There is no doubt that there is increasing interest within the scientific community in cannabinoids (contained within cannabis) as potential treatment options for cancer sufferers – not just to help with the side effects of conventional treatment but in treating the cancer itself and much research has already been published.
Many research papers have demonstrated the effects of various cannabinoids on different cancer cells in the laboratory although there have yet to be carried out the kind and number of clinical trials which would be required in order for cannabinoids to be proved effective.
Due to the non-desirable effects of some cannabinoids, particularly tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), there has been a shift towards researching non-psychoactive and legal cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD).
At Make William Well we want to speed up the rate at which cannabinoids, including CBD and THC, are being tested for their effectiveness in treating childhood cancers. In 2016 we were told that in order for a drug to be considered for prescription it would need to be extensively researched before then going through clinical trials, a process which takes years.
In 2017 we persuaded William’s oncologist to write a Research Proposal and were told it would cost £100,000 for it to be carried out. With the support of Astro Brain Tumour Fund and Brain Tumour Action we raised the full amount. Within a year we received a Progress Report and six months later we were given the Results. As a result of this other research projects are under way.
What we now want to help make happen is clinical trials.
See below for a good summary of the position of the current status of cannabis and cancer, put together by the hospital where William was treated, made not long after the research project was funded: