A new study, published in the peer reviewed academic journal Oncogene, reports on research done by scientists in the U.K and Australia on mice being treated for Pancreatic Cancer with chemotherapy, both with and without supplemental treatment with CBD. The mice treated with cannabidiol had triple the survival rates of those treated with chemotherapy alone.
These encouraging findings are just the latest in a fast-growing body of evidence, both on animals and people, that CBD may have important cancer fighting properties. In fact, a review by the National Cancer Institute includes several studies documenting the potential tumor shrinking potential of CBD (in some cases in combination with THC from medical cannabis) in the treatment of breast, colon, liver, and certain types of brain cancers.
While many people are aware of the potential use of medical marijuana and/or CBD as a means to reduce the debilitating side effects of chemotherapy (including pain, appetite loss, nausea, anxiety, and sleep loss), it may come as a surprise to some that CBD may actually have potential for treating cancer itself, although further research and clinical trials are needed to verify these preliminary findings.
According to this study, CBD interferes with GPR55 receptor signaling, a process that encourages the proliferation of pancreatic cancer cells. This should not be a huge surprise, since it is one of the body’s many natural cannabinoid receptors implicated in a variety of possible therapeutic powers of cannabidiol including regulating blood pressure, inflammation and pain.
CBD and Pancreatic Cancer
One of the most exciting aspects of this study is that pancreatic cancer survival rates have been among the most stubborn to improve despite a great deal of research. In fact, it has the worst survival rate of the top 20 types of cancer, with projections placing it to be the 4th largest cancer killer by 2026.
In fact, the main treatment option is chemotherapy with gemcitabine, the same treatment used in the new CBD study. Even with chemotherapy, survival rates for exocrine pancreatic cancer are abysmally low. Even with early diagnosis, the 5-year survival rate is about 12% according to the American Cancer Society.
While the many health benefits of CBD oil are becoming the focus of international attention in the medical community, it is perhaps their potential as a novel agent in the treatment of cancer that is most exciting.