Researchers at Augusta University found that CBD inhalant can alter the lung microenvironment and subsequently inhibit glioblastoma growth in an animal model. This study, published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, is the first study to research CBD treatment of tumors caused by glioblastoma–one of the most aggressive forms of cancer growth. CBD minimizes the chronic inflammation surrounding glioblastoma growth; this type of inflammation happens when the immune system is “confused” by the microenvironment and mistakenly tries to defend the malignant growth.
CBD is a good regulator of tumor microenvironments as evidenced by its ability to decrease the enzyme apelin in response to glioblastoma growth. Usually, apelin is present in the brain in low amounts, but it is expressed much higher in cases of glioblastoma. Higher apelin levels promote increased blood vessel growth and tumor development, but there is evidence that CBD limits deadly brain tumor growth and blocks immune checkpoints.
Because certain cannabidiol terpenes can cross the blood-brain-barrier, testing CBD as a treatment for glioblastoma was an important method to investigate. Researchers consider CBD inhalant a safe and effective mode of delivery which presents an alternative -or supplementary- treatment to invasive brain surgery to remove a tumor. The inhalant method of delivery guarantees CBD reaches the brain and is easy to use for most patients.
This same team, led by Dr. Babak Baban, also performed a 2020 study that suggested that CBD may also be helpful in reducing lung damage caused by COVID-19. Baban believes this study provided “a concept of proof that CBD may have the potential to help coronavirus patients.” The Augusta team found that CBD balances the inflammation and thus stabilizes the lung tissue.
The Augusta researchers aim to continue their research on the various roles of CBD in cellular and molecular signaling of the tumor microenvironment, the duration of CBD inhalant’s effects on cancer stem cells, and glioblastoma high recurrence rates.