BREAST CANCER & CANNABIDIOL 

A SOLUTION OR ASPIRATION?


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Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women. (1) Although early diagnosis and development of new treatments have improved their prognosis, many patients present innate or acquired resistance to current therapies. New therapeutic approaches are therefore warranted for the management of this disease. Extensive pre-clinical research has demonstrated that cannabinoids, the active ingredients of Cannabis sativa, trigger antitumor responses in different models of cancer. Most of these studies have been conducted with pure compounds, mainly Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The cannabis plant, however, produces hundreds of other compounds with their own therapeutic potential and the capability to induce synergic responses when combined, the so-called “entourage effect”.  The entourage effect is defined as a beneficial effect of all these compounds working together as opposed to just one or two of these compounds working in isolation.

In the study ‘Appraising the “entourage effect”: Anti tumor action of a pure cannabinoid versus a botanical drug preparation in preclinical models of breast cancer’

the scientists compared the antitumor efficacy of pure THC with that of a botanical drug preparation.  The botanical drug was more potent than pure THC in producing antitumor responses in cell culture and animal models This increased potency was not due to the presence of the 5 most abundant terpenes in the preparation. While pure THC acted by activating cannabinoid CB2 receptors and generating reactive oxygen species, the botanical drug modulated different targets and mechanisms of action. The combination of cannabinoids with estrogen receptor or with cisplatin produced additive antiproliferative responses in cell cultures. (2)

Combinations of these treatments in vivo showed no interactions, either positive or negative. Altogether the study results suggest that standardized cannabis drug preparations, rather than pure cannabinoids, could be considered as part of the therapeutic medicine technique to manage breast cancer. (2) November 2018

 In a study carried out at the California Pacific Medical Center, Research Institute, San Francisco

the scientists study the theory of pathways mediating the effects of cannabidiol on the reduction of breast cancer cell proliferation, invasion, and metastasis.  They show that CBD inhibits human breast cancer cell proliferation and invasion through differential modulation of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and reactive oxygen species pathways, and that both pathways lead to down-regulation of Id-1 expression. Moreover, they demonstrate that CBD up-regulates the pro-differentiation factor, Id-2. Using immune competent mice, we then show that treatment with CBD significantly reduces primary tumor mass as well as the size and number of lung metastatic foci in two models of metastasis. (3) Sept. 22 2010

 The studies data demonstrate the efficacy of CBD in pre-clinical models of breast cancer. What all this means is that these results have the potential to lead to the development of novel non-toxic compounds for the treatment of breast cancer metastasis.

 

 

 

 

REFERENCES TO PRIMARY LITERATURE

 

  1. HTTPS://WWW.NATIONALBREASTCANCER.ORG/BREAST-CANCER-FACTS

  2. APPRAISING THE “ENTOURAGE EFFECT”: ANTITUMOR ACTION OF A PURE CANNABINOID VERSUS A BOTANICAL DRUG PREPARATION IN PRECLINICAL MODELS OF BREAST CANCER. HTTPS://WWW.SCIENCEDIRECT.COM/SCIENCE/ARTICLE/ABS/PII/S0006295218302387

  3. PATHWAYS MEDIATING THE EFFECTS OF CANNABIDIOL ON THE REDUCTION OF BREAST CANCER CELL PROLIFERATION, INVASION, AND METASTASIS. HTTPS://WWW.NCBI.NLM.NIH.GOV/PUBMED/20859676

 

 

ADDITIONAL READING

  1. CBD ANXIOLYTIC PROPERTIES HTTPS://WWW.SEMANTICSCHOLAR.ORG/PAPER/EFFECTS-OF-CANNABIDIOL-(CBD)-ON-REGIONAL-CEREBRAL-CRIPPA-ZUARDI/128EFABADA8288561B7D452D597AF22B0ECF4ED4

  2. APPRAISING THE “ENTOURAGE EFFECT”: ANTITUMOR ACTION OF A PURE CANNABINOID VERSUS A BOTANICAL DRUG PREPARATION IN PRECLINICAL MODELS OF BREAST CANCER HTTPS://WWW.SCIENCEDIRECT.COM/SCIENCE/ARTICLE/ABS/PII/S0006295218302387

  3. ANTITUMOR ACTIVITY OF PLANT CANNABINOIDS WITH EMPHASIS ON THE EFFECT OF CANNABIDIOL ON HUMAN BREAST CARCINOMA. HTTPS://WWW.NCBI.NLM.NIH.GOV/PUBMED/20859676 PATHWAYS MEDIATING THE EFFECTS OF CANNABIDIOL ON THE REDUCTION OF BREAST CANCER CELL PROLIFERATION

  4. HTTPS://WWW.SCIENCEDIRECT.COM/SCIENCE/ARTICLE/ABS/PII/S0006295218302387

  5. ANTITUMOR EFFECTS OF CANNABIDIOL, A NONPSYCHOACTIVE CANNABINOID, ON HUMAN GLIOMA CELL LINES. HTTPS://WWW.NCBI.NLM.NIH.GOV/PUBMED/14617682

 

 

 

GLOSSARY

Anxiolytic

Also, antipanic or antianxiety agent - is a medication or other intervention that inhibits anxiety.

Apoptosis

The death of cells which occurs as a normal and controlled part of an organism's growth or development.

Cell proliferation

The process that results in an increase of the number of cells and is defined by the balance between cell divisions and cell loss through cell death or differentiation.

CBD

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring compound found in the resinous flower of cannabis.

CBG

Cannabigerol (CBG) is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that plays an important role in the biochemistry of the cannabis plant. CBG acts as a chemical precursor to other cannabinoids such as THC and CBD. CBG reacts with the cannabinoid receptors in the brain. CBG, however, acts as a buffer to the psychoactivity of THC by working to alleviate the paranoia sometimes caused by higher levels of THC.

Entourage Effect

Beneficial effect of all these compounds working together as opposed to just one or two of these compounds working in isolation

In Vitro

Latin for within the glass - refers to the technique of performing a given procedure in a controlled environment outside of a living organism

Non psychotropic

Any drug capable of affecting the mind, emotions, and behavior is psychotropic

adjective- affecting mental activity, behavior, or perception, as a mood-altering drug.

KINASE

An enzyme that catalyzes the transfer of phosphate groups from high-energy, phosphate-donating molecules to specific substrates.

Metastatic foci

Foci are cells located in a specific organ of the body that are notably different from the surrounding cells. These differences are caused by mutation or other types of cellular damage, and they're generally the first sign of a developing lesion, tumor or other disease