Cannabinoids used in sequence with chemotherapy are a more effective treatment for cancer
Thursday, 08 June 2017
New research has confirmed that cannabinoids – the active chemicals in cannabis – are effective in killing leukaemia cells, particularly when used in combination with chemotherapy treatments.
Researchers also found that sequential use of an initial dose of chemotherapy first and then cannabinoids significantly improved overall results against the blood cancer cells. They found that combining existing chemotherapy treatments with cannabinoids had better results than chemotherapy alone, meaning that a similar level of effect could be achieved through using a lower dose of the chemotherapy. If this were translated to humans, this lower dose of chemotherapy would mean that the side-effects of chemotherapy could be lessened.
Dr Wai Liu led the study at St George’s, University of London, which was published in the International Journal of Oncology. He said: “We have shown for the first time that the order in which cannabinoids and chemotherapy are used is crucial in determining the overall effectiveness of this treatment.”
“These extracts are highly concentrated and purified, so smoking marijuana will not have a similar effect. But cannabinoids are a very exciting prospect in oncology, and studies such as ours serve to establish the best ways that they should be used to maximise a therapeutic effect.”
Cannabinoids are the active chemicals in cannabis, known more specifically as phytocannabinoids. When extracted from the plant and purified, they have been shown to possess anticancer properties, especially in certain cancers of the brain.
Researchers looked at cancer cells in the laboratory, trying different combinations of cannabinoids against leukaemia cells. They tested whether existing chemotherapy treatments worked effectively alongside the cannabinoids, and whether using the drugs in a different order had an effect.
A number of clinical studies are underway that are assessing the full potential of cannabinoids in patients with cancer. Researchers say more trials need to be carried out to establish the veracity of the claims.
To provide the best experiences, we use technologies like cookies to store and/or access device information. Consenting to these technologies will allow us to process data such as browsing behavior or unique IDs on this site. Not consenting or withdrawing consent, may adversely affect certain features and functions.
The technical storage or access is strictly necessary for the legitimate purpose of enabling the use of a specific service explicitly requested by the subscriber or user, or for the sole purpose of carrying out the transmission of a communication over an electronic communications network.
The technical storage or access is necessary for the legitimate purpose of storing preferences that are not requested by the subscriber or user.
The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for statistical purposes.The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for anonymous statistical purposes. Without a subpoena, voluntary compliance on the part of your Internet Service Provider, or additional records from a third party, information stored or retrieved for this purpose alone cannot usually be used to identify you.
The technical storage or access is required to create user profiles to send advertising, or to track the user on a website or across several websites for similar marketing purposes.