New research on medical cannabis or Cannabidiol (CBD), has many researchers suggesting an important role for medical cannabis in the care of cancer patients. At the Magaziner Center for Wellness, we believe in the healing properties of medical cannabis for many of our patients.The Magaziner Center for Wellness is an authorized provider for this therapy.
Let’s examine new research.
The first study we want to touch on was published in March 2020 in the journal Complementary therapies in medicine.(1)
What makes this study interesting to us is that it was not a study on the outcomes of the use of medical cannabis, but rather a study on how traditional oncology is adapting to include medical cannabis for their cancer patients. This study came from the Radiation Oncology Department at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Washington, DC. Here is the concluding sentence of this paper: “Our results indicate that across oncology, there is growing interest in clinical research in the use of medical marijuana.”
This paper also noted the recent accelerated level of new studies in the use of medical cannabis in cancer care as indication of traditional oncology’s acceptance of the treatment’s potential.
Research: Studies “unanimously suggest the therapeutic efficacy of cannabidiol.”
A January 2020 (2) study from Germany on the effects of non-psychotomimetic cannabidiol (CBD) offered a review of the medical literature on animal experiments and observations in humans. They found research: “unanimously suggest the therapeutic efficacy of cannabidiol.”
These are the researchers summary findings:
“Experimental studies demonstrated tumor-inhibiting activities of various cannabinoids more than 40 years ago. In view of the status of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) as a regulated substance, non-psychotomimetic cannabidiol is of particular importance. . .Preclinical studies, particularly recent ones, including numerous animal models of tumors, unanimously suggest the therapeutic efficacy of CBD. In isolated combination studies, synergistic effects (medical cannabis enhanced effectiveness of other treatments) were generally observed. In addition, CBD may potentially play a role in the palliative care of patients, especially concerning symptoms such as pain, insomnia, anxiety, and depression. Further human studies are warranted.”
Medical cannabis’ enhanced effectiveness of other cancer treatments
Numerous studies have shown CBD can inhibit tumor cell proliferation and metastasis or induce cancer cell death. This includes effectiveness in prostate cancer, leukemia, and glioma. Here we will briefly support the research above discussing the synergistic effects of Cannabidiol.
Cannabidiol, Chemotherapy and Breast Cancer
A January 2020 (3) study from Spain suggests that cannabidiol has emerged as a potential agent for breast cancer management and research provides evidence of the promising inclusion of cannabidiol in conventional breast cancer chemotherapy, helping to optimize the effect of the chemotherapeutic agents.
A March 2020 study (4) suggested that cannabidiol can block the overproduction of Interleukin 1 beta (IL-1β), an inflammatory factor and well known carcinogenic (cancer causing) agent when overproduced by the body.
Cannabidiol and gastric cancer
A November 2019 (5) study targeting gastric cancers, reported that cannabidiol promoted cell death in gastric cancer and may have potential as a new therapeutic target in gastric cancer.
A December 2019 (6) study examined the potential role of cannabidiol for seizure control in a patient with recurrent glioma. Here the researchers noted:
“Glioma-related epilepsy significantly impact on patients’ quality of life, and can often be difficult to treat. Seizures cause significant morbidity for example neurocognitive deterioration, which may result from seizures themselves or due to adverse effects from antiepileptic drugs.
Management of tumor with surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy may contribute to seizure control, but tumor related epilepsy is often refractory (difficult to treat) despite adequate treatment with standard anti-epileptic medications. Given the increasing interest in medicinal cannabis (or cannabidiol or CBD) as an anti-epileptic drug, CBD may help with seizure control in glioma patients with treatment-refractory seizures.”
Research: Targeting cancer symptom burden as a whole, rather than just individual symptoms
For over 30 years, our philosophy at the Magazine Center for Wellness has been to target a disease’s symptom burden as a whole and not focus on individual symptoms. This research suggests the benefits of this type of philosophy.
In December 2019 doctors in Australia embarked on a new study (7) examining the use of oral medicinal cannabinoids in relieving the symptom burden in the palliative care of patients with advanced cancer. In announcing this study, the research team wrote:
Despite improvements in medical care, patients with advanced cancer still experience substantial symptom distress. There is increasing interest in the use of medicinal cannabinoids, but there is little high quality evidence to guide clinicians. (Our) study aims to define the role of cannabidiol in the management of symptom burden in patients with advanced cancer undergoing standard palliative care.
In this study, the doctors will examine and compare efficacy and safety outcomes of a titrated dose of CBD (100 mg/mL formulation, dose range 50 mg to 600 mg per day) against placebo. The researchers note:
“A major strength of this study is that it will target symptom burden as a whole, rather than just individual symptoms, in an attempt to describe the general improvement in wellbeing previously reported by some patients in open label, non controlled trials of medicinal cannabis.” “(The goal of this study is to provide) the medical community with evidence to present to patients wishing to access medicinal cannabis for their cancer related symptoms.”
Also from December 2019, (8) a second study from the same lead researcher explored cannabinoid’s effectiveness in total symptom burden in palliative cancer care.
The researchers wrote: “There is considerable interest in the use of cannabinoids for symptom control in palliative care, but there is little high-quality evidence to guide clinical practice.” In their research, participants had advanced cancer and cancer-related symptoms.
Of the 21 participants enrolled (16 patients received cannabinoids; 5 received tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), 18 (86%) completed the primary outcome measure at day 14 and 8 completed at day 28.
The average maximum tolerated doses were CBD, 300 mg/day (range 100-600 mg); THC, 10 mg/day (range 5-30 mg). Nine of 21 patients (43%) met the definition of response (≥6 point reduction in total burden symptoms). Drowsiness was the most common side-effect.The doses of THC and CBD used in this study were generally well tolerated and the outcome measure of total symptom distress is promising as a measure of overall symptom benefit.
The Magaziner Center’s Comprehensive Cancer Support Program combines conventional, complementary and functional therapies individualized to the needs of each patient. We place great emphasis on an extremely thorough series of lab tests to evaluate the cells of the immune system, inflammatory markers, antioxidant defenses, nutritional status, and overall toxic burden. Most of our patients have already been through the rigors of conventional treatments but have either experienced adverse side effects or unsatisfactory outcomes or both.
Our whole-body approach to cancer includes a variety of therapies, such as nutrition and lifestyle counseling, dietary modifications, supplementation, intravenous vitamin C and other substances, oxidative therapies, immunotherapy, detoxification, lifestyle modifications and exercise therapy, spirituality and mind-body techniques, including stress management and meditation, all with the goal of strengthening the immune system and restoring normal cellular function. If you would like to explore these treatment options please contact our office so we can start a conversation with you.
Weeding Through Medical Marijuana webinar with Dr. Kyle Meyer
1 Goyal S, Kubendran S, Kogan M, Rao YJ. High expectations: The landscape of clinical trials of medical marijuana in oncology. Complementary Therapies in Medicine. 2020 Mar 1;49:102336.
2 Likar R, Köstenberger M, Nahler G. Cannabidiol in cancer treatment. Schmerz (Berlin, Germany). 2020 Jan 2.
3 Fraguas-Sánchez AI, Fernández-Carballido A, Simancas-Herbada R, Martin-Sabroso C, Torres-Suárez AI. CBD loaded microparticles as a potential formulation to improve paclitaxel and doxorubicin-based chemotherapy in breast cancer. International Journal of Pharmaceutics. 2020 Jan 25;574:118916.
4 García-Morales L, Castillo AM, Tapia Ramírez J, Zamudio-Meza H, Domínguez-Robles MD, Meza I. CBD Reverts the Mesenchymal Invasive Phenotype of Breast Cancer Cells Induced by the Inflammatory Cytokine IL-1β. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2020 Jan;21(7):2429.
5 Jeong S, Jo MJ, Yun HK, Kim DY, Kim BR, Kim JL, Park SH, Na YJ, Jeong YA, Kim BG, Ashktorab H. Cannabidiol promotes apoptosis via regulation of XIAP/Smac in gastric cancer. Cell death & disease. 2019 Nov 7;10(11):1-3.
6 Hsu K, Whitham E, Kichenadasse G. Potential role of cannabidiol for seizure control in a patient with recurrent glioma. Journal of Clinical Neuroscience. 2019 Dec 14.
7 Good P, Haywood A, Gogna G, Martin J, Yates P, Greer R, Hardy J. Oral medicinal cannabinoids to relieve symptom burden in the palliative care of patients with advanced cancer: a double-blind, placebo controlled, randomised clinical trial of efficacy and safety of cannabidiol (CBD). BMC Palliat Care. 2019 Dec 6;18(1):110. doi: 10.1186/s12904-019-0494-6. PMID: 31810437; PMCID: PMC6898965.
8. Good PD, Greer RM, Huggett GE, Hardy JR. An Open-Label Pilot Study Testing the Feasibility of Assessing Total Symptom Burden in Trials of Cannabinoid Medications in Palliative Care. Journal of Palliative Medicine. 2019 Dec 3. 1428