Dr. Weeks’ Comment: Don’t be the last (along with the American Cancer Society!) to learn the power of medical marijuana especially as regards cancer. For a great summary of powerful studies about this natural substance and cancer take an hour and scan these peer-reviewed scientific articles.
Cannabidiol as potential anticancer drug
Over the past years, several lines of evidence support an antitumourigenic effect of cannabinoids including Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC), synthetic agonists, endocannabinoids and endocannabinoid transport or degradation inhibitors. Indeed, cannabinoids possess anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effects and they are known to interfere with tumour neovascularization, cancer cell migration, adhesion, invasion and metastasization. However, the clinical use of Δ9-THC and additional cannabinoid agonists is often limited by their unwanted psychoactive side effects, and for this reason interest in non-psychoactive cannabinoid compounds with structural affinity for Δ9-THC, such as cannabidiol (CBD), has substantially increased in recent years. The present review will focus on the efficacy of CBD in the modulation of different steps of tumourigenesis in several types of cancer and highlights the importance of exploring CBD/CBD analogues as alternative therapeutic agents.
The use of cannabinoids as anticancer agents
Progress in Neuro-Psychophyarmacology and Biological Psychiatry
- •The endocannabinoid system may play a dual role on the regulation of tumor generation and progression.
- •Administration of THC and other cannabinoids exert anticancer actions in animal models of cancer.
- •THC and other cannabinoid receptor-ligands induce cancer cell death and inhibit tumor angiogenesis.
- •Cannabinoids enhance the anticancer activity of other antineoplastic agents in animal models of cancer.
- •Cannabinoids are currently being tested as anticancer agents in phase I/II clinical studies.
It is well-established that cannabinoids exert palliative effects on some cancer-associated symptoms. In addition evidences obtained during the last fifteen years support that these compounds can reduce tumor growth in animal models of cancer. Cannabinoids have been shown to activate an ER-stress related pathway that leads to the stimulation of autophagy-mediated cancer cell death. In addition, cannabinoids inhibit tumor angiogenesis and decrease cancer cell migration. The mechanisms of resistance to cannabinoid anticancer action as well as the possible strategies to develop cannabinoid-based combinational therapies to fight cancer have also started to be explored. In this review we will summarize these observations (that have already helped to set the bases for the development of the first clinical studies to investigate the potential clinical benefit of using cannabinoids in anticancer therapies) and will discuss the possible future avenues of research in this area.
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