Two relatively unexplored cannabis compounds could help kill gastrointestinal cancer cells in humans, according to a new research study.
Cannabics Pharmaceuticals, an American medical cannabis firm with an Israeli R&D department, recently released the results of a pre-clinical trial suggesting that the cannabinoids CBC (cannabichromene) and CBG (cannabigerol) can help destroy tumors. The tests, which were conducted at the company's High Throughput Screening (HTS) lab facilities in Israel, found that CBC and CBG can induce significantly higher rates of necrosis in human gastrointestinal cancer cells compared to other cannabinoids.
"Gastrointestinal cancers are amongst the leading and most wide-spread causes of cancer-related deaths worldwide,” said Dr. Eyal Ballan, CTO and co-founder of Cannabics, in a statement. “We are intrigued by the results we have obtained in the lab, and our aim is to consider placing an emphasis on this organ system, and to further explore the differential anti-tumor properties of cannabinoids."
The study also found that CBG had a stronger anti-tumor effect on human stomach and bone cancer cells than CBGA, the acidic form of CBG. Dr. Yaakov Waksman, head of cannabidiol research at Cannabics, believes that “CBC and CBG, as neutral cannabinoids,” have an attribute “which allows the cannabinoid molecule to penetrate a cancer cell's membrane, whereas their acidic form (CBCA and CBGA) do not. This could explain the difference in anti-tumor activity rates demonstrated.”
Most people are aware of THC and CBD, the most widely-researched cannabinoids, but there are a host of other natural compounds within the cannabis plant — many of which exhibit unique health benefits. CBC, a non-psychoactive compound, occurs mostly in younger cannabis plants, but often in small quantities. Preliminary studies have found that CBC can have antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties.
CBG, another non-psychoactive cannabinoid, is also found in minute quantities in the cannabis plant. This compound has also been found to have anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and tumor-killing properties. A recent study even found that CBG could help kill antibiotic-resistant “superbugs” that have infected a growing number of patients at hospitals around the world.
“CBG is gaining a lot of interest as of late by the scientific community due to its potential therapeutic properties,” said Dr. Waksman, according to Oracle Dispatch.
“The recent preliminary findings from our research team illustrate how purified cannabinoids can potentially yield anti-tumor activity and enable us to examine the entourage effect of botanical extracts versus the purified compounds,” Waksman concluded. Cannabics is planning to conduct additional clinical trials that will further investigate whether these natural cannabis compounds could effectively help treat patients suffering from gastrointestinal cancer.