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Cannabinoids are a collection of over 100 chemicals that are derived from the cannabis plant (cannabis sativa). Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of these chemicals and research has said it has anti inflammatory effects when induced on animal cells, without unwanted psychoactive side effects. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is another one of these chemicals that gives off a psychotropic effect in animals brains. Endogenous cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) are found in the endocannabinoid system and allow cannabinoids to bind and work in the body. Understanding of the endocannabinoid system has led to THC being a primary agrivator of the CB 1 receptor. This review paper provides information on herbs and natural products with potential to decrease growth of cancer or be used as adjuvant with cancer treatments for patients who already have or have had cancer.
Here is the full scientific article if you wish to download it.
Cannabinoids as anticancer agents?
Cancer is one of the leading causes of death and globally the numbers of cases of cancer are increasing gradually. There are several medicines available in the market to treat the various types of cancer but no drug is found to be fully effective and safe. The major problem in the cancer chemotherapy is the toxicity of the established drugs. However plants and plant derived products have proved effective and safe in the treatment and management of cancers. These days most of the research work on cancer drugs is targeted on plants and plants derived natural products. Many natural products and their analogues have been identified as potent anti-cancer agents and day by day the anti-cancer property of various plants is being identified. Here an attempt is being made through this review to highlight the natural products and their analogues established as anti-cancer agents and the new plant species identified with anti-cancer properties either in vivo or in vitro.
Synthetic cannabinoids as anticancer drugs?
It is documented that medicinal herbs have rich anticancer potential, and on the forefront whenever this paper talks about anticancer remedies, are significant source of synthetic and/or herbal origin. Natural products discovered from medicinal plants have played an important role in the treatment of cancer. They have exhibited anticancer activity in animal models of leukemia, skin cancer and sarcomas. Through generating awareness regarding usage of herbs and exploring natural product properties, healthcare professionals, can play significant clinical roles as knowledge resources for masses. From information from this review health care professionals can initiate discussion with colleagues to determine whether patient may benefit from from taking a specific herb or natural product. Selected plants have been explored for biological activity and further investigations into anticancer activity of the plants showing promising activity, must be undertaken. Vinca rosea alkaloids, Vinblastine and Vincristine, are one of the most potent anticancer drugs known. Taxol isolated from Taxus brevifolia has figured high in the therapeutic segment of cancer. Cancer being associated with high mortality rates if herbs can be used even in the palliative care or to reduce the side effects associated with cancer would be of great relief for the sufferer.