Cannabidiol Inhibits Epithelial Ovarian Cancer: Role of Gut Microbiome

J Nat Prod. 2024 Apr 11. doi: 10.1021/acs.jnatprod.3c00782. Online ahead of print.


Epithelial ovarian cancer is among the deadliest gynecological tumors worldwide. Clinical treatment usually consists of surgery and adjuvant chemo- and radiotherapies. Due to the high rate of recurrence and rapid development of drug resistance, the current focus of research is on finding effective natural products with minimal toxic side effects for treating epithelial ovarian tumors. Cannabidiol is among the most abundant cannabinoids and has a non-psychoactive effect compared to tetrahydrocannabinol, which is a key advantage for clinical application. Studies have shown that cannabidiol has antiproliferative, pro-apoptotic, cytotoxic, antiangiogenic, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory properties. However, its therapeutic value for epithelial ovarian tumors remains unclear. This study aims to investigate the effects of cannabidiol on epithelial ovarian tumors and to elucidate the underlying mechanisms. The results showed that cannabidiol has a significant inhibitory effect on epithelial ovarian tumors. In vivo experiments demonstrated that cannabidiol could inhibit tumor growth by modulating the intestinal microbiome and increasing the abundance of beneficial bacteria. Western blot assays showed that cannabidiol bound to EGFR/AKT/MMPs proteins and suppressed EGFR/AKT/MMPs expression in a dose-dependent manner. Network pharmacology and molecular docking results suggested that cannabidiol could affect the EGFR/AKT/MMPs signaling pathway.