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Kaposi’s Sarcoma

Low to Moderate

Cannabis for Kaposi’s Sarcoma

Kaposi’s sarcoma is a rare type of cancer that is caused by a virus, usually HIV, although those with a genetic vulnerability to human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) are also at greater risk of developing Kaposi’s sarcoma. The main symptom of Kaposi’s sarcoma is red or purple skin lesions on the skin or in the mouth. The cancer typically affects the gastrointestinal tract, including the mouth, stomach, intestines and anus, but can spread to lymph nodes and lungs.

Due to cannabinoids’ effects on the immune system, those who are already immunocompromised may potentially have an increased chance of developing Kaposi’s sarcoma. It is suggested that the way in which THC binds to cannabinoid receptors (i.e. as a partial agonist of CB1 and CB2 receptors), it could actually promote the reproduction of viruses such as HHV-8.

However, as cannabis contains lots of different compounds, including cannabinoid receptor antagonists such as THCV, there could be some ways in utilizing cannabinoids for Kaposi’s sarcoma. CBD has also shown some promise in treating Kaposi’s sarcoma.

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Laboratory Study

6

Meta-analysis

6

Total studies

Kaposi’s Sarcoma

12

Positive

7 studies

58%

Inconclusive

3 studies

25%

Negative

2 studies

17%

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