A new research suggests that a compound found in marijuana, known as cannabigerol (CBG), could help prevent the progression of colon cancer.
CBG is a safe non-psychotropic cannabis-derived cannabinoid which interacts with specific targets involved in carcinogenesis. Specifically, CBG blocks transient receptor potential (TRP) M8 (TRPM8), activates TRPA1, TRPV1 and TRPV2 channels, blocks 5-HT1A receptors and inhibits the reuptake of endocannabinoids. CBG properties have been credited with the relief of symptoms associated with glaucoma and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
However, in a recent study by the National Institute of Health (NIH), the agency found that CBG was effective in slowing the progression of colon cancer. The study was published in the Oxford journal Carcinogenesis.
The researchers evaluated whether CBG protects against colon tumorigenesis. They studied the effect of CBG on colon cancer cells, and found that in vivo CBG inhibited the growth of xenograft tumors as well as chemically-induced colon carcinogenesis. According to the study, CBG hampers colon cancer progression in vivo and selectively inhibits the growth of colorectal cancer cells.
The researchers concluded that CBG “should be considered translationally in colorectal cancer prevention and cure.”
According to estimates from the American Cancer Society (ACS), about 50,310 people died from colorectal cancer in the US in 2014. Not counting skin cancers, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer found in men and women in the US. The death rate from colorectal cancer has been going down for more than 20 years. One reason for the decline in death rates is that there are fewer cases, thanks to colorectal cancer screening.
Sources: Oxford journal Carcinogenesis; American Cancer Society
Last updated: 10/9/14; 3:45pm EST