Cannabidiol and myeloma

Not that it really matters, but, for the record!, I’ve never smoked anything – cigarettes or marijuana or anything else for that matter. So I wasn’t that interested in or paying much attention to medical marijuana…until August of 2013, when I watched Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s CNN “Weed” documentary on the use of medical marijuana. Cannabis suddenly became an interesting blip on my radar.

I mean, how could you NOT be affected by Charlotte’s story, for example? In “Weed,” Charlotte is the little girl who used to have 1200 seizures a month. After her parents began giving her medical marijuana, that number went down to 2 or 3 a month. Unbelievable, simply unbelievable. For those interested, here is a good CNN article about Dr. Gupta’s change of heart: http://goo.gl/lYjlJK

A blog reader who lives in Malaysia and was diagnosed with multiple myeloma more than ten years ago, at the age of 36, wrote to me in September 2014 about her use of hemp oil and how much it has helped her overcome her fatigue and bone pain. In her message, she reported feeling more relaxed and energetic thanks to the hemp oil.

She hasn’t been the only one to have gotten in touch with me. And so, two years (!) after watching “Weed,” I have finally decided to finish editing the post I began writing on this topic a rather long time ago. Let’s begin…

Last year I read a very interesting but complicated ITALIAN study on myeloma and cannabidiol, which is one of the active components of cannabis, the plant from which marijuana is made. (Note: CBD will not get you “high.”) You can find the abstract here: http://goo.gl/gSo7GD.

The full study, which I managed to get my hands on about a year ago, is quite complex and took me some time to decipher. The good news is that the full study is now available for FREE online, so you can download/read the entire shebang here: http://goo.gl/8r6Fj2. This makes my task much easier…Since the study can now be read for free, I can, er, freely discuss it without fear of breaking any copyright laws.

But for today I don’t want to go into too many details. I want to concentrate only on the abstract, which states that cannabidiol (CBD), both in combination with bortezomib (BORT) but also by itself, “strongly inhibited growth, arrested cell cycle progression and induced” the death of myeloma cells.” Wonderful, no? I mean, cannabidiol killed myeloma cells even when tested on its own, without the bortezomib…

This group of Italian researchers also discovered that cannobidiol “may help sidestep the problem of patients developing resistance to bortezomib.” So, more fantastic news.

Conclusion: cannabidiol “seems to help” proteasome inhibitors such as bortezomib in the treatment of myeloma.

Interesting aside. There are currently four clinical “Graft Versus Host Disease” (GVHD) trials testing cannabidiol. The patients in these trials have undergone an allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (using the stem cells from a healthy donor, in a nutshell). The idea is to see if GVHD can be prevented and/or treated with CBD. I should add that only one trial is currently recruiting patients. If interested, all you need to do is go to clinicaltrials.gov and type “cannabidiol AND allogeneic” in the search box. No, apart from the GVHD trials, there are none testing CBD on myeloma patients. Not yet. But I bet it will happen at some point…It SHOULD happen…

Okay, at this point you’re probably wondering why it took me so bloody long to write such a brief, simple post. Well, if I had stopped at the abstract, you’d be absolutely right. But I didn’t. I wanted to understand what was going on, and why this ion channel process is so important in myeloma.

And so I studied how ion channels work, what the TRVP family is, and so on. It took me a while to figure it all out and put it in easy-to-understand language. When I read studies such as this one, sometimes I get really frustrated and give up for a while…or even for a long time…or…forever! 😉 This is not my field of expertise, after all (my Ph.D. is in linguistics, nothing to do with science…). Besides, hey, I do have a normal, busy life, and, to be honest, if I have some spare time I’d rather go play cards with my girlfriends or go out to dinner with Stefano…

That said, after TWO years, I’m finally close to finishing my more technical post on this topic…

So…stay tuned! I’m sure you can’t wait to read about all this stuff, eh? 😉

14 Comments

  1. I have MM. I had back surgery to remove the tumor, titanium put in, stem cell transport using my own cells and after 2 years am in “remission”” today, at this moment. The only way doctors can track my progress is bone marrow biopsy. No standard markers for my flavor MM .I want an alternative to drugs and am so happy about CBD. Thanks for the encouragement.
    Now, how to get it. .. I’m hoping med mj card – not writing from CA or CO in the USA meanwhile I’m using tons of turmeric.

    1. Hi Elisabeth, I’m interested in the effect of CBD on your blood results. I have achieved a stabilised result also through curcumin (I have MGUS) and was wondering if CBD might further reduce my markers. What dose do you take and where do you get the oil?

      Many thanks,

      Mark

    2. Hi Elizabeth,

      Could you recommend what dose of CBD oil to take please, plus what % strength you would advise as my friends Dad has just been diagnosed and is looking to go down this treatment pathway.

      Thanks. x

  2. Margaret, very interesting “stuff” that you come up with! My wife found your blog after I was diagnosed in April 2012. She has been giving me curcumin since then. I did an auto SCT in Nov 2012. I am on a maintenance dose of Revlimid , but am as close to remission as I will probably get.
    Sorry to go on and on.
    Thanks for what you do and have done. It is appreciated my many, I am sure.

  3. Hi Margaret, very interesting article. Do you know anything about the Hemp Oil that your blogger from Malaysia takes? How much, what brand? I use it sometimes to dissolve my curcumin but looks like I should be taking it regularly. Thanks for this enlightening information!

  4. Hi Margaret
    I have smm since 2013 I am doing 8gms of curcumin a day eating well and using the supplements I found people using on this website this site has been amazing . but by 2015 I needed to start treatment as my smm developed into mm. I started on Bortezomib with Dex once a week I wanted to leave out the cyclophosphmide as I was taking cannabis oil and curcumin with all my other supplements and I didn’t have any bone pain.
    Anyway within the frist week my haemoglobin went to normal range .My makers drop by half and had very little side effect I am now four months into treatment and all my bloods are great .
    I feel I have had a very good respones so far thinking it might be the combanation of everything Im taking
    Thanks again for a wonderful web page

  5. Hello,
    I have MM and would like to use CBD oil.
    I live in Australia and would like to know if someone knows where I can get it.
    Thanks for the help.
    Andrea

    1. Hi Andrea, just wondering if you ever found out where to get CBD oil. I’m also in Australia and thinking of taking the oil as part of my supplement regime.

      Thanks

  6. Hi and thank you so much for this article! I was just diagnosed 11/28/2017* and of course I’m searching the web and found your great article! I started myself on 4 drops twice a day of 500 mg CBC oil. I’m keeping a journal. I’m wondering if I should take more, or less? Please feel free to reply with suggestions. Peace

    *diagnosis was at the ER, I saw my GP the next day who is referring me to an oncologist.

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