Research released in February may point to cannabis as a key player in the fight against brain tumors. GW Pharmaceuticals, a leader in cannabis research and product development in the UK, published the results of a clinical study on the effectiveness of cannabinoids (chemical found in the cannabis plant) in the survival rates of patients suffering from glioblastoma multiforme (GBM).
This placebo-controlled trial was conducted on 21 cases of recurrent GBM, a condition for which survival rates are not exactly fantastic. Starting in 2007, patients in the cannabis study group were treated with a combination of tetrahydrocannabidiol (known as THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) and showed an increased survival rate of almost forty percent (83% when using cannabis versus the 53% of the placebo group) with relatively minor side effects such as nausea and dizziness reported in roughly three patients in the group.
Susan Short, PhD, who is the Professor of Clinical Oncology and Neuro-Oncology at the Leeds Institute of Cancer at St. James’s University Hospital, stated that the study suggests “the addition of a combination of THC and CBD to patients on dose-intensive temozolomide produced relevant improvements in survival compared with placebo and this is a good signal of potential efficacy.” Short, who was at the helm of this revolutionary study, also noted the high tolerance for the treatment among patients as a “possibly synergistic option for future glioma treatment.”