CBD for Cancer: Does It Help?
CBD has become increasingly popular as a natural medicine because of the many benefits this oil has to the body and health. One of the areas where good hope has been raised is in cancer treatments.
The US health authorities have approved new method of treating a lethal variant of cancer that mainly affects children. It is a historic breakthrough as it is the first gene therapy to come on the market in the United States. Now we can reprogram patients' own cells to attack deadly cancer, says Scott Gottlieb, director of the US Medicines Agency. The new method can hopefully save some of the children and young people who suffer from what is often referred to as childhood leukemia every year - a particularly aggressive form of blood cancer.
There is currently a debate about CBD and its effect on cancer. The research is at a very early stage. As it appears, CBD seems to be useful in the treatment of specific symptoms that can occur in cancer or treatment of this disease.
It is still unclear to what extent CBD can prevent or treat cancer. There are several studies with positive results, but they are still only fragments of a broader context. We will take a closer look at the state of research on CBD and cancer.
Before going through the effect of CBD on cancer, a little clarification may be in place. CBD is an abbreviation of cannabidiol. It is one of several cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant.
THC is one of the plant’s many cannabinoids. It is the substance that induces intoxication. CBD doesn’t produce such an intoxication effect. However, it seems to be good for health in several ways. We have previously written about the difference between CBD and THC.
When we talk about cannabis and cancer, we are talking about both CBD and THC. Since the health food with CBD sold contains no (or minimal THC), it is mainly the effects of CBD that we are interested in here.
At the same time, it is good to know that while some of the research is about CBD, other reports are about THC. There is also research on how CBD interacts with THC in the fight against cancer.
CBD as a complementary cancer therapy
CBD can serve as complementary cancer therapy. By that, we mean that CBD oil is used to counteract many of the many symptoms that cancer disease causes. CBD can also be used against some of the side effects of cancer treatments.
Pain relief from inflammation
Cancer and cancer treatments can lead to pain. Cancer often causes pain due to inflammation. Other causes are the pressure that cancer can cause on internal organs and damage to the nerves. When the pain is severe, the body can even become resistant to such powerful painkillers like opioids.
Here CBD can help by indirectly acting on the body’s CB2 receptors. This leads to reduced inflammation, which reduces one of the causes of pain. THC has an effect on the body’s CB1 receptors, which allows it to be used for pain caused by nerve damage. However, CBD has no proven effect against pain from nerve damage.
Cannabis for nausea
Cancer can lead to nausea and vomiting. These symptoms may be due to the disease, but primarily due to chemotherapy. Cannabis can be used against this type of symptom.
CBD oil supports healthy cannabinoid protein, also known as anandamide. Preliminary studies have shown that CBD can reduce nausea by activating certain neurotransmitters.
In other studies, THC is a chemical substance that leads to relief from this type of problem. In Sweden, treatment for nausea and vomiting is currently not possible with the help of so-called medical cannabis containing THC.
Can CBD stimulate appetite?
Some of the main side effects of cancer treatments are nausea and loss of appetite. For this reason, many cancer patients find it challenging to maintain weight. The use of marijuana is often associated with an increased appetite. Unfortunately, the appetite-stimulating effect is not linked to CBD. Instead, it is THC and other cannabinoids that stimulate the appetite. There is no evidence that CBD has any direct impact on appetite. Possibly, this substance can indirectly help by reducing anxiety symptoms, and thus have a positive effect on appetite.
Treatment of cancer with CBD
So far, no significant clinical studies have investigated how cannabis or cannabinoids can be used as a cancer treatment.
In 2006, researchers found that CBD can counteract breast cancer in mice. In 2010, a study indicated that CBD might be able to counter bladder cancer. It can also possibly prevent colon cancer or colon cancer. A 2010 study showed that CBD could increase the effect of THC in the fight against brain tumors. In 2016, researchers showed that cannabinoids could be more generally used in the battle against cancer. They found that CBD can inhibit the growth of several types of tumor cells. Their study included both test tubes and laboratory animals. However, they also discovered that some cannabinoids could weaken the immune system and thus counteract the fight against cancer.
To answer the question of whether CBD can be used to treat cancer, much more research is needed. More and more extensive studies on people are required. There are indications that CBD may, in some way, affect some types of cancer, but we cannot draw any conclusions today.
CBD can be used to counteract the symptoms associated with cancer and cancer treatments. Cannabidiol can prevent the pain that occurs in the body as a result of the inflammation that can affect the body in connection with cancer disease. Also, there are indications that CBD can counteract nausea. However, the effect on appetite is more limited. Instead, THC is used to increase appetite, but not in Sweden.
There is already a lot of research on how CBD affects cancer tumors. Several of the research results are promising, but so far, they have only been done on animals and in test tubes. Much more research is needed before any conclusions can be drawn about how CBD can be used to fight cancer.