One Study Finds CBD Oil Increases The Lifespan of Mice With Pancreatic Cancer
The question of whether or not CBD oil can help cancer patients live longer is one of the most hotly debated questions in the world of medical cannabis. Although there is plenty of anecdotal evidence to support CBD oil’s efficacy in extending their lives, much more research is needed to determine the effects of CBD on cancer patients.
But today, science is one step closer to having an answer, at least when it comes to pancreatic cancer. Recently, researchers at Queen Mary University in London discovered that mice undergoing chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer lived almost three times longer if they received CBD oil in addition to chemotherapy. The results are highly significant because pancreatic cancer has one of the worst survival rates of any cancer.
Researchers in this study, which was published in journal Oncogene, discovered that mice treated with both CBD oil and Gemcitabine, a common chemo drug, had a median average survival of 56 days, while mice receiving chemotherapy alone lived for a median 23.5 days. And the mice which were left untreated survived for 20 days. Lead researcher Professor Marco Falasca called the results remarkable.
“Cannabidiol is already approved for use in clinics, which means we can quickly go on to test this in human clinical trials,” points out Professor Falasca. “If we can reproduce these effects in humans, cannabidiol could be in used in cancer clinics almost immediately, compared to having to wait for authorities to approve a new drug.”
Falasca adds that “The life expectancy for pancreatic cancer patients has barely changed in the last 40 years because there are very few, and mostly only palliative care, treatments available. Given the five-year survival rate for people with pancreatic cancer is less than seven percent, the discovery of new treatments and therapeutic strategies is urgently needed.”
The researchers’ report claims that when used in combination with Gemcitabine, CBD appears to block a protein called GPR55, slowing the growth of pancreatic cancer cells.
In regards to the study, a report published in the Independent, NHS consultant oncologist and scientist at the Institute of Cancer Research Dr. Chiara Braconi stated that “Pancreatic cancer is one of the most hard-to-treat cancers, and new treatments are urgently needed.” Barconi added, “While the results look promising, there are still a number of important unknowns. We don’t know how cannabinoids will interact with other drugs, including chemotherapies, in people.”
However, Barconi also pointed out that the GPR55 protein is only a major driver in one-third of pancreatic cancers; therefore not all patients would benefit from this particular drug combination even if it were found to be effective in humans.
But that doesn’t rule out CBD oil as a potential weapon in the treatment of cancer. Aside from these types of effects which act directly on tumors, CBD oil is also widely known to help treat some of the side effects of chemotherapy, including nausea and vomiting, greatly improving the quality of life of many cancer patients. Also, a number of U.S. states consider cancer to be a qualifying condition for doctor-approved use of CBD oil.