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Cannabinoids are a group of chemicals found in the marijuana plant (cannabis sativa). Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the psychotropic constituent of cannabinoids and is responsible for giving cannabis a bad name. Cannabidiol (CBD) is another constituent of cannabis and is said to have anti inflammatory effects on animal cells. This paper will look at how cannabinoids, mixed with gemcitabine (GEM), can treat pancreatic tumor cells. Gemcitabine is the current medication used to treat pancreatic cancer and has a 20 % work rate in patients.
Here is the full scientific article if you wish to download it.
GEM increases reactive oxygen species (ROS)
This paper describes how GEM is induced in cannabinoid (CB2) receptors by a mechanism that inhibits pancreatic adenocarcinoma cell growth and increases the amount of reactive oxygen species (ROS) induced by single treatments. This study quotes that “The antiproliferative synergism is prevented by the radical scavenger N-acetyl-L-cysteine and by the specific NF-κB inhibitor BAY 11-7085, demonstrating that the induction of ROS by GEM/cannabinoids and of NF-κB by GEM is required for this effect”. This is great for pancreatic cancer patients as CBD could potentially take over from chemotherapy drugs and provide an answer for cancer growth related problems such as nausea and vomiting.
CBD can promote apoptosis
Medical marijuana can promote apoptosis, not by the synergistic cell growth inhibition, but by the enhancement of the endoplasmic reticulum stress and autophagic cell death. It has been discovered that GEM’s ability to resist pancreatic cancer cells is better than that of CBD because the antiproliferative synergism is stronger. It has been seen that nude mice with pancreatic cancers have been treated with this combination and there has been no toxic side effects. This suggests that CBD can promote apoptosis by induced GEM/cannabinoid combination in human pancreatic cancer cells.