Cannabinoids are a major group of chemicals found in the cannabis plant (cannabis sativa) and are said to have anticancer effects. Cannabinoids have two main constituents that are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). The first is responsible for cannabis’ psychoactive effects while the latter is sold in shops as an anti inflammatory. This paper will review all the information on cannabinoids antitumor properties and how they can treat different types of cancer such as prostate cancer.
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Cannabinoids may have therapeutic potential
Cannabinoids are allowed to work in the body because of cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) located in the endocannabinoid system. The action of the medical marijuana depends on the exact dose and how long the patient is exposed. Plant and synthetic cannabinoids are starting to show a great potential as therapeutic agents and many studies from a wide range of cell lines have demonstrated that cannabinoids can treat glioma breast, prostate, endothelial, liver, and lung cancer. A lot of these studies have been quite contradictory because the mechanisms aren’t quite known yet although it is known that the extracellular signal-regulated kinase pathway is the most important location known for ceramide and lipid signalling. Overall, research suggests that there is a lot of conflicting studies around the use of the cannabinoids, synthetic and plant based, as therapeutic drugs.
Cannabinoids show promise for cancer treatment
There are plenty of problems to overcome but overall, cannabinoids show a definite promise in treating cancer. Cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system interplay still needs to be studied in depth. This lack of depth could be filled by the knowledge in the area of normal signalling pathways used by endocannabinoids and the physiological systems used by them. Future research is needed to help clarify how this endocannabinoid signalling pathway works so that cannabinoids can be used in the treatment of cancer.