New research: Cannabinoid-loaded microparticles inhibit brain cancer cell growth in mice

Researchers in Spain have found that the local administration of microparticles loaded with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) – the two major ingredients of marijuana – reduced tumor growth in a mouse model of human glioma (brain cancer).

These novel microparticles are small spheres (~50 microns in diameter) in which the therapeutic molecules (in this case, the anti-cancerous molecules THC and CBD) are encapsulated in a biodegradable polymer.  Microparticle drug carrier/delivery systems offer the benefits of controlling drug release, improving therapeutic effects, prolonging biological activity, and decreasing administration frequency.

The researchers found that when microencasulated THC and CBD was directly administered to human glioma cancer cells grafted to mice, it decreased cell proliferation, decreased angiogenesis (the penetration of blood vessels into tumors which promote metastasis), and enhanced apoptosis (the programmed death of cells).

The researcher’s findings support that microencapsulation could be a promising strategy to optimize the use of cannabinoids as anticancer agents.


Hernan Perez de la Ossa D, Lorente M, et al. Local delivery of cannabinoid-loaded microparticles inhibits tumor growth in a murine xenograft model of glioblastoma multiforme.  PLoS One. 2013; 8(1): e54795.

NOTICE TO CONSUMERS: The Compassionate Use Act of 1996 ensures that seriously ill Californians have the right to obtain and use Cannabis for medical purposes where medical use is deemed appropriate and has been recommended by a physician who has determined that the person’s health would benefit from the use of medical Cannabis. Recommendations must come from an attending physician as defined in Section 11362.7 of the Health and Safety Code. Cannabis is a Schedule I drug according to the federal Controlled Substances Act. Activity related to Cannabis use is subject to federal prosecution, regardless of the protections provided by state law.

About markrabe

Mark L. Rabe, MD, ABIHM Integrative Holistic Medicine Centric Wellness 2308 6th Avenue San Diego, CA 92101 Telephone: (619) 546-0420 Fax: (619) 615-2346 E-Mail:

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