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Cannabidiol (CBD), is the non psychoactive component of the cannabis plant where as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the psychoactive part. Products made with CBD oil are becoming ever so popular because they have a potential as an antitumor drug. Medical cannabis has been shown to be anti inflammatory and to help cell survival. THC has also been seen to have a positive side effects in treating cancer related nausea and vomiting. Evidence from previous studies have suggested that cannabinoid receptors, a place where cannabinoids bind to work, in tumor cells may be manipulated to treat cancer patients. This paper will review studies that have shown how the effects of CBD could possibly treat a range of different types of cancer symptoms such as skin, breast and lymphoma.
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Cannabis and Skin Cancer
Melanoma is guilty for the most skin cancer related deaths worldwide. It has been discovered that cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and the CB2, are found in normal skin and skin tumors of mice and humans. It has also been found that when CBD binds to these receptors, tumorigenic epidermal cells die while the normal epidermal cells remain. It has been seen that CBD working with CB2 (JWH-133) results in tumor growth inhibition in nude mice. Another study has shown that CB1 and CB2 receptors in the skin of mice with melanoma, help to decrease tumour size when treated with CBD.
Cannabis and Lymphoma
Studies have shown that when THC is administered to mice with lymphoma tumors EL-4, LAS, and P815, malignant cells start to disappear from the lymph nodes. In another study by Flygare et al., mice with mantle cell lymphoma undergone cannabinoid receptor manipulation and it was found that visibility had decreased in the tumorous cells. Recently it has been discovered by Gustafsson et al, that cannabinoid receptors that are treated with (R)-methanandamide and WIN-55,212-2 in mantle cell lymphoma resulted in ceramide accumulation.These results suggest that by targeting CB1 and CB2 receptors with their agonists, CBD can have a therapeutic potential for the treatment of lymphoma.
Cannabis and breast cancer
It has been seen that anandamide, a component of cannabidiol, can inhibit the growth of human breast cancer cells, reduce the amount of these cells and also stops the hormone that produces milk in the body. Ligresti, Moriello and colleagues have discovered antitumor properties of five natural cannabinoids, cannabidiol, cannabigerol, cannabichromene, cannabidiol acid, and D(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol, and have said that cannabidiol was the best in fighting breast cancer. It was also seen that cannabidiol inhibited the growth of MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells in nude mice.
There is need for further study on the precise process in how cannabinoids act in cancerous cells. THC needs to studied more as it seems the overt psychoactive effects can only be avoided when it is administered acutely to these cancerous cells. Overall CBD, has the potential to be developed as novel therapeutic agents in the treatment of cancer.