It might be worth researching cannabinoids further as a potential cancer treatment, researchers say.
It may be worth investigating further into the use of
“> Cannabidiol (‘CBD’) oil as a potential lung cancer treatment, suggest doctors in BMJ case reports after dealing with a daily user whose lung tumor shrank without conventional treatment.
The body’s own endocannabinoids are involved in various processes, including nerve function, emotion, energy metabolism, pain and inflammation, sleep, and immune function.
Chemically similar to these endocannabinoids, cannabinoids can interact with signaling pathways in cells, including cancer cells. They have been studied for use as a primary cancer treatment, but the results have been conflicting.
Lung cancer remains the second most common cancer in the UK. Despite advances in treatment, survival rates remain low at around 15% five years after diagnosis. And the average survival without treatment is around 7 months.
The report’s authors describe the case of a woman in her 80s diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer. She also had mild chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), osteoarthritis, and high blood pressure, for which she was taking various medications.
She was a smoker and consumed around one pack of cigarettes every week (68 packs / year).
Her tumor was 41 mm in size at the time of diagnosis with no evidence of local or further spread, making it suitable for conventional treatment of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. But the woman refused the treatment and was therefore placed under “watch and wait” surveillance, which included regular CT scans every 3-6 months.
These showed that the tumor was progressively shrinking, decreasing in size from 41 mm in June 2018 to 10 mm by February 2021, representing a total reduction in maximum diameter of 76%, averaging 2.4% per month, the report’s authors say .
When contacted in 2019 to discuss her progress, the woman announced that she had been taking CBD oil as an alternative self-treatment for her lung cancer since August 2018, shortly after her original diagnosis.
She had done so on the advice of a relative after watching her husband struggle with the side effects of radiation therapy. She said she took 0.5 ml of the oil regularly, usually three times a day, but sometimes twice.
The supplier had announced that the main active ingredients were Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) with 19.5%, cannabidiol with around 20% and tetrahydrocannabinol
“> Acid (THCA) at around 24%.
The supplier also advised avoiding hot food or drinks while ingesting the oil as it could make her feel stoned. The woman said she had less appetite since taking the oil, but had no other obvious “side effects”. There were no other changes to her prescribed medication, diet, or lifestyle. And she kept smoking all the time.
This is just a case report with only one other similar case reported, warn authors. And it’s not clear which of the CBD oil ingredients could have been helpful.
“We are unable to confirm the full ingredients of the CBD oil the patient has ingested or to provide any information about which of the ingredients may be contributing to the observed tumor regression,” they point out.
And they emphasize: “Although there appears to be a connection between the ingestion of CBD oil and the observed tumor regression, we cannot conclusively confirm that the tumor regression is due to the ingestion of CBD oil by the patient.”
Cannabis has a long “medical” history in modern medicine and was first introduced in 1842 for its analgesic, sedative, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and antispasmodic properties. And it’s widely believed that cannabinoids can help people with chronic pain, anxiety, and insomnia; Cannabinoids are also used in palliative medicine, the authors add.
“More research is needed to identify the actual mechanism of action, routes of administration, safe dosages, its effects on various cancers, and possible side effects of using cannabinoids,” they conclude.
Reference: “Lung cancer patient who rejected conventional cancer treatment: Could self-administration of ‘CBD oil’ contribute to the observed tumor regression?” October 14, 2021, BMJ case reports.
DOI: 10.1136 / bcr-2021-244195