A Review of the Therapeutic Antitumor Potential of Cannabinoids.

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“The aim of this review is to discuss cannabinoids from a preclinical and clinical oncological perspective and provide the audience with a concise, retrospective overview of the most significant findings concerning the potential use of cannabinoids in cancer treatment.

RESULTS:

Cannabis sativa is a plant rich in more than 100 types of cannabinoids. Besides exogenous plant cannabinoids, mammalian endocannabinoids and synthetic cannabinoid analogues have been identified. Cannabinoid receptors type 1 (CB1) and type 2 (CB2) have been isolated and characterized from mammalian cells. Through cannabinoid receptor and non-receptor signaling pathways, cannabinoids show specific cytotoxicity against tumor cells, while protecting healthy tissue from apoptosis. The dual antiproliferative and proapoptotic effects of cannabinoids and associated signaling pathways have been investigated on a large panel of cancer cell lines. Cannabinoids also display potent anticancer activity against tumor xenografts, including tumors that express high resistance to standard chemotherapeutics. Few studies have investigated the possible synergistic effects of cannabinoids with standard oncology therapies, and are based on the preclinically confirmed concept of “cannabinoid sensitizers.” Also, clinical trials aimed to confirm the antineoplastic activity of cannabinoids have only been evaluated on a small number of subjects, with no consensus conclusions regarding their effectiveness.

CONCLUSIONS:

A large number of cannabinoid compounds have been discovered, developed, and used to study the effects of cannabinoids on cancers in model systems. However, few clinical trials have been conducted on the use of cannabinoids in the treatment of cancers in humans. Further studies require extensive monitoring of the effects of cannabinoids alone or in combination with standard anticancer strategies. With such knowledge, cannabinoids could become a therapy of choice in contemporary oncology.”

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Cannabinoids as Modulators of Cell Death: Clinical Applications and Future Directions.

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“Endocannabinoids are bioactive lipids that modulate various physiological processes through G-protein-coupled receptors (CB1 and CB2) and other putative targets. By sharing the activation of the same receptors, some phytocannabinoids and a multitude of synthetic cannabinoids mimic the effects of endocannabinoids.

In recent years, a growing interest has been dedicated to the study of cannabinoids properties for their analgesic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects. In addition to these well-recognized effects, various studies suggest that cannabinoids may affect cell survival, cell proliferation or cell death. These observations indicate that cannabinoids may play an important role in the regulation of cellular homeostasis and, thus, may contribute to tissue remodelling and cancer treatment.

For a long time, the study of cannabinoid receptor signalling has been focused on the classical adenylyl cyclase/cyclic AMP/protein kinase A (PKA) pathway. However, this pathway does not totally explain the wide array of biological responses to cannabinoids. In addition, the diversity of receptors and signalling pathways that endocannabinoids modulate offers an interesting opportunity for the development of specific molecules to disturb selectively the endogenous system.

Moreover, emerging evidences suggest that cannabinoids ability to limit cell proliferation and to induce tumour-selective cell death may offer a novel strategy in cancer treatment.

This review describes the main properties of cannabinoids in cell death and attempts to clarify the different pathways triggered by these compounds that may help to understand the complexity of respective molecular mechanisms and explore the potential clinical benefit of cannabinoids use in cancer therapies.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28425013

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Inhibition of cervical cancer cell proliferation by cannabidiol

“Seventy phytocannabinoids are now known to be synthesized by Cannabis sativa (marijuana)]. The major non-psychoactive cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD) exhibits antiproliferative effects against breast, cervix, colon, glioma, leukemia, ovary, prostate, and thyroid cancer cells. In this study, we investigated the antiproliferative effect of CBD on the ME-180 cervical cancer cell line. The results of our study suggest that CBD exerts its antiproliferative effect via multiple mechanisms, and it could be a potential treatment for cervical cancer.”

https://www.thieme-connect.com/DOI/DOI?10.1055/s-0036-1596862

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A New Study Suggests Cannabis Could Treat Cervical Cancer

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“A new study suggests that cannabis might be useful in treating cervical cancer.

Through in vitro, or test tube/petri dish, analysis, researchers from the biochemistry department at North-West University in Potchefstroom, South Africa found that the non-psychotropic cannabinoid, or chemical compound, CBD (cannabidiol), taken from a Cannabis sativa extract, could hold anticarcinogenic properties. They pointed out that cannabis acted on the cancerous cells through apoptosis, or a process of cell death, causing only the cancerous cells to kill themselves, and inhibiting their growth.

Cervical cancer is no longer a leading cause of death as much as it used to be in the United States, thanks in large part to the widespread use of pap smears, but it’s still a widespread threat. And in Sub-Saharan Africa, it kills 250,000 women every year. “This makes it the most lethal cancer amongst black women and calls for urgent therapeutic strategies,” the study’s authors wrote in the BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine journal. “In this study we compare the anti-proliferative effects of crude extract of Cannabis sativa and its main compound cannabidiol on different cervical cancer cell lines.”

It will take much more research before cannabis can be integrated into official cervical cancer treatments in sub-Saharan Africa. But earlier studies also shows that cannabis has been useful in treating not only the symptoms of cancer and chemotherapy, but also the cancer itself.

One study from the journal of Current Clinical Pharmacology found that cannabis served as a preventative agent, reducing inflammation, which researchers also said was useful in reducing the likelihood of cancer. Another study from Oncology Hematology also noted cannabis’ anti-cancer effects, explaining how the plant’s cannabinoids inhibited tumor growth in vitro, such as in a petri dish or test tube, and in vivo, or a living organism.

A handful of other studies have also looked into cannabis as a treatment specifically for cervical cancer. Another from the University Hospital in Geneva, Switzerland, found that the cannabinoids, including the body’s own endocannabinoids, offered “attractive opportunities for the development of novel potent anticancer drugs.”

With that said, often medical marijuana is ingested via capsules, tinctures, vaporizable oils, and other non-smokeable, more pharmaceutical-style forms. Should cannabis eventually become approved for cervical cancer treatment in Africa, it may be up for debate whether whole plant therapy (in which all the cannabinoids work synergistically through the “entourage effect”) or specific cannabinoid therapy is best.”

http://motherboard.vice.com/read/a-new-study-suggests-cannabis-could-treat-cervical-cancer

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Cannabidiol rather than Cannabis sativa extracts inhibit cell growth and induce apoptosis in cervical cancer cells.

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“Cervical cancer remains a global health related issue among females of Sub-Saharan Africa, with over half a million new cases reported each year.

Different therapeutic regimens have been suggested in various regions of Africa, however, over a quarter of a million women die of cervical cancer, annually. This makes it the most lethal cancer amongst black women and calls for urgent therapeutic strategies.

In this study we compare the anti-proliferative effects of crude extract of Cannabis sativa and its main compound cannabidiol on different cervical cancer cell lines.

Results obtained indicate that both cannabidiol and Cannabis sativa extracts were able to halt cell proliferation in all cell lines at varying concentrations.

They further revealed that apoptosis was induced by cannabidiol as shown by increased subG0/G1 and apoptosis through annexin V. Apoptosis was confirmed by overexpression of p53, caspase 3 and bax. Apoptosis induction was further confirmed by morphological changes, an increase in Caspase 3/7 and a decrease in the ATP levels.

CONCLUSIONS:

In conclusion, these data suggest that cannabidiol rather than Cannabis sativa crude extracts prevent cell growth and induce cell death in cervical cancer cell lines.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27586579

“Different ethnic groups around the world use Cannabis sativa for smoking, preparing concoctions to treat diseases, and for various cultural purposes. It has been found to be effective against a variety of disorders including neurodegerative disorders, autoimmune diseases, and cancer. Cannabis sativa in particular cannabidiol, we propose it plays important role in helping the body fight cancer through inhibition of pain and cell growth.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5009497/
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ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM: A multi-facet therapeutic target.

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“Cannabis sativa is also popularly known as marijuana. It is being cultivated and used by man for recreational and medicinal purposes from many centuries.

Study of cannabinoids was at bay for very long time and its therapeutic value could not be adequately harnessed due to its legal status as proscribed drug in most of the countries.

The research of drugs acting on endocannabinoid system has seen many ups and down in recent past. Presently, it is known that endocannabinoids has role in pathology of many disorders and they also serve “protective role” in many medical conditions.

Several diseases like emesis, pain, inflammation, multiple sclerosis, anorexia, epilepsy, glaucoma, schizophrenia, cardiovascular disorders, cancer, obesity, metabolic syndrome related diseases, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and Tourette’s syndrome could possibly be treated by drugs modulating endocannabinoid system.

Presently, cannabinoid receptor agonists like nabilone and dronabinol are used for reducing the chemotherapy induced vomiting. Sativex (cannabidiol and THC combination) is approved in the UK, Spain and New Zealand to treat spasticity due to multiple sclerosis. In US it is under investigation for cancer pain, another drug Epidiolex (cannabidiol) is also under investigation in US for childhood seizures. Rimonabant, CB1 receptor antagonist appeared as a promising anti-obesity drug during clinical trials but it also exhibited remarkable psychiatric side effect profile. Due to which the US Food and Drug Administration did not approve Rimonabant in US. It sale was also suspended across the EU in 2008.

Recent discontinuation of clinical trial related to FAAH inhibitor due to occurrence of serious adverse events in the participating subjects could be discouraging for the research fraternity. Despite of some mishaps in clinical trials related to drugs acting on endocannabinoid system, still lot of research is being carried out to explore and establish the therapeutic targets for both cannabinoid receptor agonists and antagonists.

One challenge is to develop drugs that target only cannabinoid receptors in a particular tissue and another is to invent drugs that acts selectively on cannabinoid receptors located outside the blood brain barrier. Besides this, development of the suitable dosage forms with maximum efficacy and minimum adverse effects is also warranted.

Another angle to be introspected for therapeutic abilities of this group of drugs is non-CB1 and non-CB2 receptor targets for cannabinoids.

In order to successfully exploit the therapeutic potential of endocannabinoid system, it is imperative to further characterize the endocannabinoid system in terms of identification of the exact cellular location of cannabinoid receptors and their role as “protective” and “disease inducing substance”, time-dependent changes in the expression of cannabinoid receptors.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27086601

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Cannabinoid pharmacology in cancer research: A new hope for cancer patients?

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“Cannabinoids have been used for many centuries to ease pain and in the past decade, the endocannabinoid system has been implicated in a number of pathophysiological conditions, such as mood and anxiety disorders, movement disorders such as Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease, neuropathic pain, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, stroke, hypertension, glaucoma, obesity, and osteoporosis.

Several studies have demonstrated that cannabinoids also have anti-cancer activity and as cannabinoids are usually well tolerated and do not produce the typical toxic effects of conventional chemotherapies, there is considerable merit in the development of cannabinoids as potential anticancer therapies.

Whilst the presence of psychoactive effects of cannabinoids could prevent any progress in this field, recent studies have shown the value of the non-psychoactive components of cannabinoids in activating apoptotic pathways, inducing anti-proliferative and anti-angiogenic effects.

The aforementioned effects are suggested to be through pathways such as ERK, Akt, mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways, phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) pathways and hypoxia inducible factor 1 (HIF1), all of which are important contributors to the hallmarks of cancer.

Many important questions still remain unanswered or are poorly addressed thus necessitating further research at basic pre-clinical and clinical levels. In this review, we address these issues with a view to identifying the key challenges that future research needs to address.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26852955

http://www.thctotalhealthcare.com/category/cancer/

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Marijuana Use is Not Associated with Cervical Human Papillomavirus Natural History or Cervical Neoplasia in HIV-Seropositive or HIV-Seronegative Women

“Laboratory data suggest that marijuana could have an immunomodulatory effect.

Little is known, however, regarding the effects of marijuana use on cervical HPV or neoplasia. Therefore, we studied the natural history (i.e., prevalence, incident detection, clearance/persistence) of cervical HPV and cervical neoplasia (i.e., squamous intraepithelial lesions; SIL) in a large prospective cohort of 2,584 HIV-seropositive and 915 HIV-seronegative women.

No positive associations were observed between use of marijuana, and either cervical HPV infection or SIL. The findings were similar among HIV-seropositive and HIV-seronegative women, and in tobacco smokers and nonsmokers. These data suggest that marijuana use does not increase the burden of cervical HPV infection or SIL.

In summary, our investigation found no positive associations between marijuana use and cervical HPV or SIL. These findings are comforting given the high prevalence of marijuana use in HIV-seropositive and other populations…”

http://cebp.aacrjournals.org/content/19/3/869.full

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Ligands for cannabinoid receptors, promising anticancer agents.

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“Cannabinoids compounds are unique to cannabis and provide some interesting biological properties.

These compounds along with endocannabinoids, a group of neuromodulator compounds in the body especially in brain, express their effects by activation of G-protein-coupled cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2.

There are several physiological properties attributed to the endocannabinoids including pain relief, enhancement of appetite, blood pressure lowering during shock, embryonic development, and blocking of working memory.

On the other hand, activation of endocannabinoid system may be suppresses evolution and progression of several types of cancer.

According to the results of recent studies, CB receptors are over-expressed in cancer cell lines and application of multiple cannabinoid or cannabis-derived compounds reduce tumor size through decrease of cell proliferation or induction of cell cycle arrest and apoptosis along with desirable effect on decrease of tumor-evoked pain.

Therefore, modulation of endocannabinoid system by inhibition of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), the enzyme, which metabolized endocannabinoids, or application of multiple cannabinoid or cannabis-derived compounds, may be appropriate for the treatment of several cancer subtypes. This review focuses on how cannabinoid affect different types of cancers.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26764235

http://www.thctotalhealthcare.com/category/cancer/

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The use of cannabinoids as anticancer agents.

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“It is well-established that cannabinoids exert palliative effects on some cancer-associated symptoms. In addition evidences obtained during the last fifteen years support that these compounds can reduce tumour growth in animal models of cancer.

Cannabinoids have been shown to activate an ER-stress related pathway that leads to the stimulation of autophagy-mediated cancer cell death.

In addition, cannabinoids inhibit tumour angiogenesis and decrease cancer cell migration.

The mechanisms of resistance to cannabinoid anticancer action as well as the possible strategies to develop cannabinoid-based combinational therapies to fight cancer have also started to be explored.

In this review we will summarize these observations (that have already helped to set the bases for the development of the first clinical studies to investigate the potential clinical benefit of using cannabinoids in anticancer therapies) and will discuss the possible future avenues of research in this area.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26071989

“… cannabinoids have been shown to alleviate nausea and vomit induced by chemotherapy and several cannabinoid-based medicines [Marinol (THC) and Cesamet (nabilone, a synthetic analogue of THC)] are approved for this purpose. Cannabinoids also inhibit pain, and Sativex (a standardized cannabis extract) has been approved in Canada for the treatment of cancer-associated pain. Other potential palliative effects of cannabinoids in oncology include appetite stimulation and attenuation of wasting. In addition to these palliative actions of cannabinoids in cancer patients, THC and other cannabinoids exhibit antitumour effects in animal models of cancer… a large body of scientific evidences strongly support THC and other cannabinoid agonists exert anticancer actions in preclinical models of cancer… In conclusion there exist solid scientific evidences supporting that cannabinoids exhibit a remarkable anticancer activity in preclinical models of cancer. Since these agents also show an acceptable safety profile, clinical studies aimed at testing them as single agents or in combinational therapies are urgently needed.” http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278584615001190
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