Enhancing the Therapeutic Efficacy of Cancer Treatment With Cannabinoids

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“Many in vitro and in vivo studies have reported on the antitumorigenic effects of plant-derived cannabinoids (CBDs) and their synthetic analogs, including effects in inducing apoptosis and inhibiting tumor cell growth and metastasis.

Over the years, many in vitro and in vivo studies have shown the antineoplastic effects of cannabinoids (CBDs), with reports advocating for investigations of combination therapy approaches that could better leverage these effects in clinical translation.

This study explores the potential of combination approaches employing CBDs with radiotherapy (RT) or smart biomaterials toward enhancing therapeutic efficacy during treatment of pancreatic and lung cancers. In in vitro studies, clonogenic assay results showed greater effective tumor cell killing, when combining CBDs and RT. Meanwhile, in vivo study results revealed major increase in survival when employing smart biomaterials for sustained delivery of CBDs to tumor cells. The significance of these findings, considerations for further research, and viable roadmap to clinical translation are discussed.

The advantage of combining CBDs with other therapies is that this may allow simultaneous targeting of tumor progression at different levels, while minimizing toxicities for these therapies relative to toxicities from higher doses when used as monotherapies.”

“Cannabis Science Announces the Second Frontiers Peer-Reviewed Publication of its Research Results on the Use of Cannabinoids in the Treatment of Cancers”  https://globenewswire.com/news-release/2018/05/01/1493854/0/en/Cannabis-Science-Announces-the-Second-Frontiers-Peer-Reviewed-Publication-of-its-Research-Results-on-the-Use-of-Cannabinoids-in-the-Treatment-of-Cancers.html

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Hemp shows potential for treating ovarian cancer

“Researchers demonstrate hemp’s ability to slow cancer growth and uncover mechanism for its cancer-fighting ability.

Results from some of the first studies to examine hemp’s ability to fight cancer show that it might one day be useful as plant-based treatment for ovarian cancer. Hemp is part of the same cannabis family as marijuana but doesn’t have any psychoactive properties or cause addiction.

“Hemp, like marijuana, contains therapeutically valuable components such as cannabidiol, cannabinol, and tetrahydrocannabinol,”

“Our findings from this research as well as prior research show that KY hemp slows ovarian cancer comparable to or even better than the current ovarian cancer drug Cisplatin,” said Turner. “Since Cisplatin exhibits high toxicity, we anticipate that hemp would carry less side effects.”


“Hemp Shows Potential for Treating Ovarian Cancer”  https://www.eurekalert.org/multimedia/pub/167927.php

“Hemp Can Fight Cancer Too, Reveal Scientists in New Cannabis Study”  https://www.inverse.com/article/44039-cancer-hemp-plant-based-treatment

“Studies show hemp’s potential for treating ovarian cancer”         https://www.news-medical.net/news/20180424/Studies-show-hemps-potential-for-treating-ovarian-cancer.aspx

“Hemp shows potential for treating ovarian cancer”  https://www.europeanpharmaceuticalreview.com/news/75103/hemp-treating-ovarian-cancer/

“Hemp portrays possibility for curing ovarian cancer”  https://ebuzzcommunity.com/2018/04/hemp-portrays-possibility-for-curing-ovarian-cancer/

“Hemp Extract Inhibits Growth Of Ovarian Cancer, Research Finds”  https://thefreshtoast.com/rx/hemp-extract-inhibits-growth-of-ovarian-cancer-research-finds/

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Association of Cannabis With Cognitive Functioning in Adolescents and Young Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

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“Question  Is frequent or heavy cannabis use associated with cognitive dysfunction in adolescents and young adults?

Findings  This systematic review and meta-analysis of 69 cross-sectional studies of 2152 cannabis users and 6575 comparison participants showed a small but significant overall effect size for reduced cognitive functioning in adolescents and young adults who reported frequent cannabis use. However, studies requiring abstinence from cannabis for longer than 72 hours had a very small, nonsignificant effect size.

Meaning  Although continued cannabis use may be associated with small reductions in cognitive functioning, results suggest that cognitive deficits are substantially diminished with abstinence.

Conclusions and Relevance  Associations between cannabis use and cognitive functioning in cross-sectional studies of adolescents and young adults are small and may be of questionable clinical importance for most individuals. Furthermore, abstinence of longer than 72 hours diminishes cognitive deficits associated with cannabis use. Although other outcomes (eg, psychosis) were not examined in the included studies, results indicate that previous studies of cannabis in youth may have overstated the magnitude and persistence of cognitive deficits associated with use.”



“Cannabis harm to teenagers’ brains ‘overstated’, finds study”  https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/cannabis-marijuana-legalisation-harm-brain-intelligence-development-mental-health-a8311126.html

“Weed doesn’t make stoners permanently slow – study”  http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/health/2018/04/weed-doesn-t-make-stoners-permanently-slow-study.html

“Marijuana’s effects on young brains diminish 72 hours after use, research says”  https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/18/health/marijuana-cognitive-effects-study/index.html

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Unique treatment potential of cannabidiol for the prevention of relapse to drug use: preclinical proof of principle

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“Cannabidiol (CBD), the major non-psychoactive constituent of Cannabis sativa, has received attention for therapeutic potential in treating neurologic and psychiatric disorders.

Recently, CBD has also been explored for potential in treating drug addiction. Substance use disorders are chronically relapsing conditions and relapse risk persists for multiple reasons including craving induced by drug contexts, susceptibility to stress, elevated anxiety, and impaired impulse control. Here, we evaluated the “anti-relapse” potential of a transdermal CBD preparation in animal models of drug seeking, anxiety and impulsivity.

Rats with alcohol or cocaine self-administration histories received transdermal CBD at 24 h intervals for 7 days and were tested for context and stress-induced reinstatement, as well as experimental anxiety on the elevated plus maze. Effects on impulsive behavior were established using a delay-discounting task following recovery from a 7-day dependence-inducing alcohol intoxication regimen.

CBD attenuated context-induced and stress-induced drug seeking without tolerance, sedative effects, or interference with normal motivated behavior. Following treatment termination, reinstatement remained attenuated up to ≈5 months although plasma and brain CBD levels remained detectable only for 3 days. CBD also reduced experimental anxiety and prevented the development of high impulsivity in rats with an alcohol dependence history.

The results provide proof of principle supporting potential of CBD in relapse prevention along two dimensions CBD: beneficial actions across several vulnerability states, and long-lasting effects with only brief treatment. The findings also inform the ongoing medical marijuana debate concerning medical benefits of non-psychoactive cannabinoids and their promise for development and use as therapeutics.”


“Non-psychoactive cannabis ingredient could help addicts stay clean. Preclinical study using rats shows that Cannabidiol can reduce the risk of relapse”  https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/03/180323104821.htm

“Non-psychoactive cannabis ingredient could reduce risk of relapse among recovering addicts. A preclinical study in rats has shown that there might be value in using a non-psychoactive and non-addictive ingredient of the Cannabis sativa plant to reduce the risk of relapse among recovering drug and alcohol addicts.”  https://www.news-medical.net/news/20180323/Non-psychoactive-cannabis-ingredient-could-reduce-risk-of-relapse-among-recovering-addicts.aspx

“Non-psychoactive cannabis ingredient could help addicts stay clean”  https://www.springer.com/gp/about-springer/media/research-news/all-english-research-news/non-psychoactive-cannabis-ingredient-could-help-addicts-stay-clean/15548156

“Non-psychoactive cannabinoid may enable drug addiction recovery”  https://www.drugabuse.gov/news-events/news-releases/2018/03/non-psychoactive-cannabinoid-may-enable-drug-addiction-recovery

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Pascal Biosciences Identifies Molecules in Cannabis That Stimulate the Immune System to Destroy Tumor Cells

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“Pascal Biosciences Inc. (TSX.V:PAS) (“Pascal” or the “Company”) announced the Company has discovered certain cannabinoids that enhance the immunogenicity of tumor cells, rendering them more susceptible to recognition by the immune system. This discovery is important because the leading class of new cancer fighting agents, termed “checkpoint inhibitors”, activates the immune system to destroy cancer cells. Enhancing recognition of cancer cells with cannabinoids may greatly improve the efficacy of this drug class. Cannabinoids are the chemical compounds which give the cannabis plant its medicinal properties with over 100 different cannabinoids identified. There is a growing body of research demonstrating the effectiveness of cannabinoids in the treatment of cancer symptoms, including nausea, appetite enhancement, and pain management. However, Pascal is the first to identify a mechanism in which cannabinoids may provide a direct benefit in immunotherapy.”


““We are very excited about this novel discovery,” commented Dr. Patrick Gray, CEO of Pascal Biosciences.” Cannabinoids typically have good pharmacological properties, as most have low toxicity and are easily absorbed into the blood, which are great advantages for drug development. In combination with immune checkpoint inhibitors, cannabinoids may significantly improve cancer care. ”We wish to highlight specifically the line “Pascal is the first to identify a mechanism in which cannabinoids may provide a direct benefit in immunotherapy”.” http://nasdaqnewsreports.blogspot.com/2018/02/pascal-biosciences-cannabis.html
“Pascal Biosciences Stock Soars on New Cannabinoids Discovery” https://smallcappower.com/news/market-news/pascal-biosciences-inc-stock/
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Evidence for cannabis and cannabinoids for epilepsy: a systematic review of controlled and observational evidence.

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“Review evidence for cannabinoids as adjunctive treatments for treatment-resistant epilepsy.

Systematic search of Medline, Embase and PsycINFO was conducted in October 2017. Outcomes were: 50%+ seizure reduction, complete seizure freedom; improved quality of life (QoL).

Tolerability/safety were assessed by study withdrawals, adverse events (AEs) and serious adverse events (SAEs). Analyses were conducted in Stata V.15.0. 36 studies were identified: 6 randomised controlled trials (RCTs), 30 observational studies. Mean age of participants was 16.1 years (range 0.5-55 years).

Cannabidiol (CBD) 20 mg/kg/day was more effective than placebo at reducing seizure frequency by 50%+(relative risk (RR) 1.74, 95% CI 1.24 to 2.43, 2 RCTs, 291 patients, low Grades of Recommendation, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) rating). The number needed to treat for one person using CBD to experience 50%+ seizure reduction was 8 (95% CI 6 to 17).

CBD was more effective than placebo at achieving complete seizure freedom (RR 6.17, 95% CI 1.50 to 25.32, 3 RCTs, 306 patients, low GRADE rating), and improving QoL (RR 1.73, 95% CI 1.33 to 2.26), however increased risk of AEs (RR 1.24, 95% CI 1.13 to 1.36) and SAEs (RR 2.55, 95% CI 1.48 to 4.38). Pooled across 17 observational studies, 48.5% (95% CI 39.0% to 58.1%) of patients reported 50%+ reductions in seizures; in 14 observational studies 8.5% (95% CI 3.8% to 14.5%) were seizure-free. Twelve observational studies reported improved QoL (55.8%, 95% CI 40.5 to 70.6); 50.6% (95% CI 31.7 to 69.4) AEs and 2.2% (95% CI 0 to 7.9) SAEs.

Pharmaceutical-grade CBD as adjuvant treatment in paediatric-onset drug-resistant epilepsy may reduce seizure frequency. Existing RCT evidence is mostly in paediatric samples with rare and severe epilepsy syndromes; RCTs examining other syndromes and cannabinoids are needed.”



“Cannabis Compounds Reduce Epileptic Seizure Frequency In Children And Teenagers” http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/cannabis-compounds-reduce-epileptic-seizure-frequency-in-children-and-teenagers/

“Cannabis ingredient ‘reduces epilepsy seizures'”  https://www.webmd.boots.com/news/20180307/cannabis-ingredient-for-epilepsy-seizures

“Marijuana Derivative Successfully Treats Teen Epilepsy in New Experiments”  https://www.inverse.com/article/41985-cbd-marijuana-treat-seizures-epilepsy

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Marijuana Use and Renal Function Among US Adults.

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“In recent years, the number of states that have legalized medical marijuana or retail sales has increased, bringing potential changes of marijuana use pattern among the general population. However, health effects of acute and chronic marijuana use on many relevant health outcomes, including renal function, remain largely unexamined.

In this study, we aimed to assess the association between recent and past marijuana use and renal function.


We did not observe any clinically significant association between current or past self-reported marijuana use and measures of kidney function.”



“No link between current or previous marijuana use and kidney disease, say researchers” https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/03/180301125051.htm

“Marijuana Doesn’t Seem to Harm the Kidneys” https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/news/20180306/marijuana-doesnt-seem-to-harm-the-kidneys

“”Our research provides some reassuring evidence suggesting that there is no detrimental effect of infrequent, relatively light use of marijuana on kidney function among healthy adults under age 60,”” https://consumer.healthday.com/general-health-information-16/illicit-drugs-news-217/marijuana-doesn-t-seem-to-harm-the-kidneys-731632.html

“Pot Won’t Harm Healthy Young People’s Kidneys, Study Suggests”  https://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=206375

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Prospective analysis of safety and efficacy of medical cannabis in large unselected population of patients with cancer

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“Cancer is a major public health problem as the leading cause of death. Palliative treatment aimed to alleviate pain and nausea in patients with advanced disease is a cornerstone of oncology.

In 2007, the Israeli Ministry of Health began providing approvals for medical cannabis for the palliation of cancer symptoms. The aim of this study is to characterize the epidemiology of cancer patients receiving medical cannabis treatment and describe the safety and efficacy of this therapy.


We analyzed the data routinely collected as part of the treatment program of 2970 cancer patients treated with medical cannabis between 2015 and 2017.


The average age was 59.5 ± 16.3 years, 54.6% women and 26.7% of the patients reported previous experience with cannabis. The most frequent types of cancer were: breast (20.7%), lung (13.6%), pancreatic (8.1%) and colorectal (7.9%) with 51.2% being at stage 4. The main symptoms requiring therapy were: sleep problems (78.4%), pain (77.7%, median intensity 8/10), weakness (72.7%), nausea (64.6%) and lack of appetite (48.9%). After six months of follow up, 902 patients (24.9%) died and 682 (18.8%) stopped the treatment. Of the remaining, 1211 (60.6%) responded; 95.9% reported an improvement in their condition, 45 patients (3.7%) reported no change and four patients (0.3%) reported deterioration in their medical condition.


Cannabis as a palliative treatment for cancer patients seems to be well tolerated, effective and safe option to help patients cope with the malignancy related symptoms.”



“Cannabis to be a “Safe,” “Effective” Medical Treatment in First-of-its-Kind, Peer-Reviewed Study of Thousands of Cancer Patients Using Tikun Olam™ Strains”  http://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/cannabis-to-be-a-safe-effective-medical-treatment-in-first-of-its-kind-peer-reviewed-study-of-thousands-of-cancer-patients-using-tikun-olam-strains-1017297749

“For the first time, a major scientific study has confirmed what cannabis advocates have known for decades: that cannabis can be a safe and effective palliative treatment in patients suffering from the debilitating effects of cancer.”  https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/cannabis-to-be-a-safe-effective-medical-treatment-in-first-of-its-kind-peer-reviewed-study-of-thousands-of-cancer-patients-using-tikun-olam-strains-300604361.html

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Chronic High Doses of Cannabinoids Promote Hippocampal Neurogenesis

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“Hippocampal neurogenesis is suppressed following chronic administration of the major drugs of abuse (including opiates, alcohol, nicotine, and cocaine). However, CB1-knockout mice display significantly decreased hippocampal neurogenesis, suggesting that CB1 receptors activated by endogenous, plant-derived, or synthetic cannabinoids may promote hippocampal neurogenesis.

Cannabinoids can regulate the proliferation of hippocampal NS/PCs by acting on CB1 receptors. They found that both the synthetic cannabinoid HU210 and the endocannabinoid anandamide profoundly promote embryonic hippocampal NS/PC proliferation. Chronic, but not acute, HU210 significantly increases the number of newborn hippocampal neurons in adult rats by promoting NS/PC proliferation.

A significant increase was observed in the hipoppocampal newborn neurons of mice following twice-daily HU210 injection for 10 days.

This suggests that cannabinoids are the only illicit drug that can promote adult hippocampal neurogenesis following chronic  administration.”

Cannabinoids promote embryonic and adult hippocampus neurogenesis and produce anxiolytic- and antidepressant-like effects.” https://www.jci.org/articles/view/25509


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Epidemiological characteristics, safety and efficacy of medical cannabis in the elderly.

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“There is a substantial growth in the use of medical cannabis in recent years and with the aging of the population, medical cannabis is increasingly used by the elderly.

We aimed to assess the characteristics of elderly people using medical cannabis and to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the treatment.

Our study finds that the therapeutic use of cannabis is safe and efficacious in the elderly population. Cannabis use may decrease the use of other prescription medicines, including opioids.”


“Medical cannabis significantly safer for elderly with chronic pain than opioids: study” https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-02-medical-cannabis-significantly-safer-elderly.html
“Medical cannabis significantly safer for elderly with chronic pain than opioids” https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-02/aabu-mcs021318.php
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