A lot of information shedding light on CBD’s potential to treat cancer is either inconclusive or inaccurate.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a supposed miracle drug of our century. However, even though it’s advertised as a “cure-all,” there’s still a faction that suspects that claim.
But what does science say?
Unfortunately, CBD science is still in its infancy.
Thorough research hasn’t taken place to investigate the use of cannabis as a viable cancer treatment. This is mainly because of legal technicalities and prohibitions. To this day, the government is apprehensive of allowing researchers to study the medicinal side of cannabis.
Despite all that, there is a bit of information out there. This article will enlighten you on the relationship between cancer and CBD and offer advice and views regarding CBD usage for cancer treatment.
Is CBD a Cure for Cancer?
No one can say that CBD is a surefire cure for cancer. Still, some evidence suggests that it may help make cancer treatment’s side effects a little more bearable.
Throughout our time here on Earth, we have found that there are over 200 types of cancer. Each of these requires individual treatments.
CBD has been shown to restrain the spread of cancer in lab studies. However, scientists have only studied the effects of CBD treatment for certain types of cancers. Still, the results from these studies have been generally positive.
Some studies have found that CBD can successfully inhibit tumor growth when it comes to certain cancers. Although, which type of cancers CBD works best for is still up for debate. Moreover, CBD dosage guidelines to treat cancer also remain undecided.
Some might start prescribing CBD oils to cancer patients to help with their disease. However, in most cases, this doesn’t work. This is why scientists need to dig deeper into the properties of CBD to modulate cancer cell production, including but not limited to;
- the way CBD can moderate the growth of cells responsible for tumorigenesis
- the cell cycle sequence
- the multiplication and death of cells
- CBD and immune system interactions
The FDA cannot approve CBD for cancer treatment if there isn’t more research in the domains mentioned above. In short, a doctor can’t prescribe you CBD as a primary treatment if you’ve been diagnosed with cancer.
One of CBD research’s major shortcomings is that it’s only ever been studied for some cancers. Essentially, we still aren’t sure how CBD regulates cancer cell production in the human body.
CBD Science on Cancer
As stated before, there isn’t enough research done on this topic. However, no matter how premature, the research suggests that CBD might stop the spread of cancer cells for some types of cancers.
Best gleaned from this is that while CBD might not be a panacea, it could help stop cancer progression in some individuals. This fact alone can save people’s lives.
When we say there isn’t enough research done regarding this topic, we mean that whatever research is done nowadays is limited to lab conditions. Meaning, CBD studies aren’t done on real people and center around animal models, which don’t necessarily apply to humans.
CBD For Chemotherapy
CBD oils might alleviate symptoms and treat some adverse side effects of cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy. Chemotherapy, while it is a beneficial treatment, can cause a myriad of side effects such as;
- loss of hair
- appetite loss
- mouth sores
Studies have found that the usage of CBD can mitigate these side effects. This is mainly because of our body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) interacts with the cannabinoids in cannabis and hemp to produce therapeutic effects. Cannabinoids apparently mimic some of our bodies’ natural chemicals, making their binding to central nervous system receptors quite easy.
Although there aren’t many instances of it ever happening, CBD might interfere with some medications. That is why you should always consult your doctor before taking any form of CBD for cancer treatment.
Below are some of the ways CBD helps alleviate the side effects and symptoms of cancer treatment and cancer itself:
- Appetite loss: CBD has been shown to reduce nausea and anxiety, some primary causes of appetite loss after chemotherapy.
- Nausea: CBD balances ECS, which is produced when there is an overload of anxiety in our body. ECS also regulates nausea and vomiting, so CBD helps in relieving these symptoms as well.
- Pain: ECS also regulates pain, as CBD can block pain receptors in our central nervous system.
THC and marijuana in cancer treatments
THC is in the same boat as CBDs when it comes to modulating cell growth. Again, research is fairly limited. There’s a 45% less chance of people developing bladder cancer if they consume marijuana, a study found in 2015.
THC also works to regulate appetite as it affects the same receptors as CBD but in a much stronger way. Cannabis smokers have better appetites. However, there isn’t enough research to sustain this claim.
Moreover, unlike CBD supplements that are predominantly legal, THC substances are still illegal in several states.
Side effects of Cannabinoid Cancer drugs
Some CBD-based drugs have been formulated to treat cancer in patients. Two of these — dronabinol and nabilone— are the most well-known. However, these can cause some side effects and complications.
Some people who’ve been on this drug reported having increased blood pressure, heart rate, loss of consciousness, and fatigue. Moreover, these drugs can also alter your moods and induce “highs” that pose risks to people with underlying mental conditions, such as schizophrenia.
Nabilone, in particular, can induce paranoia, hallucinations, and other harmful effects. The drugs can also amplify alcohol and sedatives’ effects, causing loss of motor skills and drowsiness. You might also experience short-term memory loss.
The longer you’re on these medications, the more noticeable the side effects. That’s why older patients are given lower doses of dronabinol and nabilone.
Make sure you consult your doctor before taking cannabinoid drugs. It’s good to have an expert opinion. This improves your chances of incorporating any CBD medications in your cancer treatment.