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Cannabis sativa may help fight cervical cancer

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Saturday Nov 19, 2016 (foodconsumer.org) -- A study recently published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine suggests that Cannabis sativa extract and cannabidiol found in the extract both may be used to treat cervical cancer, a disease most commonly found in Africa and, Latin America and Caribbean countries.
Sindiswa T. Lukhele and Lesetja R. Motadi at University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg conducted the study and found cannabis sativa extracts at various concentrations are able to stop cell proliferation in all three cervical cancer cell lines.  They also found cannabidiol the main compound found in the cannabis sativa extract is responsible for the anti-cancer property.

What cannabidiol does to kill cervical cancer cells is induce apoptosis by increasing subG0/G1 and annexin V.   As confirmed, the anticancer agent also boosts the expression of p53, caspase 3 and bax, which are known to promote apoptosis.  

The findings indicate that cannabidiol and cannabis sativa extracts prevent cell growth and induce cell death in cervical cancer cell lines and they may be used to treat cervical cancer.
In the United States, cervical cancer is expected in about 13,000 women and the disease will kill about 4,000 women in 2016, according to the National Cancer Institute.  Overall, cervical cancer mainly caused by human papillomavirus is considered rare in the U.S., but fairly lethal.  The overall five-year survival rate is about 67% and right now about 250,000 American women live with the disease.  

Cannabis sativa has been studied extensively in the last decade.  Strong evidence from laboratory studies suggests that this herb may be enlisted to fight a variety of cancers including breast cancer, prostate cancerlung cancer, and pancratic cancer in addition to cervical cancer.  (David Liu)

Sindiswa T. Lukhele and Lesetja R. Motadi, Cannabidiol rather than Cannabis sativa extracts inhibit cell growth and induce apoptosis in cervical cancer cells, BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Published: 1 September 2016

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