Connect with us


CBD/CBG brain cancer study to ‘transform’ treatment



The research so far has shown that CBD can inhibit tumour viability

MGC Pharmaceuticals has announced the expansion of its ongoing study into the effects of cannabinoids on Glioblastoma Multiforme (‘GBM’), the most aggressive and treatment-resistant form of brain cancer. 

The company says its pre-clinical research into the use of cannabinoids in the treatment of the brain tumour has ‘significantly progressed’ and will now explore a nanoparticle delivery system to improve the effects of the treatment. 

The research program is being conducted in collaboration with the National Institute of Biology (‘NIB’) and the Neurosurgery Department at the University Medical Centre in Ljubljana, Slovenia. 

It is focused on testing cannabinoid formulations on fresh glioblastoma tumour tissues, obtained from patients after surgical removal of the tumour, to determine the optimal cannabinoid preparation for the effective treatment of the remaining cancer. 

The program tests cannabinoids alone and in combination with chemotherapeutic temozolomide. 

The objective of the pre-clinical, in-vitro research is to develop novel formulations to define the clinical protocols for clinical trials for the treatment of high-grade brain tumours with cannabinoids. 

The study has now been expanded to include testing the effect of both cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabigerol (CBG) on tumour cells when delivered via a nanoparticle delivery system. 

Successful results of this testing would potentially lead to a significant breakthrough in the treatment of brain cancer through oral administration (rather than invasive treatments). 

Nanoparticles are believed to improve the bioavailability and the blood to brain barrier issues, which are being optimised using SNEDD (Self Nano-Emulsifying Drug Delivery).

What the research shows so far

Results from an in-vitro study completed in November 2020 demonstrate that CBG exerts a superior effect in impairing the major hallmarks of glioblastoma progression, fast proliferation and invasion, and particularly enhancing glioblastoma cell death. 

CBG can also destroy therapy-resistant glioblastoma stem cells, which are the root of cancer development and extremely resistant to various treatments of this lethal cancer.

The combination of CBG and CBD, each at sub-cytotoxic concentrations, results in additive effects on reduced cell viability and induced cell death, which are sufficient to replace the application of THC. 

Formulations containing THC could be avoided due to the psychoactive activity that is particularly harmful to GB patients with neurological distortions associated with tumour progression.

Results from tumour samples from 18 patients demonstrate the efficacy of MGC Pharma’s proprietary CBD:CBG formulation in differing ratios. 

The CBD:CBG formulation acted effectively in producing a cytotoxic effect on GBM cell viability by encouraging cell death for GBM cells.

CBD is demonstrated to inhibit tumour viability and CBG is more efficient in setting off the cascade of biological processes, leading to the death of glioblastoma cells 

Results also found combined cannabinoids were advantageous vs single treatment; recent investigations revealed the efficient formulations of CBD and CBG treatment effectively trigger a cytotoxic effect on GBM cell viability, leading to their killing effects.

MGC Pharma’s research team reports that for the first time, increasing concentrations of CBG is efficiently setting off the cascade of biological processes leading to the death of the GBM stem cells, opening new avenues for improving therapies for this fatal type of tumour. 

Next steps

MGC Pharma and NIB will now commence testing of its CBD and CBG in nano emulsifying formulations on human tissue in-vitro. 

The general aim of the project is to reveal the effect of purified natural substances, CBD and CBG, in nano-emulsion and their combinations for the treatment of high-grade brain tumours in-vitro with the goal of in-vivo translation to clinics.

The in-vitro preclinical study will specifically be focused on defining the most efficient cannabinoid nano-emulsion preparations of CBD and CBG, that are likely to benefit to each individual patient that differ in (a) glioblastoma sub-types and (b) most relevant cannabinoid receptors. 

Additional patients with grade IV glioblastomas will be recruited to the study and further divided into subgroups based on their tumour genotype and characteristics. 

These will be carefully analysed to enable a personalised therapeutic approach.

Roby Zomer, co-founder and managing director of MGC Pharma, commented: “The publication of our research in such a prestigious medical journal such as MDPI is a great achievement and validates our findings of using cannabinoids on GBM. Prior to its publication, all research is required to undergo a peer review process where other medical researchers scrutinise the research procedures and subsequent findings.”

Zomer added: “Importantly, we are now moving forward with our next stage research which will now incorporate new and innovative drug delivery systems. 

“This is a very significant step for our research program and IP, as we look to transform and advance the way brain tumours are treated.” 

The results to date for MGC Pharma’s Glioblastoma CBD/CBG study have completed an independent peer review and have been recently published in the MDPI (Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute) Medical Journal

Sarah Sinclair is a respected cannabis journalist writing on subjects related to science, medicine, research, health and wellness. She is managing editor of Cannabis Health, the UK’s leading title covering medical cannabis and CBD, and sister titles, Cannabis Wealth and Psychedelic Health. Sarah has an NCTJ journalism qualification and an MA in Journalism from the University of Sunderland. Sarah has over six years experience working on newspapers, magazines and digital-first titles, the last two of which have been in the cannabis sector. She has also completed training through the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society securing a certificate in Medical Cannabis Explained. She is a member of PLEA’s (Patient-Led Engagement for Access) advisory board, has hosted several webinars on cannabis and women's health and has moderated at industry events such as Cannabis Europa. Sarah Sinclair is the editor of Cannabis Health. Got a story? Email / Follow us on Twitter: @CannabisHNews / Instagram: @cannabishealthmag


Cannabis Health is a journalist-led news site. Any views expressed by interviewees or commentators do not reflect our own. All content on this site is intended for educational purposes, please seek professional medical advice if you are concerned about any of the issues raised.

Copyright © 2023 PP Intelligence Ltd.