Credit: © stokkete / Fotolia

Credit: © stokkete / Fotolia

Cannabinoids combined with chemotherapy are more effective for cancer treatment

Cannabinoids combined with chemotherapy are more effective for cancer treatment, says a new study from University of St George’s London.

Medical marijuana is increasing in popularity as a treatment for many conditions, including eating disorders, cancers, and pain. It is becoming legal in more and more states, and with that, the stigma behind it is decreasing.

With marijuana being more widely accepted in the U.S. for medical treatment, research has also gone up.

The new research confirmed that cannabinoids –- the active ingredients in marijuana – are effective at killing leukemia cells, specifically when combined with chemotherapy treatment.

Researchers also found that use of an initial dose of chemotherapy followed by cannabinoid treatment significantly improved treatment of blood cancer cells. What’s more is that chemo combined with cannabinoids was more effective than just chemo alone.

Study lead author Dr Wai Liu at St George’s, University of London, said: “We have shown for the first time that the order in which cannabinoids and chemotherapy are used is crucial in determining the overall effectiveness of this treatment.

These extracts are highly concentrated and purified, so smoking marijuana will not have a similar effect. But cannabinoids are a very exciting prospect in oncology, and studies such as ours serve to establish the best ways that they should be used to maximise a therapeutic effect.”

The study authors agree that more research is needed to justify the use of cannabinoids in cancer treatment, but the results look promising.

The study showing that cannabinoids combined with chemotherapy are more effective for cancer treatment was published in the International Journal of Oncology.

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1. “Cannabinoids Used in Sequence with Chemotherapy Are a More Effective Treatment for Cancer.” St. George’s University of London. St. George’s University of London, 05 June 2017. Web. 05 June 2017.
2. “Anticancer Effects of Phytocannabinoids Used with Chemotherapy in Leukaemia Cells Can Be Improved by Altering the Sequence of Their Administration.” International Journal of Oncology. Spandidos Publications, 01 July 2017. Web. 05 June 2017.

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