“Providers need to be better equipped to discuss medical cannabis with patients even if they are not willing to prescribe it. The oncology community would be well served to ensure that providers are aware of existing cannabis research and are able to incorporate it into their communications with patients instead of leaving patients to figure out medical cannabis on their own.”
“Background: Little is known about medical cannabis (MC)-related care for patients with cancer using MC.
Methods: Semistructured telephone interviews were conducted in a convenience sample of individuals (n = 24) with physician-confirmed oncologic diagnoses and state/district authorization to use MC (Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Oregon, New York, and Washington, DC) from April 2017 to March 2019. Standard qualitative techniques were used to assess the degree of MC-related health care oversight, MC practices, and key information sources.
Results: Among 24 participants (median age, 57 years; range, 30-71 years; 16 women [67%]), MC certifications were typically issued by a professional new to a patient’s care after a brief, perfunctory consultation. Patients disclosed MCuse to their established medical teams but received little medical advice about whether and how to use MC. Patients with cancer used MC products as multipurpose symptom management and as cancer-directed therapy, sometimes in lieu of standard-of-care treatments. Personal experimentation, including methodical self-monitoring, was an important source of MC know-how. Absent formal advice from medical professionals, patients relied on nonmedical sources for MC information.
Conclusions: Patients with cancer used MC with minimal medical oversight. Most received MC certifications through brief meetings with unfamiliar professionals. Participants desired but were often unable to access high-quality clinical information about MC from their established medical teams. Because many patients are committed to using MC, a product sustained by a growing industry, medical providers should familiarize themselves with the existing data for MM and its limitations to address a poorly met clinical need.”
“Notably, oncology patients reported using medical cannabis (MC) for symptom management and as cancer‐directed therapy, sometimes instead of traditional treatments.”
“In recent years, and even more since its legalization in several jurisdictions, cannabis and the endocannabinoid system have received an increasing amount of interest related to their potential exploitation in clinical settings. Cannabinoids have been suggested and shown to be effective in the treatment of various conditions. In cancer, the endocannabinoid system is altered in numerous types of tumours and can relate to cancer prognosis and disease outcome. Additionally, cannabinoids display anticancer effects in several models by suppressing the proliferation, migration and/or invasion of cancer cells, as well as tumour angiogenesis. However, the therapeutic use of cannabinoids is currently limited to the treatment of symptoms and pain associated with chemotherapy, while their potential use as cytotoxic drugs in chemotherapy still requires validation in patients. Along with cannabinoids, cannabis contains several other compounds that have also been shown to exert anti-tumorigenic actions. The potential anti-cancer effects of cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids, present in cannabis, are explored in this literature review.”
“Astrocytomas, the most prevalent primary brain tumors, can be divided by histology and malignancy levels into four following types: pilocytic astrocytoma (grade I), diffuse fibrillary astrocytoma (grade II), anaplastic astrocytoma (grade III), and glioblastoma multiforme (grade IV). For high grade astrocytomas (grade III and grade IV), blood vessels formation is considered as the most important property.
The distribution of cannabinoid receptors type 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2) in blood vessels and tumor tissue of astrocytoma is still controversial. Asrocytoma tissues were collected from 45 patients under the condition of tumor-related neurosurgical operation. The expression of CB1 and CB2 receptors was assessed using immunofluorescence, quantitative real-time RT-PCR and western blotting.
The results indicated an increased expression of CB1 receptors in tumor tissue. There was a significant difference in the mount of CB2 receptors in blood vessels. More was observed in the grade III and glioblastoma (grade IV) than astrocytoma of grade II and control.
This study suggested that, the expression increase of cannabinoid receptors is an index for astrocytoma malignancy and can be targeted as a therapeutic approach for the inhibition of astrocytoma growth among patients.”
“The recent announcement of marijuana legalization in Canada spiked many discussions about potential health benefits of Cannabis sativa. Cannabinoids are active chemical compounds produced by cannabis, and their numerous effects on the human body are primarily exerted through interactions with cannabinoid receptor types 1 (CB1) and 2 (CB2). Cannabinoids are broadly classified as endo-, phyto-, and synthetic cannabinoids. In this review, we will describe the activity of cannabinoids on the cellular level, comprehensively summarize the activity of all groups of cannabinoids on various cancers and propose several potential mechanisms of action of cannabinoids on cancer cells.”
“Endocannabinoids and phytocannabinoids can be used for cancer therapy. Cannabis extracts have stronger anti-tumor capacity than single cannabinoids. Combination of several cannabinoids may have more potent effect on cancer.”
“Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most frequent and aggressive malignant brain tumour, with a poor prognosis despite available surgical and radio-chemotherapy, rising the necessity for searching alternative therapies. Several preclinical studies evaluating the efficacy of cannabinoids in animal models of GBM have been described, but the diversity of experimental conditions and of outcomes hindered definitive conclusions about cannabinoids efficacy.
A search in different databases (Pubmed, Web of Science, Scopus and SciELO) was conducted during June 2019 to systematically identify publications evaluating the effects of cannabinoids in murine xenografts models of GBM. The tumour volume and number of animals were extracted, being a random effects meta-analysis of these results performed to estimate the efficacy of cannabinoids. The impact of different experimental factors and publication bias on the efficacy of cannabinoids was also assessed. Nine publications, which satisfied the inclusion criteria, were identified and subdivided in 22 studies involving 301 animals.
Overall, cannabinoid therapy reduced the fold of increase in tumour volume in animal models of GBM, when compared with untreated controls. The overall weighted standardized difference in means (WSDM) for the effect of cannabinoids was -1.399 (95% CI: -1.900 to -0.898; P-value<0.0001). Furthermore, treatment efficacy was observed for different types of cannabinoids, alone or in combination, and for different treatment durations.
Cannabinoid therapy was still effective after correcting for publication bias. The results indicate that cannabinoids reduce the tumour growth in animal models of GBM, even after accounting for publication bias.”
“The weak but noteworthy presence of (poly)phenols in hemp seeds has been long overshadowed by the essential polyunsaturated fatty acids and digestible proteins, considered responsible for their high nutritional benefits. Instead, lignanamides and their biosynthetic precursors, phenylamides, seem to display interesting and diverse biological activities only partially clarified in the last decades. Herein, negative mode HR-MS/MS techniques were applied to the chemical investigation of a (poly)phenol-rich fraction, obtained from hemp seeds after extraction/fractionation steps. This extract contained phenylpropanoid amides and their random oxidative coupling derivatives, lignanamides, which were the most abundant compounds and showed a high chemical diversity, deeply unraveled through high resolution tandem mass spectrometry (HR-MS/MS) tools.
The effect of different doses of the lignanamides-rich extract (LnHS) on U-87 glioblastoma cell line and non-tumorigenic human fibroblasts was evaluated. Thus, cell proliferation, genomic DNA damage, colony forming and wound repair capabilities were assessed, as well as LnHS outcome on the expression levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines. LnHS significantly inhibited U-87 cancer cell proliferation, but not that of fibroblasts, and was able to reduce U-87 cell migration, inducing further DNA damage. No modification in cytokines’ expression level was found. Data acquired suggested that LnHS acted in U-87 cells by inducing the apoptosis machinery and suppressing the autophagic cell death.”
“Radiotherapy combined with chemotherapy is the major treatment modality for human glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). GBMs eventually relapse after treatment and the average survival of GBM patients is less than two years.
There is some evidence that cannabidiol (CBD) can induce cell death and increases the radiosensitivity of GBM by enhancing apoptosis. Beside initiation of death, CBD has been demonstrated as an inducer of autophagy.
In the present study, we address the question whether CBD simultaneously induces a protective effect in GBM by upregulating autophagy. Addition of chloroquine that suppressed autophagic flux to 2D GBM cultures increased CBD-induced cell death, presenting proof for the protective autophagy.
Blockage of autophagy upregulated radiation-induced cytotoxicity but only modestly affected the levels of cell death in CBD- or CBD/γ-irradiated 3D GBM cultures. Furthermore, CBD enhanced the pro-apoptotic activities of JNK1/2 and MAPK p38 signaling cascades while partially downregulated the pro-survival PI3K-AKT cascade, thereby changing a balance between cell death and survival.
Suppression of JNK activation partially reduced CBD-induced cell death in 3D GBM cultures. In contrast, co-treatment of CBD-targeted cells with inhibitors of PI3K-AKT-NF-κB, IKK-NF-κB or JAK2-STAT3 pathways killed surviving GBM cells in both 2D and 3D cultures, potentially improving the therapeutic ratio of GBM.”
“Killing efficiency of cannabinoids (CBD, THC and their combination CBD+THC) against GBM in vitro and in animal experiments has been elucidated in numerous studies during the last 15 years. Additional investigations also confirmed a cytotoxic role of cannabinoids for several other types of cancer. A number of studies demonstrated the efficiency of combined treatments of cannabinoids together with γ-irradiation in both cell culture and in animal experiments.”
“Cannabinoids are a group of structurally heterogeneous but pharmacologically related compounds, including plant-derived cannabinoids, synthetic substances and endogenous cannabinoids, such as anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol.
Cannabinoids elicit a wide range of central and peripheral effects mostly mediated through cannabinoid receptors. There are two types of specific Gi/o-protein-coupled receptors cloned so far, called CB1 and CB2, although an existence of additional cannabinoid-binding receptors has been suggested. CB1 and CB2 differ in their predicted amino acid sequence, tissue distribution, physiological role and signaling mechanisms.
Significant alterations of a balance in the cannabinoid system between the levels of endogenous ligands and their receptors occur during malignant transformation in various types of cancer, including gliomas.
Cannabinoids exert anti-proliferative action in tumor cells.
Induction of cell death by cannabinoid treatment relies on the generation of a pro-apoptotic sphingolipid ceramide and disruption of signaling pathways crucial for regulation of cellular proliferation, differentiation or apoptosis. Increased ceramide levels lead also to ER-stress and autophagy in drug-treated glioblastoma cells.
Beyond blocking of tumor cells proliferation cannabinoids inhibit invasiveness, angiogenesis and the stem cell-like properties of glioma cells, showing profound activity in the complex tumor microenvironment. Advances in translational research on cannabinoid signaling led to clinical investigations on the use of cannabinoids in treatments of glioblastomas.”
“Cannabinoids exert anti-proliferative action in tumor cells.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22879071
“A glioma is a primary brain tumor that originates from the supportive cells of the brain, called glial cells.” http://neurosurgery.ucla.edu/body.cfm?id=159
“Remarkably, cannabinoids kill glioma cells selectively and can protect non-transformed glial cells from death.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15275820
“In recent years, the endocannabinoid system has received great interest as a potential therapeutic target in numerous pathological conditions.
Cannabinoids have shown an anticancer potential by modulating several pathways involved in cell growth, differentiation, migration, and angiogenesis.
However, the therapeutic efficacy of cannabinoids is limited to the treatment of chemotherapy-induced symptoms or cancer pain, but their use as anticancer drugs in chemotherapeutic protocols requires further investigation.
In this paper, we reviewed the role of cannabinoids in the modulation of signaling mechanisms implicated in tumor progression.”
“In addition to the symptomatic therapy of cancer patients, the antitumor effects of cannabinoids (whether in monotherapy or in combination with other cancer therapies) have promising potential in the treatment of cancer patients.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31950844
“In addition to the well-known palliative effects of cannabinoids on some cancer-associated symptoms, a large body of evidence shows that these molecules can decrease tumour growth in animal models of cancer. In addition, cannabinoids inhibit angiogenesis and decrease metastasis in various tumour types in laboratory animals. Thus, numerous studies have provided evidence that thc and other cannabinoids exhibit antitumour effects in a wide array of animal models of cancer.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4791144/
“Antitumour actions of cannabinoids.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30019449
“The endocannabinoid system as a target for the development of new drugs for cancer therapy” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12723496
“Cannabinoids as Anticancer Drugs.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28826542