The value of cannabinoids
There is a mix between enthusiasm and caution about cannabis use and cancer. CB1 receptors play an important role in cancer pain relief.
Since research of the two cannabinoids has increased, it is much easier to understand the way cannabinoids interact with prostate cancer cells and the possibility of using these compounds to reduce the activity, which includes growth and spread of prostate cancer.
Studies prove that prostate cancer cells have bigger levels of expression of CB1 and CB2 receptors than common cells. In other words, the cancer cells have more affinity for cannabinoids than regular cells. Laboratory research has demonstrated that the cells are treated with a specific cannabinoids, three things happen.
A – Roughly speaking, the cells become less viable and more prone to apoptosis (programmed cell death)
B – Androgen receptor activity over the surface of cancer cells decreases. Prostate cancer seems to be “back up” by androgens male hormones.
C – Two cannabinoids, concretely THC and CBD, help to reduce the formation of blood vessels, needed by prostate cancer tumors to feed themselves.
An important research on mice has been made in prostate cancer cells and prostate tumor cells. Non-THC cannabinoids have been tested to study their biochemical effects on individual cells and real tumor behavior in live animals. The result has been very optimistic and the authors suggested that “non-THC cannabinoids, and CBD in particular, retard proliferation and cause apoptosis of PCC [prostate cancer cells] via a combination of cannabinoid receptor-independent, cellular and molecular mechanisms.”
Actually, we know many cases of people who have used cannabis oil to shrink prostate cancer tumors and there are many of them who have had success combining this use with conventional therapies. The problem has been that the law about studies in the U.S. made it difficult for clinical studies on marijuana. It seems the situation could change since President Trump has declared hemp a regular agricultural product. The new law facilitates the research. But, unfortunately, so far there are few funds for the investigation. Most studies tend to focus on symptoms, such as pain relief or nausea, instead of the real efficiency of the cannabis oil to treat cancer tumors.
Those researchers who have been studying the abilities of cannabis, both in laboratories containers and animals, are asking for real clinical trials with patients. They say that non-THC cannabinoids have demonstrated that non-THC cannabinoids have the ability to avoid cell proliferation, building their own blood supply and taking androgens male hormones. Moreover, it has been studied that, depending on the conditions, cannabinoids have a synergetic effect with chemotherapy. Such characteristics are quite promising in order to trear prostate cancer.
Researchers Ramos and Bianco think of a scenario for prostate cancer patients, whit painful metastasis to the bone. They stated cannabinoids “harbor analgesic properties that aid bone cancer pain, reduce opioid consumption, side effects, and dependence, as well as exhibiting anti-androgenic effects on experimental prostate cancer cells.”
Maybe, today’s tendency to avoid cannabis restrictions will open the door to human clinical investigation. If this occurs, the real value of cannabinoids to treat prostate cancer will be finally discovered.