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Can Hemp Help? Low-THC Cannabis and Non-THC Cannabinoids for the Treatment of Cancer

1
Cancer Signalling Research Group, Medical Biochemistry, School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy, Faculty of Health and Medicine, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia
2
Priority Research Centre for Cancer Research, Innovation & Translation, Faculty of Health and Medicine, Hunter Medical Research Institute, New Lambton Heights, NSW 2305, Australia
3
Centre for Plant Science, School of Environmental and Life Sciences, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia
4
Priority Research Centre for Chemical Biology and Clinical Pharmacology, School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy, Faculty of Health and Medicine, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia
5
Calvary Mater Newcastle, Waratah, NSW 2298, Australia
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Cancers 2020, 12(4), 1033; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12041033
Received: 7 April 2020 / Accepted: 20 April 2020 / Published: 23 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cannabinoids and Cancer)
Cannabis has been used to relieve the symptoms of disease for thousands of years. However, social and political biases have limited effective interrogation of the potential benefits of cannabis and polarised public opinion. Further, the medicinal and clinical utility of cannabis is limited by the psychotropic side effects of ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol (∆9-THC). Evidence is emerging for the therapeutic benefits of cannabis in the treatment of neurological and neurodegenerative diseases, with potential efficacy as an analgesic and antiemetic for the management of cancer-related pain and treatment-related nausea and vomiting, respectively. An increasing number of preclinical studies have established that ∆9-THC can inhibit the growth and proliferation of cancerous cells through the modulation of cannabinoid receptors (CB1R and CB2R), but clinical confirmation remains lacking. In parallel, the anti-cancer properties of non-THC cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol (CBD), are linked to the modulation of non-CB1R/CB2R G-protein-coupled receptors, neurotransmitter receptors, and ligand-regulated transcription factors, which together modulate oncogenic signalling and redox homeostasis. Additional evidence has also demonstrated the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabinoids, and this may prove relevant in the context of peritumoural oedema and the tumour immune microenvironment. This review aims to document the emerging mechanisms of anti-cancer actions of non-THC cannabinoids. View Full-Text
Keywords: cannabinoids; cannabidiol; ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol; cannabinoid receptors; G-protein-coupled receptors; cancer; apoptosis; inflammation cannabinoids; cannabidiol; 9-tetrahydrocannabinol; cannabinoid receptors; G-protein-coupled receptors; cancer; apoptosis; inflammation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Afrin, F.; Chi, M.; Eamens, A.L.; Duchatel, R.J.; Douglas, A.M.; Schneider, J.; Gedye, C.; Woldu, A.S.; Dun, M.D. Can Hemp Help? Low-THC Cannabis and Non-THC Cannabinoids for the Treatment of Cancer. Cancers 2020, 12, 1033. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12041033

AMA Style

Afrin F, Chi M, Eamens AL, Duchatel RJ, Douglas AM, Schneider J, Gedye C, Woldu AS, Dun MD. Can Hemp Help? Low-THC Cannabis and Non-THC Cannabinoids for the Treatment of Cancer. Cancers. 2020; 12(4):1033. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12041033

Chicago/Turabian Style

Afrin, Farjana; Chi, Mengna; Eamens, Andrew L.; Duchatel, Ryan J.; Douglas, Alicia M.; Schneider, Jennifer; Gedye, Craig; Woldu, Ameha S.; Dun, Matthew D. 2020. "Can Hemp Help? Low-THC Cannabis and Non-THC Cannabinoids for the Treatment of Cancer" Cancers 12, no. 4: 1033. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12041033

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