By: DSM Pharma Solutions Editors
The cannabis plant contains hundred of compounds, some of which are cannabinoids. CBD (cannabidiol) is the second most prevalent cannabinoid – after tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – and is usually extracted from hemp, a strain of the Cannabis sativa plant that contains a high percentage of CBD.1 The medical community has been aware of CBD for many years now, however, it was not until the discovery of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in humans in the late 1980s that its potential as a therapeutic ingredient was explored. The ECS is a complex cell-signaling system found throughout the body that is thought to regulate a number of important physiological functions, like sleep, mood, cognition and pain perception.2,3 Unlike THC, CBD has no psychoactive ‘high’ effects, making it an attractive therapeutic option for multiple health areas, including cancer.
Cancer is a complex disease, influenced by genetics, as well as environmental and lifestyle factors. As such, cancer remains difficult to treat and, despite improvements in medical care, patients with cancer still experience many unwanted and distressing symptoms. However, advances in cancer care are continuously made, with new treatment approaches being explored all the time. Take CBD for example. The use of cannabinoids, including CBD, for the treatment of cancer has been of interest to the scientific community for some time. It is thought that CBD may help cancer patients manage some of the symptoms of the disease, and side effects of treatment. At the same time, researchers in the field are looking into whether CBD could slow or stop cancer altogether. So, what do we know so far?
Interest is building rapidly in the CBD space, and increasing attention is being given to its potential benefits in cancer patients. There is solid evidence supporting the idea that cannabinoids, like CBD, demonstrated anti-cancer activity in cultured cancer cell lines and animal models.4 In addition, CBD is thought to have potential as a complementary treatment of cancer, where it may help to relieve common cancer-related or cancer-therapy symptoms. However, there is not enough evidence to fully support the use of CBD in cancer just yet. In order to progress research in this field further and advance the development of CBD as a cancer treatment, there is an urgent need for more large-scale and well-designed clinical trials in humans to determine the role and efficacy of CBD in a variety of cancer types.
To help customers realize the full potential of CBD – and inspire the creation of bespoke, purpose-led drug products – DSM has created a platform that facilitates early-stage drug development and novel scientific discoveries in the rapidly evolving CBD space. Be among the first to realize the possibilities of CBD in cancer therapy. Learn more about our CBD offering and how it can help you benefit global patient health.
04 February 2022
5 min read
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