CBD Oil, Cancer And Treatments Like Chemotherapy
Natural Health Supplements That May Curb The Negative Effects of Cancer Treatments
Individuals living with cancer deal with pain, stress, depression, anxiety and many discomforts that come about as a result of the illness, as well as many of the treatments needed to fight the progression of the disease.
Even with a life-threatening illness, individuals afflicted with cancer want to do whatever it takes to try to feel as normal and active as possible. Their desire to pursue effective treatments and improve outcomes greatly depends on their ability to manage therapies that suppress malignant cells.
It’s unfortunate when treatments like chemotherapy can wreak such havoc on the body as a result of their effect on cancer cells and tumors. Patients can experience all manner of side effects that affect sleep cycles and energy levels, cause pain and inflammation, alter appetite, digestion, and gastrointestinal function, and can affect immunity against other illnesses.
Such issues and the stress of living with cancer, can have a greater ripple effect, often making one feel depressed, anxious, hopeless, restless, and generally lacking control over one’s own abilities and future.
Though many medications are used to curb the negative effects of cancer treatments, they can come with their own complications. For some patients, they may simply be ineffective.
This is part of the reason individuals living with cancer will often seek out more natural treatments, drug alternatives, therapies, and comforts to help alleviate negative effects and regain a sense of health and control, while others simply want something that will work and make them feel better.
The search for effective natural health supplements that benefit individuals living with cancer often is what leads people to learn about the oil and cannabinoid-based medicine.
What Is CBD Oil And What Can It Do For Cancer?
CBD oil is a natural health supplement in which CBD or cannabidiol is distilled and added to an oil. Cannabidiol is a unique chemical compound that is present in plants belonging to the genus cannabis.
Cannabidiol can be obtained from hemp and marijuana plants and is just one of many chemicals known as cannabinoids. When isolated in a form such as CBD oil, cannabinoids may be introduced to the body through topical absorption, ingestion, and inhalation.
Our bodies also produce cannabinoids, which affect us in many ways via special receptors. These receptors comprise the endocannabinoid system, which is directly connected to the central and peripheral nervous systems and thereby has strong relationships with other systems throughout the body.
When a cannabinoid, such as cannabidiol, is introduced to the body through a supplement like CBD oil, the results include a wide range of effects. A growing number of studies and anecdotal support has shown that CBD oil can help relieve pain and inflammation, regulate sleep and appetite, decrease high levels of stress, depression and anxiety, reduce nausea, vomiting, seizures, as well as many other benefits.
Study after study, research continues to confirm CBD’s potential for alleviating a range of symptoms associated with chronic and severe illnesses, including various types of cancers. CBD oil has been shown to suppress nausea and vomiting, while stimulating and regulating appetite.
It may help balance sleep cycles and ease cases of insomnia, while also relieving pain and inflammation, and providing anti-anxiety and mood-regulating effects that help counter stress and depression.
These therapeutic benefits are pertinent to easing the symptoms of certain cancers as well as many of the side effects some individuals experience while undergoing chemotherapy, using various drug therapies, and other cancer treatments.
CBD oil may also provide a special advantage as its side effects are relatively mild and well tolerated, especially when compared to many conventional painkillers, antidepressants, and anti-nausea medications.
CBD side effects have been shown to include drowsiness, changes in appetite, and diarrhea. While it’s possible to develop a tolerance with overuse, withdrawal symptoms are also mild and will typically subside within a few days.
Abruptly discontinuing CBD after overuse or long-term use can cause irritability, restlessness, hot flashes, and nausea and cramping. Even with excessive use of CBD, cases of toxicity or long-term negative health effects are unknown.
Unlike medical marijuana, marijuana-based cannabis oil, or cancer treatments that rely on THC, CBD doesn’t cause psychoactive effects, nor is it likely to cause feelings of apprehension or paranoia that some people experience with THC use. Though CBD and THC are both derived from cannabis plants—and are two of many different types of known cannabinoids—they are separate and unique, each carrying their own effects.
Some cannabis-based complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) in cancer treatments contain both THC and CBD, but it is possible to experience a range of therapeutic effects using just CBD as a cannabinoid-based medicine. THC or marijuana is not required in the production of effective, high-quality cannabidiol medicines.
When considering cannabidiol oil as a CAM or supplemental health aid during cancer treatment, it’s important to understand that CBD has not yet been approved by the FDA for treatment of any cancers or cancer-related symptoms.
Cannabidiol health products are not currently regulated by a central agency or governing body. It is therefore up to the individual to ensure the quality and safety of the CBD product they’re using.
It’s also of the utmost importance that a primary care physician and/or oncologist be involved with the decision to use CBD oil for any cancer-related symptoms or side effects of a cancer treatment.
Though the oil is derived from natural sources and growing research continues to support its safety and efficacy, potential contraindications may occur. This is why it is necessary to fully educate yourself on CBD and discuss your specific case with your doctor before trying any new treatment.
It’s best to have a medical professional who is familiar with your case and how CBD works so that you can receive guidance on specifics like usage and dose, and contraindications with whatever current drugs or therapy you may be using.
While there is a lot of hype in the media and from numerous published articles online, only you and your doctor can decide if CBD is likely to provide you with relief with respect to your diagnosis and current state of health.
Your doctor should also be able to guide you on what will work best concerning your method of use. The natural supplement can be taken in food or beverages, inhaled through the lungs, or applied topically to the skin.
If your specific condition might prevent you from using something like a vape pen or digesting edibles containing CBD, there are varied methods that allow for easy administration based on your needs, but it is always best to discuss your desired or intended treatment approach with your doctor.
“More promising areas appear to include diabetes and cancer where CBD exhibits lesser side effects and more therapeutic benefits as compared to recent available medical therapies. Hence, CBD is a promising substance for the development of a new drug.”
Does CBD Oil Prevent Cancer?
Researchers are exploring how CBD and other treatments targeting the endocannabinoid system might be used to prevent and slow the progression of some diseases. There is not yet any confirmation of CBD’s ability to do this, but preliminary studies show promise, particularly when it comes to the suppression of cancer cell advancement. So far, the science holds reasons for optimism.
When tested in mice and rats, cannabinoids have been shown to prevent the reproduction of cancer cells and have contributed to the death of tumors by blocking blood vessel development and reducing cell growth in malignant cells and tissues.
In both laboratory and animal studies, cannabinoids were shown to not only kill cancer cells but also protect normal, healthy cells in the process. This protective effect may serve as a means of cancer prevention, however much more research will be required before CBD’s ability to reliably prevent any disease is confirmed.
CBD and cannabinoid-based treatments have been shown to be effective when tested against specific types of cancers. Tests in mice have shown that CBD’s anti-inflammatory effects may reduce the risk of and provide treatment for colon cancer.
Laboratory studies have shown that CBD can eliminate cancerous breast cells while having little to no effect on the cells of normal breast tissue. When tested in animal models, metastatic breast cancer cells were reduced and their reproduction inhibited when cannabinoids were introduced.
Other laboratory studies showed that glioma tumor cells were eliminated through a combined treatment of chemotherapy and CBD, while healthy cells remained unharmed. Other studies have also shown that CBD combined with delta-9-THC could enhance the effectiveness of chemotherapy. Such outcomes provide reasons to be optimistic about the use of CBD and other cannabis-derived medicines in the treatment of certain types of brain cancer.
It is important to note that while these preliminary studies provide support for CBD’s value in cancer treatments, as well as its use in symptom management, the National Cancer Institute has confirmed that there are currently no ongoing, human-based clinical trials of cannabis as a treatment for cancer.
There have however been multiple human-based studies that test the use of cannabinoids as a means of managing the side effects of cancer therapies, including the treatment of acute graft-versus-host disease resulting from allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, prevention of recurrent glioblastoma multiforme, and in treating the reoccurrence of solid tumors.
In the United States, the only FDA approved CBD based medication is used for the treatment of two rare forms of epilepsy. There is not yet a regulated or approved CBD based treatment that’s regularly prescribed for cancer, symptoms related to cancer, or side effects of cancer treatments.
There are however two cannabinoid-based drugs derived from delta-9 THC, a cannabinoid-based compound that’s different from cannabinol. It has been FDA approved under the names dronabinol and nabilone for treatment of nausea and vomiting. It is primarily prescribed as an alternative for patients who have not responded or who have responded poorly to standard therapies.
Treatments that combine delta-9 THC and CBD have been clinically tested in international studies, but no medication is currently approved by the FDA for use as a supplement in any cancer treatments.
While it is difficult to say when and if CBD may become an approved and regulated treatment, some individuals have elected to see how CBD oil may benefit their health situation.
While CBD is regarded as a relatively low-risk health supplement and it is increasingly available online and through medical cannabis dispensaries, it’s important to discuss your interest in using CBD oil with your primary doctor or oncologist. You must ensure there are no contraindications with your current course of treatment or any possible detriment to your state of health.
Even if you have not been diagnosed with any illnesses and are considering CBD oil as a cancer preventative, make sure you do your research and talk to your doctor before using any new health supplement.
“Cannabidiol, a safe and non-psychotropic ingredient of Cannabis sativa, exerts pharmacological actions (antioxidant and intestinal anti-inflammatory) and mechanisms (inhibition of endocannabinoid enzymatic degradation) potentially beneficial for colon carcinogenesis. Thus, we investigated its possible chemopreventive effect in the model of colon cancer induced by azoxymethane (AOM) in mice.”
“Our study revealed an intricate interplay between apoptosis and autophagy in CBD-treated breast cancer cells and highlighted the value of continued investigation into the potential use of CBD as an antineoplastic agent.”