The United Kingdom-based pharmaceutical company GW Pharmaceuticals conducted studies on the effect of marijuana constituents to glioblastoma. What they found is pretty startling.
Glioblastoma is a form of cancer attacking the brain. It is currently one of the most difficult to cure diseases.
An image of a sagittal section MRI scan of a patient with glioblastoma multiforme (c) KurzweilAI
In fact, most people only get live about 15 months after radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Hopefully, the rate of deaths due to the illness is about to change because of the new findings.
Recently, GW Pharmaceuticals announced “positive top-line results” from a Phase 2 clinical study in which a combination of marijuana constituents, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), was used to treat patients with glioblastoma. Weed’s active compounds showed promising effects in battling the disease.
The researchers gathered 21 patients for the study. Notably, participants treated with THC and CBD (together with temozolomide, a chemotherapy drug) had an 83 percent one-year survival rate. While, those who didn’t get the cannabinoid treatment only had a 53 percent survival rate.
Compared to the median survival rate of people on placebo, which is 12 months, the cannabinoid-treated group had more than 18 months.
“Moreover, the cannabinoid medicine was generally well tolerated,” said principal investigator and professor of clinical oncology Susan Short, Ph.D., in a statement
. “These promising results are of particular interest as the pharmacology of the THC:CBD product appears to be distinct from existing oncology medications and may offer a unique and possibly synergistic option for future glioma treatment.”
In an announcement, GW’s CEO, Justin Gover, said that this result reinforces the “potential role of cannabinoids in the field of oncology” and will serve as a “catalyst for the acceleration of GW’s oncology research interests over the coming months.”
Though the company’s cannabinoid treatment has received Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, a status assigned to drugs intended to be effective treatments that comes with tax reductions and an exclusive right to develop the cure for a specific condition, cannabis use is still illegal for cancer treatment.