The administration of the non-psychotropic cannabinoid CBD (cannabidiol) induces selective apoptosis in hepatic stellate cells (HSCs), according to preclinical findings reported in the journal Cell Death and Disease. The activation of HSCs is considered to be a key cellular event underlying hepatic fibrogenesis (excessive tissue build up), a condition that can result in liver failure.
Authors reported: "In this study, we find that CBD selectively kills activated HSCs. ... We provide a molecular basis of action for CBD and identify CBD as a novel potential therapeutic agent for liver fibrosis."
They concluded, "These promising findings warrant future investigation evaluating the anti-fibrotic effect of CBD in vivo. The prospect of CBD as a new anti-fibrotic compound is rendered more appealing by the fact that CBD is a non-psychoactive small drug-like molecule already approved for clinical use in many countries."
Liver fibrosis is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States.
For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Full text of the study, "Cannabidiol causes activated hepatic stellate cell death through a mechanism of endoplasmic reticulum stress-induced apoptosis," appears in Cell Death and Disease.