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Jul-13-2009 02:00printcomments

CBD and Cancer: Part II

Part 2 in Storm Crow's look at the little known but highly effective medical ingredients in cannabis.

Cannabis bud
Courtesy: wikipedia

(NORTHERN Calif.) - There is a lot more to cannabis than just THC. Although the press and science have focused on THC because of its effects on the brain, the other cannabinoids are potent medicines in their own right.

Studies reveal that CBD, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, may affect cancer cells of many types. Breast cancer, leukemia and glioma (a rather nasty brain cancer) are all slowed, or even killed by CBD.

I usually put in something amusing into my articles, but I find nothing amusing about cancer. Both of my grandmothers died of it. So please forgive me if I do not amuse you this time, but "cut straight to the chase".

In 2006, a study called "Anti-tumor activity of plant cannabinoids with emphasis on the effect of cannabidiol on human breast carcinoma," (see: Breast cancer: Antitumor Activity of Plant Cannabinoids with Emphasis on the Effect of Cannabidiol on Human Breast Carcinoma) compared the effect of five different compounds found in cannabis on an aggressive breast cancer. CBD was the clear winner.

In a short article about the study, it was stated "Cannabidiol (CBD) was the most potent cannabinoid in inhibiting the growth of human breast cancer cells injected under the skin of mice. (see: Science: Cannabidiol inhibits tumour growth in leukaemia and breast cancer in animal studies)

CBD also reduced lung metastases deriving from human breast cancer cells that had been injected into the paws of the animals." To put it simply, CBD slowed the growth of the breast cancer and kept it from spreading into the lungs.

The glioma studies (see: Glioma apoptosis: Inhibition of Glioma Growth in Vivo) and (Glioma apoptosis: Cannabidiol triggers caspase activation and oxidative stress in human glioma cells) are very interesting, since the CBD attacked only the cancerous brain cells while leaving healthy brain cells untouched. Gliomas are one of the most malignant forms of cancer, resulting in the death of affected patients within 1–2 two years after diagnosis. Current therapies for glioma treatment are usually ineffective or just palliative. So how does CBD work to inhibit gliomas and other cancers?

Cells normally die through a process called apoptosis. Normal cells die after going through their programmed lifetime--but cancer cells refuse to die and begin to multiply rapidly. CBD "tells" the abnormal cancer cells that it is time to die by setting off the normal chain of events in programed cell death. The normal cells don't need to be "told" and are left alone.

But CBD doesn't stop there with putting a halt to gliomas. One of the things cancers do is to grow a lot of extra blood vessels to support their rapid growth. This is why a mole that bleeds when you scratch it may be suspected of being skin cancer. In a Spanish study, (see: Glioma blood vessels: Cannabinoids Inhibit the Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Pathway in Gliomas) two glioma patients (stage IV) received CBD injected directly into their tumors, for 16 and 19 days respectively, before their tumors were removed surgically. Both showed evidence of regression of the blood vessels to the tumors. The authors considered the results as "promising" and worthy of further study.

A third area where CBD is "promising" is in the treatment of leukemia. In the study "Cannabidiol-Induced Apoptosis in Human Leukemia Cells", (see: Leukemia: Cannabidiol-Induced Apoptosis in Human Leukemia Cells) we find this in the abstract- "Exposure of leukemia cells to cannabidiol led to cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2)-mediated reduction in cell viability and induction in apoptosis. Furthermore, cannabidiol treatment led to a significant decrease in tumor burden and an increase in apoptotic tumors in vivo." Which is a fancy way of saying CBD killed the leukemia cells and reduced the number of tumors. And again, the authors urge further study.

Aside from feeling relaxed, there are no noticeable effects from CBD, even with very large doses.

On the other hand, modern medicine's chemotherapy is the practice of using poisons that are slightly more toxic to cancer cells than healthy cells. The idea is to poison you just enough so all the cancer cells die, while you, as an organism, live. A lot of healthy cells die in the process. Some patients die in the process. Even at its best, chemotherapy makes you feel very sick.

CBD or chemo? Which treatment sounds better to you?

Of course, these studies are just preliminary and need to be duplicated, refined and studied further. We need to examine the effects of CBD on these and other cancers. Until then, we are stuck with chemotherapy and all of its side effects. We must reschedule cannabis for research.


Comments Leave a comment on this story.

All comments and messages are approved by people and self promotional links or unacceptable comments are denied.

ADHD August 21, 2010 6:17 am (Pacific time)

u can also make ur own oil from pot sylvia, google it please, please try it

johnny1 February 10, 2010 9:17 pm (Pacific time)

great article RICK SIMPSON "RUN from the cure" phoenixtears If alena could make her own if not a local grower can collectiveley in cal.

Alina October 26, 2009 2:56 pm (Pacific time)

Sylvia, I am a cancer patient myself and am wondering how's your hemp oil treatment going? I'd love to try it myself, but don't know where to buy... Best of luck!!!

Sylvia August 10, 2009 11:50 am (Pacific time)

I have stage IV breast cancer, with metastisis to my spine, liver,and lining of my lung. I am about to start taking hemp oil (not the oil you buy in the store) made from the hemp bud. Google for more info. I will keep everyone posted on this site, if there is interest.

Mary Ann July 30, 2009 9:02 am (Pacific time)

I watched my life-loving sister suffer and die from the effects of chemotherapy for cancer. The last months of her life were such torture she begged for death. Since medical marijuana was illegal in her state (Indiana) she refused to try it even though it might have saved her life. She was afraid she would go to jail.

Cecil July 29, 2009 12:16 am (Pacific time)

Cannabidiol (CBD) inhibits a gene, Id-1, that researchers believe is responsible for the metastatic process that spreads cells from the original tumor throughout the body. I learnt about this while I was reading an article on cancer in I think the site is very helpful with great info.

Mark Heinrich July 13, 2009 6:20 pm (Pacific time)

I want to applaud Salem-News and Granny Storm Crow for these great articles on medicinal cannabis. It is critical that the truth about cannabis get out to the world such that sick folks can make informed decisions about the health and well being. Kudos to you all!!!

Editor: Mark, that is very much appreciated, back to you sir for your efforts as well!

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.

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