Review study: Cannabis shows promise for colorectal cancer

This study reviewed existing published research about the known effects of some key bioactive molecules in cannabis to determine their potential for the prevention and treatment of colorectal cancer (CRC). It was published in the journal Biomolecules in May 2023.

The researchers focused on cannabinoids and terpenes, and their mixtures. They cite numerous in vitro and in vivo studies about most of the major cannabinoids, although most of those were for isolated cannabinoids by themselves. But they also stated that "the combination of terpenes and other drugs was found to provide a synergistic effect in reducing tumor growth in CRC".

The authors' overall conclusions:

Data suggest that cannabinoids exert advantages in the treatment of CRC, mostly by inducing apoptosis [programmed cancer cell death], although some evidence also points out that they may target other key therapeutic events, such as proliferation, metastasis, inflammation, angiogenesis, oxidative stress, and autophagy

Data also suggest that certain combinations of cannabinoids and terpenes in C. sativa extracts can lead to a synergistic action known as the “entourage effect,” which has been linked to certain pharmacological benefits. 

The potential therapeutic benefits of the cannabinoids and terpenes from this plant make them key candidates for further drug development.


The full text article is here at PubMed Central.