A study carried out on mice revealed that the Cannabidiol from Cannabis might improve pancreatic cancer therapies. And the best part is that this substance, also known as CBD, is not psychoactive, so it’s not responsible for the “high” feeling caused by the THC, the other active substance found in Cannabis plants.
The CBD is extracted from the Cannabis Sativa plants and is commonly used for therapeutic purposes, as it is an ingredient in many supplements and drugs. It is a legal substance in the majority of the world’s countries, including Canada, the US, and the UK. However, its origins must be controlled as the CBD has to be entirely THC-free to be legal. Thus, it must be extracted from the so-called hemp cannabis plants.
Cannabidiol has usually been used to treat depression, anxiety, and nausea, among others. Now, according to a recent study conducted on mice, the Cannabidiol from Cannabis might improve pancreatic cancer therapies.
Pancreatic cancer is a very aggressive form of cancer and only approximately 5% of those diagnosed with this disease survive for more than five years, while about 80% of the patients die within the first year after diagnosis.
Pancreatic cancer treatments might improve thanks to Cannabidiol
“Pancreatic cancer is very aggressive, so it is very important to find new therapies for this cancer,” said Dr. Riccardo Ferro from the Queen Mary University of London, and the study’s leading author.
In the research on mice, led by Dr. Ferro, the scientists observed that the gene dubbed as GPR55 is responsible for pancreatic cancer cells development. Even more, GPR55 gene produces some sort of receptors within the cells, which are detecting various substances including some cannabis-derived ones.
The mice with pancreatic cancer were split into four groups. One of these groups received a CBD treatment, while the others got chemo, a blend of chemo and Cannabidiol, and a placebo.
The group of mice that received both CBD and chemo survived for longest, for 53 days, while those that got a placebo died within 19 days. This result was possible, according to the researchers, thanks to the CBD which could block the receptors produced by the GPR55 gene, responsible for pancreatic cancer proliferation.