January 24, 2012
The administration of the non-psychotropic cannabis plant constituent cannabidiol (CBD) is protective in an experimental model of colon cancer, according to preclinical trial data published online in the Journal of Molecular Medicine.
Investigators at the University of Naples assessed the effect of CBD on colon carcinogenesis in mice. Researchers reported that CBD administration was associated with cancerous tumor reduction and reduced cell proliferation.
Authors wrote: “Although cannabidiol has been shown to kill glioma cells, to inhibit cancer cell invasion and to reduce the growth of breast carcinoma and lung metastases in rodents, its effect on colon carcinogenesis has not been evaluated to date. This is an important omission, since colon cancer affects millions of individuals in Western countries. In the present study, we have shown that cannabidiol exerts (1) protective effects in an experimental model of colon cancer and (2) antiproliferative actions in colorectal carcinoma cells.”
Authors also acknowledged that CBD possesses “an extremely safe profile in humans.” They concluded, “[O]ur findings suggest that cannabidiol might be worthy of clinical consideration in colon cancer prevention.”
Clinical review data published in the scientific journal Current Drug Safety in December concluded that CBD is “non-toxic” to healthy cells and is “well tolerated” in humans. Nevertheless, cannabidiol is presently classified under federal law as a schedule I prohibited substance. Such substances are required by law to possess “a high potential for abuse,” “a lack of accepted safety … under medical supervision,” and “no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.”
Separate preclinical trials evaluating the anti-cancer activities of cannabinoids and endocannabinoids show that their administration can inhibit the proliferation of a variety of cancerous cell lines, including breast carcinoma, prostate carcinoma, gastric adenocarcinoma, skin carcinoma, leukemia cells, neuroblastoma, lung carcinoma, uterus carcinoma, thyroid epithelioma, pancreatic adenocarcinoma, cervical carcinoma, oral cancer, biliary tract cancer (cholangiocarcinoma), and lymphoma. NORML provides summaries and links to these studies here.
Full text of this latest study, “Chemopreventive effect of the non-psychotropic phytocannabinoid cannabidiol on experimental colon cancer,” appears in the Journal of Molecular Medicine.