The marijuana compound cannabidiol (CBD) “inhibits colorectal cancer progression” and “prevents tumor progression”, according to a new study published by the Journal of Pharmaceutical Analysis.
As noted by the study, colorectal tumors often create an immunosuppressive microenvironment that prevents them from responding to immunotherapy. This study “aimed to elucidate the specific anticancer mechanism of CBD by single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) and single-cell ATAC sequencing (scATAC-seq) technologies.”
Researchers state that “Here, we report that CBD inhibits colorectal cancer progression by modulating the suppressive tumor microenvironment (TME). Our single-cell transcriptome and ATAC sequencing results showed that CBD suppressed M2-like macrophages and promoted M1-like macrophages in tumors both in strength and quantity.”
Furthermore, CBD “significantly enhanced the interaction between M1-like macrophages and tumor cells and restored the intrinsic anti-tumor properties of macrophages, thereby preventing tumor progression.”
Mechanistically, CBD altered the metabolic pattern of macrophages and related anti-tumor signaling pathways.
Researchers found that “CBD inhibited the alternative activation of macrophages and shifted the metabolic process from oxidative phosphorylation and fatty acid oxidation to glycolysis by inhibiting the PI3K-Akt signaling pathway and related downstream target genes. Furthermore, CBD-mediated macrophage plasticity enhanced the response to anti-PD-1 immunotherapy in xenografted mice.”
Researchers conclude that “Taken together, we provide new insights into the anti-tumor effects of CBD.”