Cannabidiol, a medically useful extract from marijuana, is showing potential as a treatment to help prevent pain in patients getting the chemotherapy drug paclitaxel, according to researchers in Philadelphia.
According to UPI, Sara Jane Ward and her colleagues at the Temple University School of Pharmacy said cannabidiol (CBD) reduces pain and inflammation, while avoiding the psychoactive side effects of marijuana’s other cannabinoids — that is to say, the “high.”
CBD reduces paclitaxel-induced neuropathy in female mice, according to the study. Neuropathy is a potentially serious complication that can prevent patients from getting their full course of chemotherapy.
Paclitaxel is frequently used in the treatment of breast or ovarian cancer. It can cause neuropathy (nerve damage) leading to pain, numbness and tingling.
In the study, male and female mice were treated with paclitaxel and watched for evidence of neuropathy. The results showed that paclitaxel induced abnormal pain responses mainly in female mice, less so in males.
When the female mice were treated with CBD before paclitaxel, it effectively prevented the abnormal pain.
Strikingly, the preventive effect was permanent, with no evidence that nerve damage developed after CBD treatment was stopped, according to Ward.
The findings were published in the scientific journal Anesthesia & Analgesia.