“If this plant were discovered in the Amazon today, scientists would be falling all over each other to be the first to bring it to market” ~ Dr. Donald Abrams, chief of oncology at the University of California San Francisco
from NBC Bay Area (Sept 19, 2012)
The “medical” bit of medical marijuana may be legitimate after all: Turns out a component of cannabis fights cancer, according to research.
Scientists at California Pacific Medical Center found that cannabidiol, or CBD, has the ability to “turn off” the DNA that causes “breast and other types of cancers” to metastasize, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
“If this plant were discovered in the Amazon today, scientists would be falling all over each other to be the first to bring it to market,” said Dr. Donald Abrams, chief of oncology at the University of California San Francisco, which has also found science behind marijuana’s efficacy.
The drug “has been shown to reduce pain and nausea” in cancer patients, the newspaper reported. AIDS patients also swear by cannabis for its ability to allow them to eat, sleep and otherwise function.
Turns out that cannabidiol has none of the psychotropic effects of marijuana as a whole, according to the newspaper. The researchers hope to move to clinical trials on humans soon.
Cancer cells exposed to cannabidiol lost their abilities to metastasize, according to the newspaper.
For more on CBD:
Project CBD http://projectcbd.org/
CBD: Non-Psychoactive Pot? by FRED GARDNER http://www.counterpunch.org/2010/10/04/non-psychoactive-pot/
Cannabidiol as a novel inhibitor of Id-1 gene expression in aggressive breast cancer cells. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18025276
Pathways mediating the effects of cannabidiol on the reduction of breast cancer cell proliferation, invasion, and metastasis. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20859676
(the above from the Daily Beast Sept 2012 http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/09/06/marijuana-fights-cancer-and-helps-manage-side-effects-researchers-find.html)
Antitumor activity of plant cannabinoids with emphasis on the effect of cannabidiol on human breast carcinoma. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16728591
“How THC and CBD Work Together” http://pureanalytics.net/blog/2012/02/19/how-thc-and-cbd-work-together/
“Marijuana’s better known cannabinoid – delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC – had already shown some anticancer properties in tumors, but the non-psychotropic cannabidiol had largely gone unstudied. McAllister initial research showed CBD had anticancer potential as well.” Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/health/article/Pot-compound-seen-as-tool-against-cancer-3875562.php#ixzz2GOF7CSka
CBD stops breast cancer spread http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2206056/Cannabis-compound-stop-breast-cancer-spreading.html
Dr. Sean McAllister – THC and CBD [Editor’s note: “highly concentrated” = Rick Simpson “Hemp Oil”; see Biochemist who cured his stage 4 prostate cancer with Cannabis Oil explains how it works]
“Researchers found that the anti-tumour effects of CBD were caused by induction of apoptosis (programmed cell death). They concluded that their data “support the further testing of cannabidiol and cannabidiol-rich extracts for the potential treatment of cancer.” http://www.cannabis-med.org/english/bulletin/ww_en_db_cannabis_artikel.php?id=220#2
The non-psychoactive cannabidiol triggers caspase activation and oxidative stress in human glioma cells http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00018-006-6156-x
Cannabinoids inhibit the vascular endothelial growth factor pathway in gliomas. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15313899
Cannabidiol-induced apoptosis in human leukemia cells: A novel role of cannabidiol in the regulation of p22phox and Nox4 expression. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16754784
CBD for pain relief:
From BBC News
The cannabis is rolled into cigarettes under laboratory conditions for medical use
Under armed guard, at a secret location in the hills of northern Israel, rows of cannabis plants in a large greenhouse give off a sweet, distinctive smell.
In a nearby processing room, bags of dried buds and leaves are weighed and bagged. A woman in a lab coat operates a device producing dozens of ready-made cigarettes.
Cannabis is an illegal drug in Israel but this facility is allowed to operate under a government licence.
The company that runs it, Tikun Olam, uses organic methods to grow different kinds of cannabis for medical use.
Now, it has developed a new strain that could change the image of the drug.
It does not give users the characteristic high or get them “stoned”.
Instead the new plant has a high concentration of another of the main constituents called cannabidiol (CBD), a powerful anti-inflammatory.
“Cannabidiol does not bind to the brain, to the brain cells, therefore after taking it you don’t have any side effects that you don’t want,” says Ruth Gallily, an immunology professor at Hebrew University who has researched CBD for 15 years.
“(These include) not being high, not being confused. You can drive, you can work, you can do everyday things. It’s very non-toxic.”
Tikun Olam’s research and development manager, Zach Klein, lists the categories of patients who can benefit from the new product.
“The new strains are really good for three populations – people who work, old people – because they are sensitive to THC – and also children, as we want to touch those receptors in their brains as little as possible,” he says.
David Sabach, 12, suffers from cancer but has just been out playing with friends when I visit his family’s apartment in central Israel.
He shows me pictures of how he looked two years ago. He had lost his hair from chemotherapy treatment and was half his current weight.
A doctor recently prescribed David the CBD-enriched cannabis. It is delivered in the form of chocolate, cookies or cakes.
“I used to take morphine for pain and it would help for just a couple of minutes,” he tells me.
“When I take the cannabis it helps me all day. I feel much better. I can finally walk without crying from the pain in my legs.”
Medical marijuana has been used in Israel since the 1990s.
More than 10,000 Israelis take it to treat a range of illnesses from cancer, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis to Tourette’s syndrome.
Many believe it is the combination of THC and CBD in regular cannabis that is most beneficial. THC has its own medicinal effects.
“It shouldn’t be changed. This is nature’s medicine and it’s been used for thousands of years,” says a 52-year-old cancer patient from Tel Aviv who does not want to be identified.
He had a stomach tumour removed five months ago and smokes cannabis while undergoing chemotherapy.
“Mostly it helps with pain reduction. The second thing is the desire to eat. The body without fuel cannot fight and one of the wonderful things about marijuana is that it causes “munchies”, and “munchies” for people during chemotherapy is a blessing.”
The exact properties of the dozens of cannabinoids contained in cannabis and their interactions are still being studied.
International pharmaceutical companies are experimenting with the ratio, and developing synthetic versions, to use as medicines.
However, growers say traditional horticultural techniques also have potential to create tailor-made cannabis for different conditions.
The new “high-free” Israeli version could also challenge the ban on medical uses of cannabis currently enforced in many countries.
- Cannabidiol Offer Boost Towards a Healthy, Cancer-free Body | Marijuana Compounds: Highly Beneficial, Yet Illegal (truth11.com)
- Cannabidiol Relieves Psychosis in Schizophrenia, Why Illegal? (indybay.org)
- The Healing Power of Marijuana Has Barely Been Tapped (alternet.org)