The endocannabinoid system could potentially have dual purpose in regulating tumor progression and generation. The use of THC and other cannabinoids have been seen to apply anticancer properties in animal subjects.
We now know that cannabinoids have positive effects on cancer related symptoms, however, in addition to this, researchers are now looking into how it could reduce tumor growth in animal models.
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Recent studies indicate that cannabis has a number of effects depending on different cell types, what cannabinoid receptors are being triggered, how the agent is administered, timing of drug delivery and how responsive it is to tumours and normal cells. Cell studies have seen an inconsistent relationship between marijuana smoke and cancer, and administration of massive oral doses of THC in rats or mice did not grow tumour size in a 2‐year study. In animal models, cannabinoids give off a direct antiproliferative effect on tumours, but they could indirectly increase tumour growth.
The normal immunosuppressive impact of THC is an undoubtable situation imposing caution in how much of a dose should be administered on the CB2‐receptor‐selective compounds. The immunosuppressive ability of plant‐derived cannabinoids could greater tumour cell proliferation and fasten the cancer spread to other parts of the body in animals, but the cell response to cannabinoids crucially depends on drug dose and cellular context.
In rats, THC was administered to target the tumour and this displayed great efficacy in this study. Moreover, long‐term impacts of chronically administered cannabinoids have not been well documented. To date, the prescription of cannabinoids is given for medical disorders that are not properly mediated by normal treatments, because they have a potential therapeutic use.
Even if previous studies are needed to see if cannabinoids action in cancer are actually effective, the cannabinoid system represents a promising target for cancer treatment.