Researchers in Portugal have found that cannabidiol (CBD), the non-psychoactive part of the cannabis plant with many therapeutic benefits, can negate the progress of endometrial cancer in some patients.
Endometrial cancer is a type of uterine carcinoma that affects the endometrium, which is the outer lining of the uterus. This disease affects thousands of women around the world with a fairly poor prognosis.
It is usually associated with high estrogen levels and can be exacerbated by variants like obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
Scientists in this study emulated the disease by exposing cells to high estrogen levels. What they discovered what CBD aided in killing those cancer cells through a process called apoptosis. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive part of the cannabis plant, did not elicit any response.
The researchers also noted that usual endocannabinoid receptors like CB1 and CB2 did not have an effect on the process as well. What did help CBD to evoke an apoptotic response was a receptor called Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid 1 (TRPV1), which is usually used by the body to detect and regulate body temperature.
The data from this study is promising as it indicates that cannabinoids can help program cancer cell death. This allows for more studies to be done on CBD in other conditions that arise due to high estrogen.