What is the optimum cannabinoid profile for treating cancer?

I’m currently assisting Bud Buddies  with a series of informative self-help films on medicinal cannabis issues and the first video will be one I conducted with Professor Cristina Sanchez of Madrid Complutense University.

I notice from this short interview (below) that Cristina talks briefly about individual cannabinoid profiles for cancer sufferers, this is something that we will cover in much greater detail in our video on breast cancer. It’s a pity that the interviewer in the short film below didn’t press Cristina on the cannabinoid profiles but without an understanding of the subject it’s very difficult to ask the right questions.

From my interview with Cristina, it is apparent that Rick Simpsons insistence that cancer patients should only administer a high 90%+ THC cannabis oil extraction to treat their cancer is not necessarily the best advice. The research conducted at Madrid University (in animal models) indicates that both THC & CBD have anti-cancer properties and their research has produced some very interesting results. For example: in treating gliomas it seems that THC and combinations of THC & CBD in equal amounts is the most effective, yet in treating breast cancer CBD, THC or a combination of both are all equally effective. This is pretty ground breaking imo and it will be of particular interest to breast cancer sufferers who live in a jurisdiction where CBD is legal.

In the UK for instance CBD is not subject to the Misuse of Drugs Act (unlike cannabis and THC) therefore you can purchase and possess CBD legally, if you are a breast cancer suffer in the UK you can obtain CBD products from companies like www.endoca.com who deliver to the UK.

I agree with Dr Sanchez when she says: “Each individual, each patient needs a particular ratio of cannabinoids, that is what we have seen in pre-clinical models”

“Each patient is in a different situation and each offers a different clinical challenge”

One thing is very obvious, we need more research and lots of it.

Jeff Ditchfield

Cancer & cannabinoid research fundraiser for Madrid Complutense University


A message from Professor Guillermo Velasco from Madrid Complutense University:

“”We are really really thankful to all the generous people who have donated their money to fund this research. We feel honored to be the recipients of this donation and at the same time feel a great responsibility. We will use every single euro in pushing forward our research on the anticancer activity of cannabinoids”.

“The research that we have developed during the past 15 years has helped to demonstrate that cannabinoids have anticancer activity by themselves and that they can also enhance the anticancer action of other anti-tumoral agents at least in animal models of cancer.”

“However there are still many open questions that need to be answered in this area of research including the identification of the right combination of cannabinoids and other anticancer therapies that could be more effective in each patient an tumor type. Likewise the mechanism of cannabinoid anticancer action needs to be investigated in further detail. All these studies will contribute to pave the way to the development of clinical studies that will test the anticancer activity of cannabinoids in humans suffering cancer.”

” The development of this project will be one important step forward towards the achievement of these objectives”.

Please make a donation to this important experiment, full details below


Artículo: Are the cancer sufferers who are self-administering cannabis extracts following the hype or the science?

SEICMy recent article was published by the Spanish Cannabinoid Research Society.



I have been studying and researching the medicinal properties and application of cannabis and cannabis preparations since 2000. I am the author of Cannabis Cultivator ⁽¹⁾ and co-author of The Medical Cannabis Handbook ⁽²⁾, I have also recently been involved with a documentary following 6 terminal cancer patients self-medicating with cannabis oil (Project Storm ⁽³⁾).

Cannabis Medications

Although the conventional path to market for new medicines is a very long and arduous road, all cannabinoid medications and treatments will have to complete the regulatory process ⁽⁴⁾. In Europe new medicinal products come under the authority of The European Agency for the Evaluation of Medicinal Products ⁽⁵⁾ which is the EU equivalent of the US Food and Drug Administration ⁽⁶⁾. Both EMEA and the FDA have similar mandates; their main requirement is to demonstrate the efficacy and safety of new drugs. From laboratory to patient Due to the length of the regulatory process it is usually many years before the work of academics is translated into medications and treatments available to the public, however in relation to cannabis, cannabis extracts and preparations many individuals are choosing to self-medicate.

It is virtually unheard of for a patient to self-administer an experimental drug that is going through preclinical and/or phased trials, however due to the unique circumstances surrounding cannabis (political, cultural & legal) we find ourselves in somewhat unchartered territory. An example of the work of academics directly influencing individual’s actions is the cannabinoid research conducted at Madrid Complutense University. Their experiments in vitro and in vivo in relation to gliomas indicate that equal amounts of THC and CBD may be more effective than either THC or CBD alone ⁽⁷⁾. It is now becoming more common to find glioma patients (and indeed sufferers of other cancers) self-administering 1:1 THC:CBD cannabis oils; previously the preferred choice was for a high THC oil.

The availability of 1:1 oils has been made possible as some cannabis breeders have (through cross breeding) introduced CBD to existing high THC varieties of cannabis creating CBD rich strains, there are now a wide range of stable 1:1 cannabis strains commercially available ⁽⁸⁾. Here in Spain I have access to a wide variety of cannabinoid profiles ranging from high THC producing plants (22% THC by dry weight) with zero CBD to 28:1 CBD:THC strains.7

1 2 1

Here is one of my (ethanol) extractions made from a 1:1 THC:CBD strain, Skunk Haze ⁽⁹⁾. The HPLC test indicates almost complete decarboxylation of the phytocannabinoids with zero amounts of CBD-a and 5.6 mg/g of THC-a.

1 2 1

At 39.9% CBD and 33.1% THC, with an overall cannabinoid content of 79.8%, this is a well-balanced whole plant extraction. An added advantage of CBD is that it can mitigate the psychoactive effects of THC. Which are more effective? Individual cannabinoids or whole plant extracts? From what I observe in the academic world, the majority of the research currently being undertaken involves the use of individual (pure) cannabinoids, either alone or in combination.

There are over 5,000 strains of cannabis plant and cannabis consumers are very aware that strains can often express varying psychological and physical effects despite having very similar cannabinoid profiles. The differing effects are due in part to the terpenoids, which are another pharmacologically active constituent of cannabis, McPartland & Russo’s 2001 paper Cannabis and Cannabis Extracts: Greater Than the Sum of Their Parts? ⁽¹⁰⁾ reports: “Terpenoids may alter the pharmacokinetics of THC by changing the Blood Brain Barrier (BBB); cannabis extracts are known to cause a significant increase in BBB permeability (Agrawal et al. 1989).” The inclusion of terpenes could be beneficial in the treatment of glioma patients. An example: Although terpenes are present in whole plant extracts some are lost during the decarboxylation process due to their low boiling points, the most abundant of the terpenoids found in decarboxylated whole plant extracts is Beta-caryophyllene which interacts with the CB₂ receptor. Betacaryophyllene is also an effective antiinflammatory ⁽¹¹⁾ and it can also help to moderate the effects of the psychoactive cannabinoids.


Terpenes are produced (like cannabinoids) within the trichome.

Often referred to as, resin, the trichome is a glandular structure, predominantly found in the flowering tops of the female plants; trichomes are the chemical factories of the cannabis plant. Terpenes also have a pharmacological effect and whole plant extractions using the correct methodology retain the terpenes. The terpenoids-cannabinoids entourage effect ⁽¹²⁾, is a term coined by Dr. Ethan Russo (of GW Pharma) in his 2011 paper published by the British Journal of Pharmacology which describes the importance of the synergistic contribution of terpenoids ⁽¹³⁾. I am currently working with The Beckley Foundation ⁽¹⁴⁾ and the newly formed “Cannabinoid Research Group”. We will shortly be funding research (here in Spain) to discover if whole plant extracts or individual cannabinoids are more effective as anti-cancer agents than individual pure cannabinoids. Other areas of research for The Beckley Foundation Cannabinoid Research Group: To discover the mechanism of action of CBD. Investigate the bio-availability of cannabinoids, including dosage, & methods of administration. To investigate why some people cancer sufferers consuming cannabis extracts experience remission but not others.


1. Cannabis Cultivator

2. The Medical Cannabis Handbook

3. Project storm

4. The European regulatory system for medicines and the EMA

5. The European Agency for the Evaluation of Medicinal Products

6. US Food and Drug Administration

7. A Combined Preclinical Therapy of Cannabinoids & Temozolomide against Glioma

8. CBD Crew

9. Skunk Haze

10. Cannabis and Cannabis Extracts: Greater Than the Sum of Their Parts?

11. The Endocannabinoid System and Plant Derived Cannabinoids in Diabetes and Diabetic Complications

12. Entourage Effect

13. Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy & phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects

14. The Beckley Foundation

New book available on Amazon

Also available on kindle

The definitive guide to medicinal cannabis

By RaphH on 29 Nov. 2014

Format: Paperback
Verified Purchase

I cannot put this down. I have really bad chronic pain from an unusual Neuropathy. Others like myself are being denied basic rights to have access to very safe Medical Cannabis. I am not talking about people being high on a “joint” or a “spliff” but real medicine that is proved to work by scientific studies.

The authors explain what went wrong. We need change. It is written of a market were people can get hold of safe dried plants and explains in detail how to make your own oils. Unfortunately to have that amount of dried flowers in the UK, you would be arrested!

This is a National shameful tragedy! Denying people their basic rights. There is a company making a fortune out of selling their product to the NHS that could be produced for a tenth of the cost.

The writers then go on and show you how to grow your own and produce medical cannabis oil. Very comprehensive!

The UK needs a modern day Dr Bourne

Dr Bourne

By Jeff Ditchfield

From 1861 until 1967 abortion was illegal in the UK.

Under the Offences Against the Person Act it was an offence to supply or use any “poison or other noxious thing” or to use “any instrument or other means” to cause a woman to miscarry. This act outlawed abortion by either the woman or any other person including a doctor, nurse, midwife or pharmacist.

In 1938, a brave doctor Alec Bourne performed an illegal abortion on a 14-year-old girl who had been raped by five soldiers, in his “medical opinion” it was necessary to conduct an abortion to avoid the girl becoming “a nervous wreck”.

After conducting the abortion Dr Bourne confessed to the police and he was subsequently charged with performing an illegal abortion, he was put on trial at Crown Court (R v Bourne [1938]) where he was acquitted by the jury.

Mr Justice Macnaghten said in his judgement:

“If the doctor is of the opinion, on reasonable grounds and with adequate knowledge, that the probable consequence of the continuance of the pregnancy will be to make the woman a physical or mental wreck, the jury are entitled to take the view that the doctor is operating for the purpose of preserving the life of the mother”

After the acquittal abortions were carried out by physicians in cases where the woman’s physical or mental health was deemed to be in danger.


According to the General Medical Council there are 238,000 doctors in the UK and not one of them has written out a prescription for cannabinoids to treat children dying from cancer, where is today’s Dr Bourne?

If a UK doctor is willing to write a prescription for a cancer patient and if a UK pharmacist is unwilling or unable to fulfil it then I can.


Professor Manuel Guzman

The Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology at Madrid University is headed by Professor Manuel Guzmán (born 1963), his PhD and post-doctoral research focused on the study of the regulation of liver and brain lipid metabolism. Since 2001 he has been involved in the study of how the active components of cannabis (cannabinoids) act in the body, with special emphasis on the molecular mechanisms of action and on understanding how cannabinoids control cell generation and death.

It was a privilege to interview Manuel

Which cannabinoid is the most effective against cancer?

Many people are aware of the anti-cancer properties of cannabinoids, e.g. they can:

  • Trigger cancer cell death (apoptosis)
  • Stop cancer cells dividing
  • Prevent new blood vessels from growing into tumours (angiogenesis)
  • Reduce cancer cells spreading throughout the body (metastasising)
  • Speed up autophagy, which can lead to cell death

But which is the most effective cannabinoid against cancer?

According to Rick Simpson, it is THC and only if it is 95% – 98% potency but the science and the lab experiments indicate that for certain cancers different cannabinoids or even combinations of cannabinoids may be more effective than THC alone

e.g. in the treatment of gliomas. At the University of Madrid they have conducted some experiments into treating gliomas with just THC, just CBD, THC & CBD combined, and THC & CBD alongside the chemotherapy drug Temozolomide

The experiments on human glioma cells so far have been restricted to animal models, however the experiments have been conducted on human cancerous glioma cells and the results indicate that THC & CBD are more effective when they’re combined than just THC on its own.

The most interesting result is that it is only when they administered THC alongside TMZ (Temozolomide) did they get regression

As illustrated below


I’m not claiming that Rick’s wrong and Madrid University are correct but what this illustrates is that people have to do their own research and make up their own minds as to what’s their best course of action

My best advice?, follow the science