We learn more about the benefits of cannabis and its compounds more and more as research has been allowed. Combatting seizures has been well-documented by Sanja Gupta, but, unfortunately, research has been stifled and bottled up in the United States for far too long. The most impactful medicinal benefit of cannabis and its cannabinoids may be the ability to fight cancer cells. Thankfully, there has been some international research on the matter. When combined with chemotherapy, cannabidiol (CBD) has been found in a recent study to triple the survival rate of mice, as reported by Forbes:
“Cannabidiol is already approved for use in clinics [in the UK], which means we can quickly go on to test this in human clinical trials,” said lead researcher Marco Falasca from Queen Mary University of London.
While human trials involving CBD as a cancer treatment may move faster in the UK, similar efforts could face obstacles in the U.S., where CBD derived from marijuana is still considered an illegal (Schedule 1) substance under federal law. Progress is being made, however, with the US FDA approving the first drug comprised of CBD to treat severe forms of epilepsy in June of this year.
Pancreatic cancer is among the deadliest forms of cancer in the world in terms of overall survival rates. According to the American Cancer Society, for all stages of pancreatic cancer combined, the one-year relative survival rate is 20%, and the five-year rate is just under 7%. It’s the 12th most common cancer globally, with the highest incidence occuring in developed countries.
It is a shame that researchers in the United States have been largely blocked by Reefer Madness policies pushed by prohibitionists like Jeff Sessions from discovering the medical benefits of cannabis. The good news is that the tide is turning and more research will be allowed as more states and nations reform their laws and ultimately legalize cannabis. The International Cannabis Business Conference in Portland, Oregon, on September 27th-28th, will be holding a CBD panel. I look forward to hearing about the latest research and industry developments from CBD derived from both cannabis and hemp.