The controversies surrounding marijuana and its medicinal benefits are complex. A recent study by researchers from the Queen Mary University of London has demonstrated that the cannabidiol (CBD) in marijuana combined with chemotherapy has a lot of potential for human treatment.
The caveat here is that the study was done on mice with pancreatic cancer and it hasn’t gotten tor human testing yet. Still, the results were more than promising.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive, i.e. a non-intoxicating compound found in marijuana. This isn’t the first time it has been shown to have positive side-effects on chemotherapy patients. CBD is already used as a complementary therapy for chemotherapy patients because of its many benefits, including:
- Stimulating appetite which is vital for many people who tend to lose their appetite during chemotherapy.
- Nausea and vomiting relief. These two are a major problem for many chemotherapy patients and CBD has already been shown to have a strong relieving effect against those problems.
- Pain relief. Chemotherapy, as well as the cancers it usually treats, can be very painful for most patients. Most cancers also often cause inflammations and nerve injuries. To make matters worse, many of these pains can become resistant to opioids. This is where CBD comes in as it offers both pain relief and reduces inflammations.
While CBD is still classified as an illegal substance under federal law, human trials involving CBD as a cancer treatment may move faster in other parts of the world such as the UK. Still, progress is being made with the US FDA approving the first drug comprised of CBD to treat severe forms of epilepsy.
Marco Falasca, the lead researchers from the Queen Mary University of London is also hopeful: “Cannabidiol is already approved for use in clinics [in the UK], which means we can quickly go on to test this in human clinical trials.”
“The life expectancy for pancreatic cancer patients has barely changed in the last 40 years because there are very few, and mostly only palliative care, treatments available,” Dr. Falasca added in a press statement. “Given the five-year survival rate for people with pancreatic cancer is less than seven percent, the discovery of new treatments and therapeutic strategies is urgently needed.”
Even though the study hasn’t yet been replicated in humans, the results highlights the importance of continued research on marijuana compounds. As more and more states legalize marijuana, these will be more studies like this one linking the compounds to promising results, from easing migraine symptoms to improving stroke recovery to decreasing seizure severity, among others.