This phase II clinical trial investigates a one-time oromucosal dose of tetrahydrocannabinol/cannabidiol (THC/CBD) in 23 patients with indolent leukemic B cell lymphomas. Primary endpoint was a significant reduction in leukemic B cells. Grade 1 - 2 adverse events were seen in 91% of the patients; most common were dry mouth (78%), vertigo (70%), and somnolence (43%). After THC/CBD a significant reduction in leukemic B cells (median, 11%) occurred within two hours (p = .014), and remained for 6 h without induction of apoptosis or proliferation. Normal B cells and T cells were also reduced. CXCR4 expression increased on leukemic cells and T cells. All effects were gone by 24 h. Our results show that a single dose of THC/CBD affects a wide variety of leukocytes and only transiently reduce malignant cells in blood. Based on this study, THC/CBD shows no therapeutic potential for indolent B cell lymphomas (EudraCT trial no. 2014-005553-39).
Keywords: CBD; CXCR4; Chronic lymphocytic leukemia; THC; cannabinoids; diurnal rhythm; lymphoma.