactive effects. Websites to consult regarding availability and legal status of medical cannabis: Alteration of mood euphoria as well as dysphoria Depression Anxiety and paranoia Sensation of depersonalisation Hallucinations Memory impairment Blurred vision Dizziness Cardiovascular adverse effects including hypotension and tachycardia. CBD shows no indications for addiction or dependence in humans. Viewed December 28, Cannabidiol as potential anticancer drug.
British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. The endocannabinoid system and cancer: British Journal of Pharmacology. Critical appraisal of the potential use of cannabinoids in cancer management.
Cancer Management and Research. Cannabidiol enhances the inhibitory effects of delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol on human glioblastoma cell proliferation and survival. KY Hemp-induced modulation of ovarian cancer cell metastasis. Presentation at Experimental Biology The therapeutic effects of cannabis and cannabinoids: European Journal of Internal Medicine. Abrams DI, Guzman M. Cannabis in cancer care. Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics.
Drug interactions with marijuana. Viewed December 14, ; American Cancer Society. Viewed December 14, ; Kramer JL. Medical marijuana for cancer. A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. Cannabinoids and cancer pain: Systematic review and meta-analysis of cannabinoids in palliative medicine. What's happening near you? Find out about support groups, where to get information and how to get involved with Macmillan where you are. Share experiences and get support about any types of cancer treatment, including chemotherapy, radiotherapy, surgery, biological or hormonal therapies, transplants, and clinical trials.
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Cannabis oil and cancer. Two main cannabinoids have been identified: Cannabis and cancer There has been a lot of interest in cannabinoids. Scientists have found that different cannabinoids can: But they have also found that cannabinoids can: Cannabis oil Cannabis, particularly cannabis oil, is a popular topic.
If you are thinking about using cannabis oil, there are some important things to keep in mind: Buying it online can be risky.
Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids
Cannabinoids are the components in cannabis; some are commercially available to treat Get detailed information in this clinician summary. CBD and other cannabinoids including THC have been known to ease cancer and .com/tumors-medical-marijuana-research-overview/. A collection of published research articles and other educational resources The Influence of Biomechanical Properties and Cannabinoids on Tumor Invasion cannabinoid, on human glioma cell lines · Systematic review of the literature on .