With the average length of survival following diagnosis being only 16 months, a glioblastoma — malignant tumor affecting the brain or spine — is one of the most aggressive types of cancer there is. However Slovenian researchers working in conjunction with MGC Pharmaceuticals, have developed novel cannabinoid mixtures that may ultimately become the basis of treatments for this cancer.
Working with cell cultures and glioblastoma surgical biopsies in a laboratory setting, the scientists from the National Institute of Biology and University Medical Centre in Ljubljana, found that the cannabinoids CBD (cannabidiol) and CBG (cannabigerol), both alone and in combination, stopped the proliferation of glioblastoma cells.
Combining CBD with CBG “was more efficient than with THC,” the researchers found, adding that CBG and CBD “inhibited glioblastoma invasion in a similar manner” to the chemotherapeutic drug temozolomide. While CBD inhibited the glioblastoma cells’ viability, CBG appeared to be more efficient at inducing the cascade of biological processes leading to programmed death (apoptosis) of glioblastoma stem cells.
Previously, In over 20 animal studies, a CBD/THC combination was found to drastically decrease the size of and even eliminate glioblastoma. But THC preparations have psychotropic effects that can be troublesome for people with brain tumors, so the fact that CBG (which like CBD is non-psychoactive) is an effective substitute is encouraging news.
Obviously the promising CBD/CBG mixture needs to be clinically assessed in actual glioblastoma patients, but this research offers some hope for treatments in the future. “To date, studies on the medical applications of cannabinoids have demonstrated that their off-target effects are not as toxic as those of chemotherapeutics ,” the researchers noted.
Furthermore, “this is the first report to demonstrate that the non-intoxicating cannabinoid CBG alone and in combination with CBD efficiently targets two key elements that otherwise prevent the successful treatment of glioblastoma patients with current therapeutics,” the researchers reported… “firstly, to overcome GSC resistance to cytotoxic agents and to induce apoptosis, and secondly, to inhibit glioblastoma cell invasion.”