A terminal cancer patient in Wales has attributed her shrinking tumours to cannabis extracts. Gemma Elsworth of Hirwaun was given only weeks to live after her malignant brain tumors continued to grow, causing her to go blind, lose movement in her left side, and have trouble swallowing food and water.
According to Gemma, the tumours have shrunk half their size after she began supplementing with CBD oil in tandem with her chemotherapy. It was an unexpected milestone after doctors had given her a grim prognosis. “The CBD oil turned things around for me,” said Gemma. “In December 2017 they said nothing would cure me as the tumours were so advanced and chemotherapy would only give me a few weeks or months. I came home in January and have regained some use of my left side and can do much more than I could eight weeks ago. I’ve started walking with a stick and my eyesight is coming back after three years. If it wasn’t for the CBD oil I don’t think I’d be here now.”
CBD and other cannabinoids have been shown to kill cancer cells in laboratory settings, although experts warn that the effect these compounds have on cancer in humans is not yet fully understood. However, these studies have shown some very exciting results.
Cancer Research UK has compiled studies that examine how different cannabinoids interact with cancer cells. Applying these treatments to isolated cancer cells and mice have triggered cell death, prevented cells from dividing, stopped blood vessels from growing into tumours, and prevented cells from moving into neighbouring tissue. In some cases, cannabinoids have triggered a process called autophagy in cancer cells, which essentially causes the cells to commit suicide. Most researchers think most or all of these effects are caused by the way CBD and other cannabinoids interact with our CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors.
However, these compounds appear to also have an effect on cancer cells without interacting with receptors, although researchers are not sure how or why this happens. THC and CBD appear to have the strongest results so far, which is good news for those who have chosen to use CBD products. Research is ongoing, so any patient considering CBD should use it as a supplement with chemotherapy or other doctor recommended treatment.
Sources: Wales Online Cancer Research UK