8.11 Cancers of the Brain and Nervous System


Killing Cells

Most brain tumors are metastases from lung cancer, breast cancer, melanoma, etc[metastases]. Cancers that arise within the central nervous system are referred to as primary CNS tumors. Most primary tumors are gliomas — cancers of the glial cells[primaries]. These cells nourish the neurons. The deadliest gliomas are the glioblastomas[glioblastomas].

Killing Cancer Cells

CBD kills glioma cancer cells via apoptosis in both in vitro and in animal xenograft studies[Massi_2003].

THC kills glioblastoma cells, and THC + CBD works better than either THC or CBD alone[Marcu_2011].

Preventing Invasion and Metastasis

β-Caryophyllene inhibits the proliferation of gioblastoma cells[Irrera_2020].

Controlling Inflammatory Cytokines

Controlling Inflammatory Cytokines

TGF-β exerts strong immunosuppressive effects in gliomas[Massagué_2008], but there is a lack of information on how cannabis compounds might help. See Taming Inflammatory Cytokines

Controlling Gene Expression

CBD also lowers the ID1 oncogene, thereby reducing the invasiveness of glioblastomas[Soro_2013].


metastases. Brain metastases. Abstract. Pérez-Larraya J G, Hildebrand J. Handbook of clinical neurology. Published 2014.

primaries. Primary brain tumours in adults. Abstract. Lapointe S, Perry A, Butowski N A. Lancet. Published 2018 August 4.

glioblastomas. Glioma vs\. glioblastoma: What’s the difference? Article. Unattributed. Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. 2021 May 28.

Massi_2003. Antitumor effects of cannabidiol, a nonpsychoactive cannabinoid, on human glioma cell lines. Abstract. Massi P, Vaccani A, Ceruti S, et al. The Journal of pharmacology and experimental therapeutics. Online 2003 November 14.

Soro_2013. Id-1 is a Key Transcriptional Regulator of Glioblastoma Aggressiveness and a Novel Therapeutic Target. Full text. Soroceanu L, Murase R, Limbad C, et al. Cancer research. Posted 2013 March 1.

Marcu_2011. Cannabidiol enhances the inhibitory effects of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol on human glioblastoma cell proliferation and survival. Full text. Marcu J P, Christian R T, Lau D, et al. Molecular cancer therapeutics. Online 2011 January 6.

Irrera_2020. β-Caryophyllene Inhibits Cell Proliferation through a Direct Modulation of CB2 Receptors in Glioblastoma Cells. Full text. Irrera N, D’Ascola A,1 Pallio G, et al. Cancers. Onine 2020 April 23.

Massagué_2008. TGFβ in Cancer. Full text. Massagué J. Cell. 2008 July 25.