The role of cannabidiol (CBD) in treating cancer has been attracting significant attention from the scientific and medicinal cannabis communities. Numerous studies show CBD can kill cancer cells and inhibit their aggressiveness through a wide variety of mechanisms. Studies along this line have been strong enough to convince the FDA to approve CBD as an orphan drug to treat glioma. To compliment this approval, studies are drastically needed to determine the effectiveness of CBD, and more preferably whole-plant extracts, in treating cancer.
One such study is being carried out in Israel by Hadassah Medical Organization. They are examining the potential impact of CBD on tumors in terminal cancer patients. Patients eligible for the study must have exhausted all conventional options, or have been determined as unfit for standard therapies by their oncologists.
The goal of the program is to measure the efficacy of CBD on reducing a solid tumor. It will utilize the Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors rules to determine the extent of CBD’s abilities. The majority of clinical trials currently evaluating new cancer treatments use RECIST. CT scans will be taken to establish a baseline and again after 8 weeks from time of first dose, and researchers will utilize the RECIST criteria to objectively determine success.
Thankfully, results from this trial are not far off. The study is expected to begin in November 2014 and be completed by July 2015. 60 people are estimated to enroll, which should be high enough to produce statistically significant results.
In less than a year, the world may finally know for certain whether cannabinoids can fight cancer in humans. However, it is imperative that other trials be allowed to flourish in other parts of the world, to measure effectiveness of whole-plant extracts and other cannabinoids besides THC. Moreover, the scientific and anecdotal evidence is strong enough to allow any willing terminal cancer patient to use cannabis extracts as a means of treatment.
Denying a dying person a real chance at life is inarguably evil, and even when extracts fail to save a life, they almost always confer pain and mood benefits. It’s time for the conversation around cannabis extracts to move forward, and hopefully recent advances will help achieve that.
What do you think researchers will discover? Let us know in the comments below…