β-Caryophyllene Induces Apoptosis and Inhibits Angiogenesis in Colorectal Cancer Models

ijms-logo“Beta-Caryophyllene (BCP), a naturally occurring sesquiterpene abundantly found in cloves, hops, and cannabis, is the active candidate of a relatively new group of vascular-inhibiting compounds that aim to block existing tumor blood vessels.

Previously, we have reported the anti-cancer properties of BCP by utilizing a series of in-vitro anti-tumor-related assays using human colorectal carcinoma cells. The present study aimed to investigate the effects of BCP on in-vitro, ex-vivo, and in-vivo models of anti-angiogenic assays and evaluate its anti-cancer activity in xenograft tumor (both ectopic and orthotopic) mice models of human colorectal cancer.

BCP showed a remarkable reduction in tumor size and fluorescence molecular tomography signal intensity in all the mice treated with BCP, in a dose-dependent relationship, in ectopic and orthotopic tumor xenograft models, respectively. The histological analysis of the tumor from BCP-treated mice revealed a clear reduction of the density of vascularization. In addition, BCP induced apoptosis through downregulation of HSP60, HTRA, survivin, and XIAP, along with the upregulation of p21 expressions.

These results suggest that BCP acts at multiple stages of angiogenesis and could be used as a promising therapeutic candidate to halt the growth of colorectal tumor cells.”



“β-caryophyllene (BCP) is a common constitute of the essential oils of numerous spice, food plants and major component in Cannabis.”   http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23138934

“Beta-caryophyllene is a dietary cannabinoid.”   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18574142

The antitumor activity of cannabidiol on lung cancer cell lines A549 and H1299: the role of apoptosis

Publication Cover“In the recent years, the application of new antitumor drugs has focused on the replacement of conventional chemotherapeutics with compounds derived from natural products.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the 113 cannabinoids derived from the plant Cannabis sativa and is characterized with complex and not entirely understood biological function. Unlike the other most abundant cannabinoid in Cannabis sativa – tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiol has low affinity to the endocannabinoid receptors and the manifestation of its activity does not appear to rely on the endocannabinoid system.

Cannabidiol is used in the treatment of many diseases including some types of cancer.

The aim of our study was to evaluate the cytotoxic activity of cannabidiol and its effect on the process of programmed cell death. This process is directly involved in the antitumor effect of many drugs.

We found that CBD treatment led to a dose-dependant apoptosis increase in p53 positive A549 cells.

Several studies have demonstrated that cannabinoids also have antineoplastic effect and are usually accompanied with no negative side effects such as the ones produced by the conventional chemotherapy treatment.”


Cannabidiol Induces Apoptosis and Perturbs Mitochondrial Function in Human and Canine Glioma Cells

Frontiers in Pharmacology (@FrontPharmacol) | Twitter“Cannabidiol (CBD), the major non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis, is frequently used both as a nutraceutical and therapeutic.

Despite anecdotal evidence as an anticancer agent, little is known about the effect CBD has on cancer cells. Given the intractability and poor prognoses of brain cancers in human and veterinary medicine, we sought to characterize the in vitro cytotoxicity of CBD on human and canine gliomas.

Glioma cells treated with CBD showed a range of cytotoxicity from 4.9 to 8.2 μg/ml; canine cells appeared to be more sensitive than human.

These results demonstrate the cytotoxic nature of CBD in human and canine glioma cells and suggest a mechanism of action involving dysregulation of calcium homeostasis and mitochondrial activity.”


“In this present study, we demonstrate that highly purified CBD isolate reduced proliferation and induced caspase-mediated cell death, suggestive of apoptosis, in both canine glioma cell lines SDT3G and J3TBG as well as the human glioma cell lines U87MG and U373MG Uppsala. The growing body of knowledge of the pharmacology, anticancer effects, and other therapeutically relevant properties of cannabidiol reveal the exciting potential of CBD as a potential clinical therapeutic.”


Searching for a New Anti-Cancer Drug: Investigation of KY Hemp-Induced Apoptosis in Ovarian Cancer Cells

“Marijuana (cannabis sativa) is a schedule 1 drug that has been recently approved by some states in the US for its therapeutic benefit.

Although there are a few reports about its anti-cancer potential, currently it has been used mainly for treatment-resistant epilepsy and to alleviate pain.

Hemp, which belongs to the same genus and species as marijuana, shows similar therapeutic benefits without addictive potential.

Our laboratory is interested in examining for unconventional therapies for ovarian cancer.

The main objective of the current study is to investigate hemp-induced modulation of A2780 ovarian cancer cell apoptosis.

Based on the data here we conclude that KY hemp has anti-cancer potential against ovarian cancer.”


New Insights on Hemp Oil Enriched in Cannabidiol: Decarboxylation, Antioxidant Properties and In Vitro Anticancer Effect

antioxidants-logo“This study aimed to obtain and characterize extracted hemp oil enriched in cannabidiol (CBD) by decarboxylation of cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) and to give new insights into its antioxidant and anticancer effects.

CBD-enriched oil promoted NHDF proliferation at up to 15 µg CBD/mL, while inducing apoptosis and ROS production and modulating antioxidant enzymes’ gene expression in cancer cells, being selective for osteosarcoma cells, and induced apoptosis by p53- and ROS-independent mechanisms.

CBD-enriched hemp oil demonstrated antioxidant properties in oxidative conditions and promoted normal fibroblasts’ proliferation, while inducing apoptosis and ROS production in cancer cells.”



Cannabidiol Modulates Mitochondrial Redox and Dynamics in MCF7 Cancer Cells: A Study Using Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging Microscopy of NAD(P)H

Archive of "Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences".“The cannabinoid, cannabidiol (CBD), is part of the plant’s natural defense system that when given to animals has many useful medicinal properties, including activity against cancer cells, modulation of the immune system, and efficacy in epilepsy.

Our results support the use of NAD(P)H autofluorescence as an investigative tool and provide further evidence that CBD can modulate mitochondrial function and morphology in a dose-dependent manner, with clear evidence of it inducing oxidative stress at higher concentrations.

This continues to support emerging data in the literature and may provide further insight into its overall mode of action, not only in cancer, but potentially its function in the plant and why it can act as a medicine.”


“Uncontrolled cell growth, or cancer, is frequently associated with increased aerobic glycolysis (the Warburg effect) and alterations in mitochondrial function.

A plant’s ability to develop tumors could explain why so many secondary plant phenolic compounds appear to have anticancer activity in both plant and animal models; over 3,000 species of plants have anticancer activity in animals, with many modulating mitochondrial function and apoptosis

CBD, along with Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is a major phytocannabinoid and both are well described components of medicines.

A growing number of studies have demonstrated the anticancer properties of CBD, in both in vitro and in vivo models.”


Anticancer property of Hemp Bioactive Peptides in Hep3B liver cancer cells through Akt/GSK3β/β-catenin signaling pathway

Food Science & Nutrition“Foodborne protein hydrolysates exhibit biological activity that may be therapeutic in a number of human disease settings. Hemp peptides (HP) generated by controlled hydrolysis of hemp proteins have a number of health benefits and are of pharmaceutical value. In the present study, we produce small molecular weight HP from hemp seed and investigate its anticancer properties in Hep3B human liver cancer cells. We demonstrate that HP treatment increased apoptosis, reduced cell viability, and reduced cell migration in Hep3B human liver cancer cells without affecting the normal liver cell line L02. We correlate these phenotypes with increased cellular ROS levels, upregulation of cleaved caspase 3 and Bad, and downregulation of antiapoptotic Bcl-2. HP treatment led to increased Akt and GSK-3β phosphorylation, with subsequent downregulation of β-catenin, suggesting β-catenin signaling modulation as a critical mechanism by which HP exhibits anticancer properties. Our findings suggest HP are of potential therapeutic interest for liver cancer treatment.”


“Together, these data demonstrate that HP from hemp seed protein hydrolysates display anticancer properties. Increase in cellular ROS levels represents a crucial mechanism by which HP exerts its antiproliferative and proapoptotic activity and HP treatment modulates activity of the Akt/GSK/β‐catenin signaling pathway. Our findings suggest that HP represents a promising anticancer therapy in the context of liver cancer; further investigation of the anticancer properties of foodborne protein hydrolysates is warranted.”


Cannabinoids pharmacological effects are beyond the palliative effects: CB2 cannabinoid receptor agonist induced cytotoxicity and apoptosis in human colorectal cancer cells (HT-29)

SpringerLink“Colorectal cancer (CRC) is between the top three occurring cancers worldwide. The anticancer effects of Cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2) agonist (GW833972A) in the presence and absence of its inverse agonist (SR144528) on Human colorectal adenocarcinoma cells (HT-29) was investigated. Following cell viability assays on HT-29 and HFF cells, the molecular mechanism(s) of cytotoxicity and apoptotic pathways of cell death were analyzed. The anticancer effects of CB2 agonist were measured with tumor cell migration and colony-forming assays. Real-time PCR and Western blotting techniques were used to examine any alterations in the expression of apoptotic genes. A concentration and time-dependent cytotoxicity of CB2 agonist with IC50 value of 24.92 ± 6.99 μM was obtained. The rate of lipid peroxidation was elevated, while the TNF-α concentration was declined, significantly (p < 0.05). CB2 agonist (50 μM) reduced the colony-forming capability by 83% and tumor cell migration by 50%. Apoptotic effects of CB2 agonist were revealed with the increase of apoptotic cells in Acridine orange/Ethidium bromide staining, clear DNA fragmentation, pro-apoptotic genes and proteins upregulation (Caspase-3 and p53), and significant downregulation of anti-apoptotic Bcl-2. All assessments demonstrated that CB2 agonist-induced effects were reversed by CB2 inverse agonist. These data suggest that CB2 agonists at micro-molar concentrations might be considered in the CRC treatment, and their effectiveness attributes to the apoptosis induction via upregulation of caspase-3 and p53 and downregulation of Bcl-2.”



Specific Compositions of Cannabis sativa Compounds Have Cytotoxic Activity and Inhibit Motility and Colony Formation of Human Glioblastoma Cells In Vitro

cancers-logo“Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most lethal subtype of glioma. Cannabis sativa is used for the treatment of various medical conditions. Around 150 phytocannabinoids have been identified in C. sativa, among them Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) that trigger GBM cell death. However, the optimal combinations of cannabis molecules for anti-GBM activity are unknown. Chemical composition was determined using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC/MS). Cytotoxic activity was determined by XTT and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) assays and apoptosis and cell cycle by fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS). F-actin structures were observed by confocal microscopy, gene expression by quantitative PCR, and cell migration and invasion by scratch and transwell assays, respectively. Fractions of a high-THC cannabis strain extract had significant cytotoxic activity against GBM cell lines and glioma stem cells derived from tumor specimens. A standard mix (SM) of the active fractions F4 and F5 induced apoptosis and expression of endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-stress associated-genes. F4 and F5 inhibited cell migration and invasion, altered cell cytoskeletons, and inhibited colony formation in 2 and 3-dimensional models. Combinations of cannabis compounds exert cytotoxic, anti-proliferative, and anti-migratory effects and should be examined for efficacy on GBM in pre-clinical studies and clinical trials.”


“Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most frequent, invasive, and lethal subtype of glioma brain tumors. Cannabis is commonly used for medical treatment, and individual phytocannabinoids have been shown to trigger GBM cell death. However, cannabis contains hundreds of different compounds, and the optimal combinations of molecules with anti-GBM activity are unknown. Here, we identified fractions from a cannabis strain that substantially reduced human GBM cell viability and motility. The fractions also reduced the ability of GBM cells to form colonies in 2 and 3-dimensional models, suggesting that the cannabis treatments may have the potential for preventing the formation of GBM neurospheres associated with the high resistance to current therapies. Importantly, these compounds also induced cell death in glioma stem cells derived from tumor specimens. The effectiveness of the fractions and combinations of cannabis compounds should be examined in GBM pre-clinical studies and clinical trials.”


A cannabidiol-loaded Mg-gallate metal-organic framework-based potential therapeutic for glioblastomas

 “Cannabidiol (CBD) has been shown to slow cancer cell growth and is toxic to human glioblastoma cell lines. Thus, CBD could be an effective therapeutic for glioblastoma.

In the present study, we explored the anticancer effect of cannabidiol loaded magnesium-gallate (CBD/Mg-GA) metal-organic framework (MOF) using the rat glioma brain cancer (C6) cell line.

Bioactive and microporous magnesium gallate MOF was employed for simultaneous delivery of two potential anticancer agents (gallic acid and CBD) to the cancer cells. Gallic acid (GA), a polyphenolic compound, is part of the MOF framework, while CBD is loaded within the framework. Slow degradation of CBD/Mg-GA MOF in physiological fluids leads to sustained release of GA and CBD.

CBD’s anti-cancer actions target mitochondria, inducing their dysfunction and generation of harmful reactive oxygen species (ROS). Anticancer effects of CBD/Mg-GA include a significant increase in ROS production and a reduction in anti-inflammatory responses as reflected by a significant decrease in TNF-α expression levels. Molecular mechanisms that underlie these effects include the modulation of NF-κB expression, triggering the apoptotic cascades of glioma cells. CBD/Mg-GA MOF has potential anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties.

Thus, the present study demonstrates that CBD/Mg-GA MOF may be a promising therapeutic for glioblastoma.”



Graphical abstract: A cannabidiol-loaded Mg-gallate metal–organic framework-based potential therapeutic for glioblastomas