Cannabidiol (CBD) Reveals Potential for Prevention of Colon Cancer
Colon cancer is the most common cancer afflicting the Western world, with over 100,000 new cases and nearly 50,000 deaths each year in the United States alone. Cancers are generally considered a cellular disease, characterized by unlimited cell proliferation, causing tumors and subsequent metastasis (migration from the tumor). In past studies, CBD, a constituent of medical cannabis called cannabidiol, has already shown many potential benefits in the treatment of cancer as an anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-oxidative and neuroprotective agent. In these cases, CBD seems to protect normal cells while attacking those that are diseased. New research shows that CBD shows potential to be a preventative measure against colon cancer.
A recent article from the Journal of Molecular Medicine showed that CBD administered to mice which are predisposed to developing colon cancer, significantly decreased the formation of pre-cancer (tissue aberrance and polyps) and cancer growths (tumors). Additionally, this study showed that CBD induces cell death and inhibits tumor formation in cultured colon cancer cells through a variety of cellular pathways. By exploiting these disease-dependent pathways together, CBD may create an inescapable means of killing off and prohibiting the growth of cancer cells. This is a truly remarkable task for any single molecule — to attack multiple disease pathways while maintaining function in healthy cells. This study strengthens the evidence for CBD’s anti-tumor effects and provides evidence for CBD as a novel preemptive strike against colon cancer.
Brandie M. Cross is a Ph.D. candidate at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in the Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology Program. She is a recipient of the Thomas J. Kelly Award, specializes in the mechanisms of calcium signaling and transport in the body, and was formerly a professional breakdancer. She is a guest blogger for MPP.