Cancer is a scary disease that takes thousands of lives every year. What’s more frightening is the treatment of cancer which is painful and difficult. But, recently people have started talking about CBD for the cure of cancer.
Can CBD Treat Cancer?
There are numerous reports of CBD showing anti-tumor effects in cell cultures and animals. These studies have found reduced cell viability, increased cancer cell death, decreased tumor growth, and inhibition of metastasis.
Research On The Effect Of CBD On Cancer
A 2006 study examining numerous phytocannabinoids’ anticancer effects on breast cancer looked at THC, THCa, CBD, CBDa, CBG, and CBC. It concluded that CBD was the most potent inhibitor of cancer cell growth, a conclusion echoed throughout the medical world. In an attempt to understand CBD’s anticancer method of action, a 2005 study used synthetic cannabinoids as CB1 and CB2 receptor antagonists, to try and observe the same anti-cancer properties in U87 glioma cells. The synthetic cannabinoids had no observable anticancer properties in U87 glioma cells, suggesting a different method of action that cannabinoids take for some of their anticancer properties.
A 2011 study found that CBD interacts with numerous systems throughout the body to help it fight cancer, including the inhibition of AKT and mTOR signaling. Similarly, the terpene caryophyllene and terpinolene have been shown to suppress tumor growth and inhibit metastasis.
How Does CBD Reduce Cancer?
An important role in the spreading of numerous cancers is threonine protein kinase AKT and its 3 isoforms, AKT1, AKT2, and AKT3. When activated, AKT moves to the cytoplasm and nucleus of cancerous cells where it phosphorylates, activating, and inhibiting numerous targets to spread cell proliferation. Though the activation of AKT alone isn’t enough to create tumors, it contributes heavily to the spreading of cancer and is currently an active target in clinical development for the treatment of various cancers. Many phytocannabinoids and terpenes found within cannabis have been shown to actively inhibit the spreading or activation of AKT, and in turn, help to reduce the spreading of cancer.
ID-1, a protein is a key regulator of the potential of numerous cancer types, including glioblastoma and breast cancer. There is a direct correlation between ID-1 expression levels and the invasiveness of numerous forms of cancer. CBD has been shown to modulate the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) pathways, both of which lead to ID-1 down-regulation in aggressive forms of cancer, which in turn helps to prevent cancer from spreading. CBD also up-regulates ID-2 gene expression.