Study Spotlight

Study Spotlight

CBD Fights Cancer Cells


Cannabidiol from hemp oil, popularly known as CBD, is known for everything from fighting anxiety and pain, to stopping seizures, and may even help stop the development and growth of cancer.

One of the reasons that it seems as though CBD from hemp have sprung up from nowhere in popularity is that the researcher surrounding cannabis is still relatively new. It’s only been in the past 25 years or so that scientists have identified the endocannabinoid system in the body. This network of naturally occurring cannabinoids and their receptors can be compared to other systems we have, like the nervous system or the immune system.

The endocannabinoid system encompasses our own cannabinoids, including anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), which affects emotions, the nervous and digestive systems, sensation of pain, and other aspects of health. These internally-created cannabinoids activate specific receptors in the mind and body. Two of these cannabinoid receptors, frequently abbreviated as CB1 and CB2, are involved with perception of pain, neurological factors, and many other health concerns, too. The compounds from cannabis, including CBD, interact with these receptors, found on the surfaces of cells.

In addition to these interactions with receptors, CBD and other hemp cannabinoids have anti-inflammatory and cellular protective activity.

In this scientific study using colorectal cancer cells, CBD ramped up a targeted form of oxidative damage, including proteins that are called “reactive oxygen species, to ultimately kill the cancer cells. The researchers, remarking that CBD had also demonstrated itself as a “novel, reliable anticancer drug.”

 

Abstract:

Jeong S, Yun HK, Jeong YA, et al. Cannabidiol-induced apoptosis is mediated by activation of Noxa in human colorectal cancer cells. Cancer Lett. 2019 Apr 10;447:12-23.

Cannabidiol (CBD), one of the compounds present in the marijuana plant, has anti-tumor properties, but its mechanism is not well known. This study aimed to evaluate the apoptotic action of CBD in colorectal cancer (CRC) cells, and focused on its effects on the novel pro-apoptotic Noxa-reactive oxygen species (ROS) signaling pathway. CBD experiments were performed using the CRC cell lines HCT116 and DLD-1. CBD induced apoptosis by regulating many pro- and anti-apoptotic proteins, of which Noxa showed significantly higher expression. To understand the relationship between Noxa and CBD-induced apoptosis, Noxa levels were downregulated using siRNA, and the expression of apoptosis markers decreased. After ROS production was blocked, the level of Noxa also decreased, suggesting that ROS is involved in the regulation of Noxa, which along with ROS is a well-known pro-apoptotic signaling agents. As a result, CBD induced apoptosis in a Noxa-and-ROS-dependent manner. Taken together, the results obtained in this study re-demonstrated the effects of CBD treatment in vivo, thus confirming its role as a novel, reliable anticancer drug.

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