Pairing Cannabinoids with Chemotherapy Drugs Increase the Tumor-Killing Effects of Both, new Study Finds

By KM Diaz, | June 08, 2017

Pairing cannabinoids with chemotherapy drugs boost the tumor-killing effects of both. (YouTube)

Pairing cannabinoids with chemotherapy drugs boost the tumor-killing effects of both. (YouTube)

Prior observations already suggest that cannabinoids can decrease the growth of cancerous tumors. Now, a new study has found that pairing cannabinoids with chemotherapy drugs boost the tumor-killing effects of both.

Cannabinoids are a group of active compounds in cannabis and these compounds are now being used in some trial because of their potential use in medical settings.

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A team of oncologists at the University of London has found that aside from the effects of cannabinoids in enhancing the death of cancer cells when paired with chemotherapy drugs, the order where the compounds being administered were vitally significant.

Cannabinoids become only effective in improving the treatment when given after chemotherapy. Moreover, the effect significantly decreased when cannabinoids administered before the chemotherapy.

Dr. Wai Liu, the lead author of the study, said that the finding shows for the first time on how the order of chemotherapy and cannabinoids is important, particularly in identifying the overall effectiveness of the treatment. Researchers are still in the first phase of the clinical trial to determine the other effects of cannabinoids on cancer since it was only performed in vitro, though using an animal model in the trial is yet to come.

Similar to other research, the goal of this study is to enhance the effect of cannabinoids with lower doses of chemotherapy. That would mean that current treatments could be more effective with fewer side-effects. Further studies are underway to explore the potential of cannabinoids in medical use. Researchers believed that they could possibly develop new treatments to combat cancer.

Meanwhile, the team noted that the findings do not suggest that smoking marijuana has an anti-cancer effect. Dr. Liu explains that they used purified and highly concentrated extracts, so there will be no similar effects when smoking marijuana. 

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