Cannabidiol (CBD), the second most popular cannabinoid, may prolong the lives of people battling deadly pancreatic cancer, according to new findings.
The prognosis for pancreatic cancer is dismal, at best. Once a person is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, there are few options on the table—only five percent will survive five years or longer after a diagnosis. Up to 80 percent die within a year of diagnosis.
Published on July 30 in the medical journal Oncogene, the study, entitled “GPR55 signalling promotes proliferation of pancreatic cancer cells and tumour growth in mice, and its inhibition increases effects of gemcitabine” suggested that CBD can dramatically help people with pancreatic cancer.
Pancreatic cancer is an especially deadly form of cancer, killing former Apple CEO Steve Jobs despite the fact that he had an endless source of money and influence. “It is very aggressive, so it is very important to find new therapies for this cancer,” Researcher Dr. Riccardo Ferro told The Guardian. Ferro, from the Queen Mary University of London, and fellow scientists from around the world explored a particular brain receptor.
GPR55 is a cannabinoid receptor with many notable attributes. Researchers noted that GPR55 plays a major role in the growth and multiplication of pancreatic cancer cells. Researchers found that around 26 percent of human pancreatic cancer samples showed raised levels of such GPR55 receptors.
Mice were the Guinea pigs at this level in the experiment, and were genetically modified and given pancreatic cancer. The mice were separated into four groups. Ten mice were given CBD, eight were given gemcitabine, a chemotherapy drug, seven were given both drugs and nine were given a placebo. Mice that only received a placebo lasted only about 19 days on average. But the mice that received CBD lived over 25 days on average. While mice that were given the gemcitabine lasted nearly 28 days, when gemcitabine was combined with CBD, they lasted nearly 53 days—almost twice as long.
The findings open up a whole world of new possibilities of ways that cannabis can help the critically ill.