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Melanoma is a form of skin cancer that find its origin in the exposure to the UV rays. Exposure to UV rays can cause the cells’ DNA to mutate and, ultimately, damage them. Melanoma occurs most often in areas exposed to UV rays, but it can also develop on the soles of the feet or in other areas of the body that are not exposed or “hidden.”
There is a growing body of evidence showing the abilities of cannabis to fight cancer. A study published last year treated mice grafted with melanoma cells with a cocktail of THC and CBD. In the study, researchers from Italy, Spain and England found that the combination triggered the death of melanoma cells. Cannabinoids did this by facilitating two natural processes of cell death known as autophagy and apoptosis.
During autophagy, the cells disassemble the damaged parts that have floating inside them. It can be thought that apoptosis is a cellular suicide. During apoptosis, the cell begins to break into several parts. The other cells in the immune system clean the parts. Although autophagy´s often considered a way to prevent apoptosis, cannabinoids such as CBD stimulate these processes in cancer cells when tested in animal models.
However, these findings aren´t a complete surprise. In 2006, some of the same researchers identified the endocannabinoid system as a possible target for the treatment of melanoma. When analyzing animal models again, the Spanish team discovered that melanoma cells expressed CB1 and CB2 receptors.
When scientists activated these cell receptors, the growth and spread of melanoma cells decreased. It also stimulated cell suicide in the cancerous tissue. So there you have it, now you know how CBD can help for melanoma.
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