“We know that cannabinoids can have a range of different effects on cancer cells grown in the lab and animal tumours,” Dr Kat Arney, from Cancer Research UK told the Daily Mail.
After being told that she had stage 4 terminal brain cancer, Cameron tried all the traditional routes before a friend suggested using cannabis. And while she was too scared at first because it was illegal she eventually decided to give it a go.
“Each scan I received after that was showing an improvement. I had been told that chemotherapy and radiotherapy doesn’t make much difference, so I knew it must be the cannabis doing it.
“They told me, ‘eat whatever you like, take all the vitamins you want, it won’t work’.
“But these were the people who told me my cancer was incurable, and it was gone.
“I researched more and more into natural ‘cancer killers’ and decided to follow an alkaline diet and cut out processed foods altogether. I also cut out sugar completely,” she told the Daily Record.
“They dismissed it. They weren’t taught about cannabis at medical school – more for a political reason than medical I believe.
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Mr. Gross was scheduled to present this research at the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics annual meeting in San Diego this month. Though the meeting, to be held in conjunction with the 2020 Experimental Biology conference, was canceled in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the research team’s abstract was published in this month’s issue of The FASEB Journal.
The new work revealed that the toxic effects of CBD are mediated through the cell’s natural pathway for apoptosis, a form of programmed cell death. The researchers also observed that CBD-induced cell death was characterized by large, swollen intracellular vesicles before the membrane begins to bulge and breakdown. This was true for all the cell lines studied.
Next, the researchers plan to transition from cell cultures to animal models to test CBD’s effects on glioblastoma. If the animal studies go well, the work could progress to clinical trials on dogs that are being treated for naturally occurring glioblastoma at the Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital.
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Mr. Gross and colleagues examined human and canine glioblastoma cells because the cancer shows striking similarities between the two species. They tested the effects of CBD isolate, which contains 100 percent CBD, and CBD extract, which contains small amounts of other natural occurring compounds such as cannabigerol and tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.
The researchers believe that CBD’s anti-cancer actions target mitochondria—the cell’s energy producing structures—by causing the mitochondria to dysfunction and release harmful reactive oxygen species. Their experiments showed that cells treated with CBD exhibited significant decreases in mitochondrial activity.