Only specialist doctors who are listed in the General Medical Council’s (GMC) specialist register will be able to prescribe cannabis-based products. They will only be prescribed when the specialist considers that the patient will benefit and when the patient has an unmet special clinical need that cannot be met by licensed products.
CBD and hemp oils do not contain THC and can be purchased in many high street health food shops.
CBD and hemp oils
Cannabis is an illegal drug in many countries, including the UK, where it is classified as a class B drug. This means it is illegal to posses, supply or produce cannabis in the UK.
Side effects of using cannabis-based medications
Your consultant or medical team will be able to talk to you about possible side-effects as well as how to manage any side-effects you’re experiencing.
It is important to be aware that you cannot be sure of the concentrations and ratios of THC and CBD in grown or street cannabis, and therefore cannot guarantee how safe it is. The same is true of other cannabis-products that aren’t prescribed by your healthcare team or produced from an EU-approved strain of hemp.
“I am having chemotherapy and using CBD oil to help with the side-effects of that.”
Is it safe to use cannabis-based products?
Cannabis-based medications (medical cannabis) are only likely to be prescribed to a small number of people, and only for specific reasons
The new work revealed that the toxic effects of CBD are mediated through the cell’s natural pathway for apoptosis, a form of programmed cell death. The researchers also observed that CBD-induced cell death was characterized by large, swollen intracellular vesicles before the membrane begins to bulge and breakdown. This was true for all the cell lines studied.
The researchers believe that CBD’s anti-cancer actions target mitochondria—the cell’s energy producing structures—by causing the mitochondria to dysfunction and release harmful reactive oxygen species. Their experiments showed that cells treated with CBD exhibited significant decreases in mitochondrial activity.
“Further research and treatment options are urgently needed for patients afflicted by brain cancer,” said Chase Gross, a student in the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine/Master of Science program at Colorado State University. “Our work shows that CBD has the potential to provide an effective, synergistic glioblastoma therapy option and that it should continue to be vigorously studied.”
The study looked at glioblastoma, an often-deadly form of brain cancer that grows and spreads very quickly. Even with major advancements in treatment, survival rates for this cancer have not improved significantly.
A bright field microscopy image (10x) illustrating the swollen intracellular vesicles observed after 48 hours of treatment with a lethal dose of CBD (10x objective lens). Swollen vesicles were a hallmark of CBD-induced cell death in all the cell lines studied. Credit: Chase Gross, Mando Ramirez, Colorado State University
Mr. Gross and colleagues examined human and canine glioblastoma cells because the cancer shows striking similarities between the two species. They tested the effects of CBD isolate, which contains 100 percent CBD, and CBD extract, which contains small amounts of other natural occurring compounds such as cannabigerol and tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.
The researchers believe that CBD’s anti-cancer actions target mitochondria — the cell’s energy producing structures — by causing the mitochondria to dysfunction and release harmful reactive oxygen species. The mitochondria (teal color) in a canine cancer cell line are shown after 48 hours of treatment with a nonlethal dose of CBD isolate (40x objective lens). Credit: Chase Gross, Mando Ramirez, Jade Kurihara, Colorado State University
“CBD has been zealously studied in cells for its anticancer properties over the last decade,” said Mr. Gross. “Our study helps complete the in vitro puzzle, allowing us to move forward in studying CBD’s effects on glioblastoma in a clinical setting using live animal models. This could lead to new treatments that would help both people and dogs that have this very serious cancer.”
“Our experiments showed that CBD slows cancer cell growth and is toxic to both canine and human glioblastoma cell lines,” said Mr. Gross. “Importantly, the differences in anti-cancer affects between CBD isolate and extract appear to be negligible.”