Cannabis phytochemicals found to be effective in destroying leukemia cells

Image: Cannabis phytochemicals found to be effective in destroying leukemia cells
Source: NaturalNews.com
Frances Bloomfield
June 11, 2017

Researchers from St. George’s, University of London have confirmed that cannabinoids are effective in destroying the cells of leukemia, a cancer of blood-forming organs. When used in conjunction with chemotherapy treatments, cannabinoids, the active chemicals in cannabis, results against the blood cancer cells improved significantly. The new findings, which have been published in the International Journal of Oncology, suggest that lower doses of chemotherapy can be administered to patients.

The researchers set out to test the efficacy of existing chemotherapy treatments alongside cannabinoids, and to determine whether the order of the drugs had any impact on potency. Different types of cannabinoids, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), were then paired up and used in combination the chemotherapy drugs vincristine and cytarabine. Based on their results, the researchers determined that using cannabinoids after chemotherapy improved the chances of cancer apoptosis, or programmed cell death. The outcome was less favorable when the order was reversed and the cannabinoids were given prior to chemotherapy.

“We have shown for the first time that the order in which cannabinoids and chemotherapy are used is crucial in determining the overall effectiveness of this treatment,” lead author Dr. Wai Liu said of the study. “Studies such as ours serve to establish the best ways that they should be used to maximise a therapeutic effect.”

The researchers noted that more tests would be needed before this practice can be implemented on a larger scale. Liu also pointed out that the team didn’t use the entire plant during their study; instead, he and his team utilized cannabis extracts. “These extracts are highly concentrated and purified, so smoking marijuana will not have a similar effect,” Liu told the DailyMail.co.uk.

Regardless, the results of the study are very promising. Chemotherapy has numerous severe side effects such as hair loss, mouth sores, and an increased risk of infections. If combined with cannabinoids, then chemotherapy dosages could be greatly diminished.

Moreover, the news could not have been more timely. Ireland is poised to legalize the use of cannabis for treating certain medical conditions such as severe epilepsy and multiple sclerosis in order to offset the damaging effects of chemotherapy. Simon Harris, the Irish Health Minister, has expressed his support for medical cannabis, especially in cases “where patients have not responded to other treatments and there is some evidence that cannabis may be effective.”

Meanwhile, Australian actress Olivia Newton-John revealed that she will be using cannabis oil and “other natural remedies” after her second breast cancer diagnosis. Newton-John’s daughter, Chloe Lattanzi, stated that her mother opted to use cannabis oil in addition to modern medicine. “My mom and best friend is going to be fine. She will be using medicine that I often talk about. CBD oil! (Cannabis has scientifically proven properties to inhibit cancer cell growth) and other natural healing remedies plus modern medicine to beat this,” said Lattanzi. (Related: Cannabis oil (CBD) CURES 12-year-old girl of life-threatening seizure)

Though controversy still surrounds cannabis, its healing effects are gaining more attention, and its medical potential is gaining traction. What Liu and his colleagues have unearthed has opened the door to for cannabis, and like Liu said: “Cannabinoids are a very exciting prospect in oncology.”

Read More At: NaturalNews.com
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Sources include:

DailyMail.co.uk

MedicalNewsToday.com

Health.com

Spandidos-Publications.com

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Cannabidiol (CBD) found to cut seizures in HALF among severe epilepsy patients, scientists find

Image: Cannabidiol (CBD) found to cut seizures in HALF among severe epilepsy patients, scientists find

Source: NaturalNews.com
Russel Davis
April 21, 2017

Taking cannabis-based medicine may significantly reduce the number of seizures by half in children and adults with a severe form of epilepsy called Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), according to a recent study. Researchers said Lennox-Gastaut syndrome starts in childhood, and that patients with LGS experience multiple kinds of seizures: drop seizures and tonic-clonic seizures.

During a drop seizure, the patients’ muscle tone changes, which then causes them to collapse. On the other hand, tonic-clonic seizures involve loss of consciousness and full-body convulsions. According to researchers, these types of seizures are difficult to manage and usually do not respond well to drug treatments. In addition, patients with LGS usually suffer from impaired intellectual development. Furthermore, researchers noted that drop seizures often lead to injuries and emergency department visits.

To assess the efficacy of cannabidiol, researchers examined 225 patients with LGS who experience 85 drop seizures a month on average. The participants were then given either 20 mg/kg daily cannabidiol, 10 mg/kg daily cannabidiol, or placebo as an add-on therapy to current drug treatment. The study revealed that patients in the high-dosage group had a 42 percent reduction in drop seizure frequency at 14 weeks. Of these patients, 40 percent reported reducing their seizures by half or more.

The study also showed that patients in the low-dosage group attained a 37 percent overall decrease in drop seizure frequency. Of these patients, 36 percent reported reducing their seizures by half or more. In contrast, patients in the placebo group only had a 17 percent overall reduction in drop seizures. Researchers also found that only 15 percent of the controls reported reducing their seizures by half or more

“Our results suggest that cannabidiol may be effective for those with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome in treating drop seizures. This is important because this kind of epilepsy is incredibly difficult to treat. While there were more side effects for those taking cannabidiol, they were mostly well-tolerated. I believe that it may become an important new treatment option for these patients,” said study author Dr. Anup Patel in ScienceDaily.com.

The findings were slated for presentation at the American Academy of Neurology‘s 69th Annual Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts.

Cannabis found to improve epilepsy in many studies

Multiple studies have shown that cannabis may be a viable treatment for patients with epilepsy. A study published last year revealed that cannabidiol helped reduce seizure load in children and adolescents diagnosed with intractable pediatric epilepsy. To assess this, the researchers monitored 74 patients who were given a formula that contained both cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol. The researchers found that 18 percent of children experienced a 75 percent to 100 percent reduction in seizure load, while 34 percent exhibited seizure load reductions of 50 percent to 75 percent. The study also found that cannabidiol-treated patients displayed significant improvements in behavior and alertness, language and communication. The patients also exhibited better sleep and motor skills, the researchers added. However, researchers noted that further studies are needed to back the findings. The results were published in the journal Seizure.

Two more studies have demonstrated that the compound may help ease seizure frequency in epileptic children. In one study, the researchers examined 120 children with Davet syndrome and found that cannabidiol treatment lead to a 39 percent decrease in seizure frequency in patients after 14 weeks. In comparison, patients in the placebo group only attained a 13 percent reduction in seizure frequency.

In another study, health experts examined 171 children and adults with LGS and found that those who were on cannabidiol therapy had a 44 percent decrease in drop seizure frequency, compared with only 22 percent reduction in the placebo group. The results suggest that cannabidiol may benefit patients who were not responsive to standard epilepsy medications. Both studies were presented at the American Epilepsy Society Annual Meeting in Houston, Texas.

Read More At: NaturalNews.com

Sources: 

ScienceDaily.com

NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov

LiveScience.com