“Cannabidiol (CBD) has been on the receiving end of a lot of attention from the scientific community for several decades now.
However, it is only now that we are really starting to begin to get a grasp on how wonderful this cannabinoid truly is.
A study from 2011 states that cannabidiol is considered an antineoplastic agent on the basis of its in vitro and in vivo activity against tumor cells. However, the exact molecular mechanism through which CBD works in this capacity is yet to be understood. The study, titled “Cannabidiol Induces Programmed Cell Death in Breast Cancer Cells by Coordinating the Cross-talk between Apoptosis and Autophagy,” focuses on how CBD can kill breast cancer cells. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in women in the United States.
What the scientists found was that CBD influences apoptosis by interacting with a key protein, called beclin-1, found within the cancerous cell. Beclin-1 is also known to play a key role in autophagy, or cellular self-degradation of non-vital components, which may lead to programmed cell death. This causes a distortion of the electrical signals between the outer mitochondrial membrane and the rest of the cell, disrupting the transfer to the cell interior of certain molecules that are necessary for metabolism. What this means is that the cell cannot transfer energy, and the cell starves to death, and in doing so activates the self-destruction process of apoptosis.
The study concludes by stating, “In summary, we showed that CBD, a plant-derived cannabinoid, preferentially kills breast cancer cells by inducing ER stress, inhibiting mTOR signaling, enhancing ROS generation, and mediating a complex balance between autophagy and mitochondria-mediated apoptosis in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. These findings support the continued exploration of CBD as an alternative agent for breast cancer treatment.””