This article is based on an UMCG press release.
The University Medical Centre Groningen (UMCG), Netherlands, is to study the effect of cannabis oil on liver cancer patients who have exhausted all other treatment options. The aim of the study is to see whether cannabis oil acts as an anti-cancer agent that will shrink the liver tumours.
The pharmacy only uses medicinal cannabis produced by Bedrocan. The Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport has commissioned Bedrocan to standardize and grow the plant pharmaceutically in order to guarantee a consistent composition of the cannabis oil.
The cannabis oil being used is produced by the Transvaal Apotheek, a specialist pharmacy with the certificates needed to produce drugs for research purposes. The oil is produced according to a fixed recipe with precise amounts of THC and CBD, two of the important substances contained in cannabis.
The study was started after two separate reports that patients with advanced liver cancer had seen their tumours shrink after using cannabis oil. Now, two and five years after their diagnoses, the tumours have completely dissapeared and the patients are cured. Although laboratory research shows that cannabis can curb the growth of liver cancer cells, a possible anti-cancer effect of cannabis oil in patients cannot be explained as no scientific research has been carried out.
A summer 2019 study involving mice suggested that there may be a link between CBD and liver damage. Critics pushed for a human study, like Validcare’s, saying there are differences between how CBD functions in mice versus humans, and most people would not ingest the level of CBD provided to rodents in the study.
Despite CBD’s popularity and increasing ubiquitousness, questions still linger regarding the safety and long-term impact of using the hemp and cannabis-derived substance.
Consumers are showing increasing eagerness to add CBD to their daily regimens, with 40% saying in March 2019 that they would try CBD, according to a study by High Yield Insights. The ingredient got a boost during the COVID-19 pandemic, as consumers sought ways to relax, ease tension and improve sleep quality.
There are still plenty of other health-related questions about CBD to tackle. These stem from the relative newness of the ingredient and the lack of long-term research on side effects or how it may interact with medications. As a result, the FDA has cracked down on CBD-containing products making health claims or statements about what the ingredient can accomplish.
The results of the study are likely good news for players in the CBD industry who may have been fearing heavy restrictions, should the results have raised red flags.