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How CBD Affects Programmed Cancer Cell Death

How CBD Affects Programmed Cancer Cell Death

CBD (or Cannabidiol, the non-psychoactive component of cannabis) is a powerful phytonutrient (a substance found in certain plants which is believed to be beneficial to human health and help prevent various diseases) and antioxidant. It is also considered to be a powerful anti-cancer agent and has demonstrated apoptotic activity on a variety of cancers. How do we know this? From several important studies:

* A very recent March 2016 Israeli study found that while both TCH and CBD catalyzed cancer cell death in childhood neuroblastomas (brain cancers), CBD was actually more effective at inducing apoptosis through morphological changes within the cell.

* A 2013 Italian study found that CBD in particular induced apoptosis in prostate cancer cells.

It would take too long and is too complicated to explain how this works in our bodies when we have a cancer. Suffice to say that research is also discovering how CBD may affect the spread of cancer tumors on the genetic level.

In a Japanese study, a form of CBD alone stopped the spread of aggressive breast cancer by slowing down the mechanisms by which cancer cells travel through the body.


CBD has shown the same responsiveness in cancers of the lung, thyroid, cervix, liver and brain as well. The studies demonstrate how cannabis is able to target the ways in which cancer cells survive and spread at every apparent level and stage of development.

How THC Kills Cancer Cells

Many of the forms of cannabis sold in dispensaries have a very small amount of THC combined with a larger amount of CBD. This is often necessary to help the important CBD to be more active against cancer. THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), in small amounts, often works in conjunction with CBD to activate and enhance CBD’s effectiveness at healing through the endocannabinoid system.

The most impressive example of how THC activates cancer cell death was discovered by Dr. Christina Sanchez of Compultense University in Madrid, Spain. Dr. Sanchez and her team found that THC alone killed brain tumor cells. She also discovered that THC (in small non-psychoactive amounts) in cannabis directly targets cancer cells yet leaves healthy cells alone. “One of the advantages of cannabinoid-based medicines would be that they target specifically tumor cells,” continues Dr. Sanchez. “They don’t have any toxic effect on normal non-tumoral cells. This is an advantage with respect to standard chemotherapy, that targets basically everything.”

CBD, THC and Phytonutrients in Cannabis Work Together to Fight Cancer

Science has pretty much confirmed that both CBD and THC individually can induce apoptosis or natural cell death of cancer cells.  Phyto means plant. Cannabis, a plant, contains too many phytonutrients to name, that may contribute to its overall effect at inducing cancer cell apoptosis or programmed cell death.

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