And the hits just keep on coming – a chronic new study, yet to be published by the British Journal of Pharmacology, but already released online by the National Institute of Health, reveals that marijuana’s CBD cannabinoid is not only safe – but also greatly effective in the treatment of chemotherapy induced neuropathic pain. While this may not represent new news for those of us within the MMJ community, it is a groundbreaking discovery for the medical community – per the studies excited scientists;
“To date no one drug or drug class is considered to be effective for reversal of chemotherapy induced neuropathic pain (CIPN).”
Paclitaxel (PAC) is associated with a chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain (CIPN) state that can lead to the cessation of treatment in late stage breast cancer patients, even in the absence of alternate therapies. Indeed, to date no one drug or drug class is considered to be effective for reversal of CIPN. We have recently reported that chronic administration of the non-psychoactive and non-toxic cannabinoid, cannabidiol (CBD) prevents the onset of PAC-induced mechanical and thermal sensitivity in a mouse model of CIPN. In this investigation, we sought to discover pathways through which CBD inhibits CIPN and to determine whether the cannabinoid had any unforeseen deleterious effects on nervous system function or chemotherapy efficacy.
The ability of acute CBD pretreatment to prevent PAC-induced mechanical sensitivity was assessed using Von Frey filament testing. The effect of CBD on place conditioning and on autoshaping, a conditioned learning and memory task, were determined to determine whether the cannabinoid produced any negative CNS effects. The potential positive or negative interaction of CBD and PAC on breast cancer cell viability was determined using the MTT assay and the combination index (CI).
Our data suggest that CBD is protective against PAC-induced neurotoxicity and that this effect is in part mediated by the 5-TH1A receptor system. Furthermore, CBD treatment was devoid of other nervous system effects such as conditioned reward or cognitive impairment. CBD also did not attenuate the efficacy of PAC in inhibiting breast cancer cell viability. Taken together, adjunct treatment with CBD during PAC chemotherapy treatment may be safe and effective in the prevention or attenuation of CIPN.