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Study Points to CBD as Having Breast Cancer Treatment Potential, Preferentially Kills Cancer Cells

A 2011 study entitled “Cannabidiol Induces Programmed Cell Death in Breast Cancer Cells by Coordinating the Cross-talk between Apoptosis and Autophagy” was published in the journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, by Shrivastava, Kuzontkoski, Groopman, and Prasad. The study shows that researchers were able to kill breast cancer cells with Cannabidiol, one of the main chemical constituents of the cannabis plant.


The authors report the grim fact that breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in women in the United States. The authors also note that “there is an urgent need to develop innovative ways to treat breast cancer that has become resistant to established therapies.” In an effort to find new agents for cancers resistant to current treatments, the scientists looked to the natural world and finally focused on CBD.

Their testing on breast cancer cells demonstrated that CBD caused the cells to die by means of apoptosis and autophagy. Apoptosis produces cell fragments that phagocytic cells are able to engulf and quickly remove before the contents of the cell can spill out onto surrounding cells and cause damage (wikipedia). That is an obvious advantage when dealing with a disease such as cancer. Similarly, autophagy is an orderly cell destruction process that allows the orderly degradation and recycling of cellular components (wikipedia). So, not only does CBD treatment kill the cancer cells, but it does so in such a way that there is minimal damage to the rest of the body, unlike chemotherapy and other cancer treatments. Although this is a pre-clinical trial, the results are encouraging for researchers to continue down the path of cannabinoid research.


CBD is considered anti-neoplastic (anti-tumor), yet the exact mechanism as to how CBD is able to kill tumors is not yet understood. Scientists showed CBD-induced cell death in the 2011 study, concluding that “CBD induces concentration-dependent cell death in breast cancer cell lines in a receptor-independent manner.” Whether breast cancer cells are sensitive to treatments or not depends on the estrogen receptor status, but the study showed that CBD is effective with both estrogen positive and estrogen negative cells. The findings also suggest that CBD may preferentially kill cancer cells versus normal cells. Which is good news for breast cancer sufferers as current breast cancer treatments use chemotherapy and radiation to kill breast cancer cells. These treatments are notoriously hard on the body can cause weakness, nausea, and baldness.


CBD has also shown promise in treatment of other cancers. Several medical journals cited in the 2011 study have reported CBD’s ability to kill other cancer cells.  As cited in the study, “CBD induces cytotoxicity in human glioma, leukemia, and breast cancer cells in vitro and inhibits the metastasis of breast cancer cells.” In addition to cancer treatment, CBD has been shown in medical studies to help with controlling seizures, anxiety, and other illnesses.


As momentum towards legalization and support of medical cannabis grows, consumers will be able to access even more credible medical studies supporting the use of CBD for health. At the present time, cannabidiol is available to the public as a health supplement. Since the CBD Rich Hemp Oil does not contain THC, it falls into the same category as hemp products such as hemp seed oils, nut milks, and protein powders. Using high CBD strains of imported industrial hemp plants. products such as Hemp Honey eliquids and Hemp Oil Dabs are created and tested to have high levels of the supplement CBD Rich Hemp Oil. The products have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease. Cannabidiol treatment may prove to be an excellent complementary or alternative treatment. But before adding any supplement, one should first consult with their doctor. But with further research, doctors just may learn that they can use CBD as a means to treat and heal breast cancer.

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