The cannabis sativa plant can grow wild in mild, tropical climates around the world. When dried, the buds and leave of the different varieties of the plant are called marijuana; however, other common names are pot, grass, cannabis, ganja, hemp, hash, and weed.
For centuries, marijuana has been used as an herbal remedy. Today, two of the best-studied biologically active components of marijuana are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). These two cannabinoids are being studied for many reasons. For those scientists interested in CBD cancer research, they are utilizing CBD in clinical trials to learn if it is possible and effective to incorporate CBD into clinical care for medical conditions such as cancer. Other cannabinoids are being studied for other conditions and effects.
Barriers to CBD Cancer Research and Prescription Drugs
While the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) currently lists marijuana and its cannabinoids as Schedule I controlled substances, many states have enabled use of marijuana to treat some medical conditions under state laws with certain strict conditions in its production and distribution.
Changes to the new Farm Bill of 2018 may remove cannabinoids from the Schedule I controlled substances list. This will lift restrictions allowing hemp to be able to be legally grown, prescribed, possessed and sold under federal law.
FDA Approved Marijuana Cancer Drugs
Commercially available cannabinoids, such as Dronabinol, a pharmaceutical form of THC and Nabilone, a man-made cannabinoid drug are FDA approved for the treatment of cancer-related side effects.
- Dronabinol (Marinol®) is a gelatin capsule containing delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that’s approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy as well as weight loss and poor appetite in patients with AIDS.
- Nabilone (Cesamet®) is a synthetic cannabinoid that acts much like THC. It can be taken by mouth to treat nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy when other drugs have not worked.
In Canada and some parts of Europe, Nabiximols is a cannabinoid drug being used to treat pain associated with cancer, as well as muscle spasms and pain from multiple sclerosis (MS). It’s a mouth spray made up of a whole-plant extract with THC and cannabidiol (CBD) in about a one to one mix. At this time, it is not approved in the United States, but is being tested in clinical trials to see if it can help a number of conditions.
CBD Cancer Research for New Drugs
In the United States, cannabinoids have been allowed for use in palliative medicine due to their analgesic and antiemetic effects, but increasing number of preclinical studies indicates their anticancer properties.
To conduct clinical drug research with cannabis in the United States, researchers must file an Investigational New Drug (IND) application with the FDA, obtain a Schedule I license from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and obtain approval from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Recently, scientists reported that THC and other cannabinoids such as CBD slow growth and/or cause death in certain types of cancer cells growing in lab dishes. Some animal studies also suggest certain cannabinoids may slow growth and reduce spread of some forms of cancer.
There have been some early clinical trials of cannabinoids in treating cancer in humans and more studies are planned. While the studies so far have shown that cannabinoids can be safe in treating cancer, they do not show that they help control or cure the disease. From these observations it can be concluded, that further profound studies are needed to verify the idea of introducing cannabinoids into the cancer treatment plan.
Recent CBD Cancer Research Studies
- CBDA inhibits the migration of breast cancer cells. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27530354
- Research review concludes cannabis has anti-tumor effects and is effective at reducing pain, nausea, and vomiting induced by chemotherapy. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25916739
- Animal studies have shown that the cannabis-derived cannabinoid, CBD, inhibits the progression of many types of cancer including glioblastoma, breast, lung, prostate, colon. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25916739
- Cannabis causes significant improvement in nausea, vomiting, mood disorders, fatigue, weight loss, anorexia, constipation, sexual function, sleep disorders, itching, and pain, in cancer patients after six to eight weeks of use. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23956774
About Leaf Vertical, Inc.
Leaf Vertical Inc. is an innovative, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical research company, committed to discovering and developing novel therapeutics from its proprietary cannabinoid product platform.
For more information on Leaf Vertical or its Cannabinoid (CBD) clinical trials, use in the treatment of specific types of malignancies related to glioblastoma, myeloma, gastrointestinal, and breast cancer, when administered in conjunction with Standard of Care, please contact Leaf Vertical by phone at 407-776-9217 or visit the company’s headquarters at 805 S. Kirkman Rd, Suite 202, Orlando, Florida 32811.