CBD for brain cancer

A Detailed Research on CBD for Brain Cancer

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring compound found in the resinous flower of cannabis. It is a plant with a rich history as medicine going back thousands of years. Today the therapeutic properties of CBD are under testing and the benefits under confirmation by scientists and doctors around the world. A safe, non-addictive substance, CBD is one of more than a hundred phytocannabinoids. This means they are unique to cannabis and endow the plant with its robust therapeutic profile.

  • CBD is closely related to another important medicinally active phytocannabinoids: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound that causes the high that cannabis is famous for. These are the two components of cannabis that have been most studied by scientists.
  • Both CBD and THC have significant therapeutic attributes. But unlike THC, CBD does not make a person feel “stoned” or intoxicated. That’s because CBD and THC act in different ways on different receptors in the brain and body.
  • CBD can actually lessen or neutralize the psychoactive effects of THC, depending on how much of each compound is consumed. Many people want the health benefits of cannabis without the high – or with less of a high. The fact that CBD is therapeutically potent as well as non-intoxicating, and easy to take as a CBD oil, makes it an appealing treatment option for those who are cautious about trying cannabis for the first time.

Brain Cancer

Brain cancer is a disease of the brain in which cancer cells (malignant cells) arise in the brain tissue (cancer of the brain). Cancer cells grow to form a mass of cancer tissue (tumor) that interferes with brain functions such as muscle control, sensation, memory, and other normal body functions. Tumors composed of cancer cells are called malignant tumors, and those composed of mainly noncancerous cells are called benign tumors. Cancer cells that develop from brain tissue are called primary brain tumors while tumors that spread from other body sites to the brain are termed metastatic or secondary brain tumors.

Statistics suggest that brain cancer occurs infrequently (1.4% of all new cancer patients per year), so it is not considered to be a common illness and is likely to develop in about 23,770 new people per year with about 16,050 deaths as estimated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the American Cancer Society. Only about 5% of brain tumors may be due to hereditary genetic conditions such as neurofibromatosis, tuberous sclerosis, and a few others.

Major types of Brain Cancer.

Primary brain tumors begin in the brain cells. Meningiomas are the primary brain tumors that are the most common. More than 35% of primary brain tumors are Meningiomas.

The most common primary brain tumors are usually named for the brain tissue type (including brainstem cancers) from which they originally developed.

The five brain cancers  are gliomas, Meningiomas, pituitary adenomas, vestibular schwannomas, and primitive neuroectodermal tumors (medulloblastomas).

Gliomas have several subtypes, which include astrocytomas (for example, an astrocytoma is a brain cancer composed of abnormal brain cells known as astrocytes), oligodendrogliomas, ependymomas, and choroid plexus papillomas. Glioblastomas arise from astrocytes and are usually highly aggressive (malignant) tumors; doctors diagnosed Senator John McCain with this form of brain tumor.

Research on CBD for Brain Cancer.

Series of research has been conducted to determine how effective CBD for brain cancer is. Let’s go through the recent findings of these research.

1). CBD alongside THC was found to reduce the number of Brain cancer cells when used alone.

Glioma is one of the most stubborn types of brain cancer in humans, with a very low survival rate. Glioma cells were extracted and used for this research. Scientists assessed the effects of pure forms of CBD and THC on these cells. There was a massive reduction in the amount of brain cancer cells when exposed to the cannabinoids. The DNA structure was not affected in any way.

2). CBD works together with other Cannabinoids to reduce the number of brain cancer cells.

While they were at it,  Scientists also confirmed if there were any negative effects of combining CBD with THC for the research. It was concluded that CBD and THC worked for hand in hand to reduce the number of brain cancer cells in the body. Just as mentioned earlier, they even helped to retain the DNA Structure.

3). It improves the effects of Radiation.

For most brain cancers,  surgery is the conventional treatment. Then radiotherapy and chemotherapy is used. The Researchers have considered the possibility of CBD helping with the radiation used. The Brain cancer cells were mixed with cannabinoids before undergoing radiation. The result was  that CBD stopped the brain cells from multiplying. This research also shows that CBD is activated when under radiation.


There is ever-increasing evidence supporting a role for cannabinoids in cancer therapy, and so the current study was undertaken to explore this further. Of particular interest is the impact that cannabinoids have on signalling pathways that underlie cell fate. This impact allows scope for exciting combination strategies, specifically, the effect of combining these agents with existing therapeutic modalities, which presents an attractive novel avenue for research.

CBD for Brain Cancer cannot be used yet on humans as most of these research were conducted using animal cells. With more research on its way, it is only a matter of time before CBD is announced as treatment of cancer cells.


Katherine A. Scott, Angus G. Dalgleish, and Wai M. Liu. The Combination of Cannabidiol and Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol Enhances the Anticancer Effects of Radiation in an Orthotopic Murine Glioma Model. Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, 2014; DOI: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-14-0402

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