cbd breast cancer studyDecember 15, 2021
The research study investigates use of CBD to manage anxiety prior to an oncologic imaging scan. CBD is a component of the cannabis sativa (marijuana) plant and of hemp. Studies of CBD have led to its approval by the Food and Drug Administration for certain childhood seizure disorders. Researchers have also been studying the use of CBD to manage anxiety and pain.
This research study is investigating use of a single dose of cannabidiol (CBD) to help manage anticipatory anxiety in participants with advanced breast cancer poised to undergo computed tomography (CT) scan to assess tumor burden.
This study is designed to find out if the drug can help reduce anxiety and can safely be given to participants with advanced breast cancer who are scheduled for a CT scan.
The name of the study drug(s) are:
This is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of a single dose of CBD for acute anticipatory anxiety in patients with advanced breast cancer undergoing computed tomography (CT) scan to assess tumor burden.
Randomization means that participants are put into a group by chance. Neither the participant nor the research team will choose participant group assignment.
This study is supported by funding from the Hans and Mavis Lopater Foundation.
Cannabidiol (CBD), a major nonpsychoactive constituent of cannabis, is considered an antineoplastic agent on the basis of its in vitro and in vivo activity against tumor cells. However, the exact molecular mechanism through which CBD mediates this activity is yet to be elucidated. Here, we have shown CBD-induced cell death of breast cancer cells, independent of cannabinoid and vallinoid receptor activation. Electron microscopy revealed morphologies consistent with the coexistence of autophagy and apoptosis. Western blot analysis confirmed these findings. We showed that CBD induces endoplasmic reticulum stress and, subsequently, inhibits AKT and mTOR signaling as shown by decreased levels of phosphorylated mTOR and 4EBP1, and cyclin D1. Analyzing further the cross-talk between the autophagic and apoptotic signaling pathways, we found that beclin1 plays a central role in the induction of CBD-mediated apoptosis in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. Although CBD enhances the interaction between beclin1 and Vps34, it inhibits the association between beclin1 and Bcl-2. In addition, we showed that CBD reduces mitochondrial membrane potential, triggers the translocation of BID to the mitochondria, the release of cytochrome c to the cytosol, and, ultimately, the activation of the intrinsic apoptotic pathway in breast cancer cells. CBD increased the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), and ROS inhibition blocked the induction of apoptosis and autophagy. Our study revealed an intricate interplay between apoptosis and autophagy in CBD-treated breast cancer cells and highlighted the value of continued investigation into the potential use of CBD as an antineoplastic agent.
Talk to your doctor: As with all vitamins, supplements, herbs, and over-the counter medicines, always tell your doctor if you are using any type of cannabis product to make sure it won’t interact or interfere with your cancer treatments. Find a doctor in a medical marijuana program: If you live in a place where medical marijuana is legal, make an appointment with a doctor who participates in your state or country’s medical marijuana program. These are doctors who are trained and certified to qualify patients for medical cannabis and oversee their care. Some states also certify trained nurses, physician’s assistants, and pharmacists to qualify patients for medical cannabis. Find a medical cannabis dispensary you are comfortable with: Most oncologists prefer that their patients get their medical cannabis products from a medical cannabis dispensary if they are available where you live. Medical dispensaries focus on medical patients rather than just recreational users. They should have knowledgeable staff members or a pharmacist who can answer your questions about their products.
THC and CBD seem to offer different medical benefits. A good example of these differences can be seen when comparing the only cannabinoid medicines approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA): Marinol (chemical name: dronabinol) and other synthetic THC medicines are approved to treat nausea caused by chemotherapy. The CBD medicine Epidiolex is approved to treat seizure disorders in children.
But again, it’s important to talk to your doctor about using cannabis products, especially during cancer treatment, to make sure it’s a safe option for you. If you find that your doctor is not knowledgeable or experienced with cannabis, you may want to seek advice from an oncologist who participates in your state or country’s medical cannabis program.
CBD is usually well-tolerated, but reported side effects include:
“I’ve mainly seen it used in conjunction with prescription drugs to control pain and other side effects in patients living with metastatic disease,” she said. “It’s rare that a person living with metastatic breast cancer would have only one side effect to manage. So, by adding in medical marijuana, it often allows me to cut back on the number of drugs I prescribe. With a high-quality source for medical marijuana and knowing how it affects an individual, using medical marijuana can put more control back in the hands of my patient.”
Side effects and safety of medical cannabis.
The legal status of cannabis for either recreational or medical use varies across the world and continues to change. It’s important to understand the laws in your state or country before you purchase or use cannabis.
Marijuana laws vary from state to state in the U.S. Some states allow people with certain health conditions to get a medical marijuana card through their doctor, which allows them to buy cannabis products at an approved dispensary. Other states only allow the medical use of CBD to treat certain serious conditions. In states where marijuana is legal for recreational use, anyone of legal age can buy cannabis products from a dispensary, but some of these shops carry medical products that are only available to people with certain health conditions.
Like all cannabis products, hemp CBD products are not regulated the same way medicines are. So it’s hard to know if they are made safely, contain contaminants, or are labeled accurately. It’s also illegal for companies to market any cannabis product as a cure, treatment, or dietary supplement. The FDA has warned many companies that have marketed CBD products in this way.
Eating edibles or taking oils by mouth can take one to a few hours to take effect and can last up to about 6 hours. It can be difficult to know the dose in some edibles and how long the effects will last. Oils, sprays, and tinctures may give you more control over the dose you take.
Cannabis products made from extracted oils can contain all or mostly THC or CBD, or different combinations. “Whole plant” marijuana products are often grouped by “strains” to describe their balance of THC and CBD. Whole plant or “full spectrum” products often contain other cannabinoids that can cause other effects.
In modern times, marijuana has generally been viewed as a recreational drug. But there is growing interest in its medical uses. The terms “medical marijuana,” “medical cannabis,” “medical hemp,” or “medical CBD” refer to the use of products made from the cannabis plant to treat certain health conditions.
Medical grade CBD products from a medical marijuana dispensary or an independent pharmacy are likely a safer and more effective option, because you can ask for a certificate of analysis that tells you about the ingredients, dose, and if there are contaminants such as mold, heavy metals, or pesticides.
Marisa Weiss, M.D., founder and chief medical officer of Breastcancer.org; director of breast radiation oncology at Lankenau Medical Center, Wynnewood, Pa.
Because marijuana has been legal for both medical and recreational use in Colorado for many years, Dr. Borges has cared for a number of breast cancer patients who use or have used medical cannabis to ease treatment side effects.
In Canada and some European countries, Sativex (chemical name: nabiximols), an oral spray containing equal amounts of THC and CBD, is approved for the treatment of certain types of pain related to cancer.
What are cannabinoids?
“It’s important for people to know that anything they ingest that produces a change in their bodies is acting like a drug, and it has the potential for side effects, interactions with other drugs, as well as benefits,” said Virginia F. Borges, M.D., MMSc., professor of medicine and director of the Breast Cancer Research Program at the University of Colorado Cancer Center. “People have to be as diligent about researching medical marijuana as they would be with any other supplement or drug they were taking.”
The ways cannabis can affect you depends on many factors and can be hard to predict. The effects of cannabis can vary from person to person.
Epidiolex, a medicine with CBD extracted from marijuana, is FDA-approved for use in children with severe seizure disorders. It is not approved for people with cancer, but studies are ongoing.
However, the U.S. Congress passed a federal law called the 2018 Farm Bill. This law made it legal for companies to produce and sell CBD products made from hemp. Now, many more companies are selling CBD products. You’ve probably seen them everywhere from grocery stores and pharmacies to gas stations and online ads.
It’s not well understood how cannabis products may interact with other medicines, including cancer therapies. That’s why it’s important to talk to your doctor about using medical cannabis both before and during treatment. Working together, you can come up with the best way to relieve your symptoms.
What about CBD products?
Many other countries also allow the use of medical marijuana, including Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and many others in Europe and South America.
What conditions is medical cannabis used for?
Some studies support the use of cannabis for these conditions. Still, because marijuana is federally illegal in the United States, research on medical cannabis to manage cancer symptoms and treatment side effects is limited.
Medical cannabis is not approved by the FDA for use in people with cancer. But three synthetic THC medicines have been approved to treat nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy:
Virginia F. Borges, M.D., MMSc., professor of medicine and director of the Breast Cancer Research Program at the University of Colorado Cancer Center.
If marijuana is legal where you live, it’s important to know that quality control of these products can be uncertain. Most cannabis products, even those sold at medical dispensaries, are not regulated like other medicines. They may contain contaminants such as mold, heavy metals, and pesticides, and the labels may include incorrect information about types, doses, and ingredients. You can ask the dispensary for a “certificate of analysis” for the products you might buy, which tells you about ingredients, dose, and contaminants.
When choosing products, it’s important to understand the different effects of THC and CBD. THC and CBD each offer different medical benefits. For example, CBD may be better at easing anxiety, while THC may be better at controlling nausea caused by chemotherapy.
It’s extremely important to know that cannabis is not a cure or treatment for breast cancer, despite many claims. It’s dangerous to use cannabis instead of proven cancer therapies. It’s also important to talk to your doctor before using cannabis products to make sure it won’t interact or interfere with any of your medicines or treatments.
Many people diagnosed with cancer report that cannabis products are effective for managing their symptoms and treatment side effects. There is some research supporting the use of medical cannabis for managing certain conditions, but federal laws in the United States make it difficult to study medical cannabis.
Every person’s situation is unique. The best forms and doses of medical cannabis and the reasons for using it will vary from person to person.