An alternative medicine product developed at University College London, UK, could provide a safe and effective treatment for cannabis users who have been diagnosed with cancer.
The research team at the university’s Cancer Centre and Laboratory (CCL) used cannabis oil as the first ingredient in their product, which they hope will eventually be sold in the UK.
The cannabis oil contains two components – CBD, a chemical compound that has anti-cancer properties and THC, a psychoactive compound that can make people feel euphoric.
The two components were added together to create the product called CBT Hemp Oil, which was recently shown to be effective in treating cannabis-induced nausea and vomiting in the research team’s cannabis-addicted mice.
The team hopes that the cannabis oil will be able to be used as a treatment for cancer patients who are experiencing the nausea and/or vomiting that occur with cannabis-related cancers.
“We are looking to commercialise our cannabis-based therapy as soon as possible, as it has the potential to be a very effective therapy for a large number of people who are currently suffering from these cancers,” explained Dr. Peter Taylor, an Associate Professor at CCL and senior author of the research paper.
“The main benefit of the cannabis-derived CBT oil is that it can alleviate nausea and other symptoms that accompany cannabis use.
In the future, we plan to commercialize the product in the United Kingdom, and potentially elsewhere in Europe as well.”
The cannabis-inspired product is being developed by scientists from University College and Oxford, UK.
In order to develop the product, the researchers developed a synthetic cannabis oil made of a combination of cannabinoids and other substances, which have a low toxicity profile.
They then applied the mixture to mouse models of cancer cells and found that it was effective in inducing cancer cell death.
The THC in the product can be converted to a psychoactive chemical, which in turn can be used to induce euphoria.
The scientists then added cannabis extract to the oil and observed a significant reduction in nausea and pain associated with chemotherapy treatment.
However, the cannabis extract was still ineffective at treating the nausea, vomiting, and muscle stiffness associated with the nausea.
“Our study has been the first to show that THC, the active ingredient in cannabis, can reduce the nausea associated with cancer chemotherapy and is therefore likely to be of benefit to patients who suffer from chemotherapy-induced pain,” Dr. Taylor said.
“If cannabinoids are able to alleviate nausea, the ability to induce the euphoria associated with cannabis is likely to provide a potential therapy for patients with cancer.”
The researchers say that their findings have the potential of providing a treatment that is much more effective than chemotherapy and has the ability of being used by a wide number of patients who have cancer.
“CBD oil is the first cannabinoid-based anti-nausea/vomiting drug to be tested in animal models, and it provides a significant benefit over chemotherapy,” Dr Taylor said, adding that the team will continue to test CBD oil in mice to ensure its safety and efficacy in humans.
“It is exciting to see that CBD can be applied in a safe, effective way for people suffering from nausea and muscle spasms associated with these cancers.”
The team plans to continue investigating how CBD can help cancer patients.
“As we develop our cannabis oil, we are interested in studying the use of CBD in cancer patients,” Dr Scott Tannock, one of the researchers, said.
For more information about the study, visit: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/cbc/cbd-oil-cancer-research/article/news/articles/bioactive-cannabinoids-and-bioaccumulative-cancer-tumours-a-new-product-developed-by-a/