A recent cannabis cancer study published in the journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics is reporting that the use of certain cannabinoids appears to actually shrink the size of the tumors among a group of brain cancer patients.
With the goal of finding a way to improve treatment outcomes for “high-grade glioma” — described as “one of the most aggressive cancers in adult humans,” with long-term survival rates that are distressingly low — researchers investigated what effect cannabinoids like tetrahydrocannabinol-9 (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) would have in a variety of different doses, combinations and settings. (What are cannabinoids? Read more about THC and CBD here.)
A glioma is a tumor centering on the brain or spine, and is notoriously hard to treat. “Statistics show that just over a third (36%) of adult patients in the UK with glioma live for at least a year, while the five-year survival rate is 10%,” writes Wai Liu, one of the study’s authors, in a separate piece at The Conversation.
Prior to the study, it was generally known that cannabinoids have the potential to inhibit tumor cell growth and neutralize their further development. Both THC and CBD “have been shown in a number of laboratory studies” to induce the death of tumor cells “by modifying the faulty signalling pathways inside these cells,” Liu writes. “Depending on the cell type this can disrupt tumour growth or start to kill it.”