Spinning Research

Some recent highlights and curiosities from the amazing world of cannabis science and therapeutics.
By Adrian Devitt-Lee On March 27, 2019

Last week we wrote about a study on CBD and cancer. The authors suggested that CBD was fighting cancer cells by blocking a receptor called GPR55. A study published this year in Biomedical Pharmacotherapies presented similar results with a very different interpretation. The article showed that by activating GPR55, chemical analogs of CBD were able to protect insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. The authors see this in terms of its implications for type II diabetes. But the cell line used for the experiment is derived from a cancerous tumor! So this research could also be interpreted to mean that activating GPR55 protects cancer cells from stress. This underscores why preclinical research is only a first step in developing medicines. Dramatically different conclusions can be derived from similar results. That said, one study shouldn’t be seen as “right” or “wrong.” Both papers add to the understanding of how GPR55 regulates human diseases.

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Adrian Devitt-Lee, Project CBD's chief science writer, is employed as a research chemist by the University College of London.