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CBD and Prostate Cancer Are Bitter Enemies

Branna Z.
animation of bladder and prostate

Studies show that CBD and prostate cancer are not compatible. CBD is killing it.

Prostate cancer is global health problem and is the most common type of cancer in American men, and second leading cause for the cancer-related death. Experimental evidence shows that prostate cancer tissue contains excess cannabinoid receptors. When CBD and prostate cancer make contact, it’s the cancer that loses.

Prostate cancer cells have increased expression of CB1 and CB2 receptors over their healthy counterparts. Activation of these receptors leads to apoptosis (cell death) for the cancer cells.  A secondary response is a decrease in testosterone and a decrease in prostate specific antigen, known as PSA, which also benefit the patient.

man sitting with this doctor getting diagnosis

Even with the widespread screening of male patients, using PSA, there are 5% of cases that will have metastasis at the time of diagnosis. The most common site of spread is to the bone. The patient will frequently experience symptoms of pain and functional impairment.

At this advanced stage, there are few curative treatment options. This underscores the urgent need for novel treatment for prostate cancer. Cannabinoids and their derivatives have drawn renewed attention due to the discovery of their diverse pharmacologic activities, including: cell growth inhibition, anti-inflammatory effects and tumor regression.

Study Shows Cannabinoids Induce Cell Death in Prostate Cancer

A study in 2005 showed the expression of both CB1 and CB2 receptors were significantly higher in the prostate cancer cells compared to the normal prostate cells (in vitro). The results demonstrated that treatment of the prostate cancer cell line with the cannabinoid CB1/CB2 agonist (such as THC and CBD) resulted in a significant dose- and time- dependent decrease in the cell viability. The cannabinoids increased apoptosis of the cancer cells at the 24hr and 48hrs, without significant impact on the normal prostate cells.

Androgens, such as testosterone, are involved in the maintenance and progression of prostate cancer. The androgen receptor is one area of study for understanding this hormonal action.  The 2005 study also showed that stimulation of the cannabinoid receptors resulted in a significant decrease in the androgen receptor protein expression. There was also a dose-dependent decrease in the PSA and secreted PSA at 24 hrs. PSA is considered the most sensitive marker and screening tool for the prostate cancer to date-its regulation is androgen dependent.

animation showing prostate cancer vs healthy prostate

High CB1 Receptor Count Associated With Poor Outcome

A separate study determined that high cannabinoid CB1 receptor volume was associated with greater disease severity and poorer outcome in the prostate cancer patients. The patients with high CB1 receptor counts showed a significantly worse survival rate than those with low CB1 receptor results. One possible explanation was in harmony with other studies that showed the expression of the CB1 receptors is regulated by the local endocannabinoid release. Patients with low endocannabinoid tone cause the body to increase the rate of receptor proliferation to compensate for these low levels of endocannabinoids.

CBD and Prostate Cancer: What Does This Mean for Cancer Patients?

To summarize, cancer cells have higher affinity (due to increase in CB receptors count) for cannabinoids than normal cells. When the cancer cells are treated with the cannabinoids, they display three specific effects:

  1. The cells become less viable, more susceptible to the apoptosis
  2. Androgen receptor activity on the cancer cell surface decreases (prostate cancer cells are propelled by androgens, male hormones)
  3. CBD discourages the formation of the cancer blood vessels (angiogenesis) required for the tumor to nourish itself

man hand holding up blue ribbon with moustache sticker

With such a promising results on the treatment of the prostate cancer cells, what is currently happening with prostate cancer patients? Well, unfortunately not much. There is some anecdotal evidence of the patients using the CBD to shrink the prostate cancer, and success in combining the CBD oil with the traditional therapies.

Researchers are calling for clinical trials with patients. It is clear that CBD and prostate cancer are bitter foe. CBD can keep cells from proliferating, spreading, building their own food supply and taking up androgens. In addition, one study even confirmed the synergistic effects of cannabinoids and chemotherapy (docetaxel) and hormone therapy (bicalutamide).

Hopefully, after all these positive effects and relaxing of the cannabis regulations we can expect a surge in the clinical trials to fight this deadly disease.

 

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Branislava Zagorac
12 Comments
  • Avatar
    Jim Platt

    sure all this after I had my prostate removed to stop it when it reached the stage of killing me…no consolation, after losing everything short of my life.

    March 20, 2019 at 11:16 am Reply
    • Jennifer Grant

      Glad you’re still with us!!

      March 20, 2019 at 12:18 pm Reply
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    Lili McHenry

    Hubby has PC with Gleason 7&9 (aggressive).
    What is protocol you recommend ?
    He is taking Lupron shot which dropped PSA to .02.
    Please advise. Interested in CBD with high Thc.
    And dosing protocol.

    March 20, 2019 at 2:04 pm Reply
    • Jennifer Grant

      Hi Lili – your husband should definitely speak with his oncologist. If that doctor is not cannabis literate, then seek a cannabis physician near you. Unfortunately, there are no dosing protocols at this time as human trials have not been completed.

      March 20, 2019 at 9:38 pm Reply
      • Avatar
        John Hacker

        Thank You

        May 3, 2019 at 7:11 am Reply
  • Avatar
    Griselda García Hernández

    Que es lo recomendable para cáncer de seno

    March 21, 2019 at 12:05 pm Reply
  • Avatar
    Jim Snow

    Interested in prostate Cancer info please.

    June 5, 2019 at 7:00 am Reply
  • Avatar
    Thierry Pillerault

    I am in australia have prostate cancer how can i get cbd oil?

    August 13, 2019 at 7:31 pm Reply
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    Lisa Wright

    This article is being used to mislead uneducated people into “believing” their CBD “pusher”! In our world of MLM CBD pushers, this is rampant! You need to make it clear that a true cancer protocol includes both THC and CBD. Not just a low grade industrial hemp CBD. It just won’t work!

    August 14, 2019 at 12:12 pm Reply
    • Jennifer Grant

      Hi Lisa, this article speaks to one single study that specifically looked at how CBD (and lab studies are typically done with CBD extracts or synthetically synthesized molecules that have pharmacological parity with CBD but are more precise for measuring dosage) interacted with prostate cancer cells IN THE PETRI DISH. Never do they use ‘low grade industrial hemp.’ This is an early phase trial to investigate one hypothesis about how CBD may be able to treat prostate cancer. ‘True cancer protocols’ have not been established, if you want to be completely truthful about things. Certain tumor types respond better to THC and others to CBD. Neurobalstoma is obliterated by CBD. Patients taking chemo for prostate do wonderfully taking CBD bc that cannabinoid keeps the cancer cells from pushing out the drug that is trying to kill it. In the end, we are very far off knowing which ratio to prescribe for which. So, please don’t feel misled. Take another read perhaps.

      August 14, 2019 at 1:24 pm Reply
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    Kokoette Uno

    I am just knowing this for the first time. This is awesome. My dad died of prostrate cancer in 2016 after having the sickness for 20years. He rejected any medical surgery. We just had to manage his ailments using local traditional herbal drugs. He died at the age of 98yrs. I was diagnosed of enlarged prostrate in January of 2018. I was asked to treat it with our local traditional herbal drugs which saw me having improvement. My PSA was 4.3 as at the time of diagnosis. Recently, I started having that symptoms of a full bladder even after using the urinary. My question is, can one just take this your drug as supplements? I am interested not only for myself but for friends and men whom I might come across with similar ailments. Thanks.

    August 31, 2019 at 5:43 am Reply
    • Jennifer Grant

      Hello – we are not making nor selling cannabis at this time. The drug used in this study is an analogue of CBD called WIN-55,212-2. Synthetic.This is standard as it allows researchers to track exact dose. Natural CBD from cannabis is available in many regions as a supplement, particularly in America. You just want to be sure that you are purchasing an oil or tincture that is not made from hemp seed oil.

      August 31, 2019 at 3:59 pm Reply

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