Cannabis sativa Extract Induces Apoptosis in Human Pancreatic 3D Cancer Models: Importance of Major Antioxidant Molecules Present Therein

“In recent years, interest in Cannabis sativa L. has been rising, as legislation is moving in the right direction. This plant has been known and used for thousands of years for its many active ingredients that lead to various therapeutic effects (pain management, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, etc.). In this report, our objective was to optimize a method for the extraction of cannabinoids from a clone of Cannabis sativa L. #138 resulting from an agronomic test (LaFleur, Angers, FR). Thus, we wished to identify compounds with anticancer activity on human pancreatic tumor cell lines. Three static maceration procedures, with different extraction parameters, were compared based on their median inhibitory concentration (IC50) values and cannabinoid extraction yield. As CBD emerged as the molecule responsible for inducing apoptosis in the human pancreatic cancer cell line, a CBD-rich cannabis strain remains attractive for therapeutic applications. Additionally, while gemcitabine, a gold standard drug in the treatment of pancreatic cancer, only triggers cell cycle arrest in G0/G1, CBD also activates the cell signaling cascade to lead to programmed cell death. Our results emphasize the potential of natural products issued from medicinal hemp for pancreatic cancer therapy, as they lead to an accumulation of intracellular superoxide ions, affect the mitochondrial membrane potential, induce G1 cell cycle arrest, and ultimately drive the pancreatic cancer cell to lethal apoptosis.”

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