How Can CBD Assist Patients Taking Cancer Treatments?
January 17, 2022

How Can CBD Assist Patients Taking Cancer Treatments?

Cannabidiol (CBD) oil has become a household name recently. It is praised for its miraculous medicinal properties and features, and is produced in a variety of forms, the most widespread being CBD oil. Due to the wide availability of CBD and hopeful results of studies more and more people with cancer are turning to CBD to manage the disease and its symptoms, or just as an alternative method to couple with the basic treatments. 

Thus, if you have been diagnosed with cancer, there are several treatments that your doctor will recommend. The most common treatment methods are chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation. Other treatments include immunotherapy, targeted therapy, hormonal therapy, laser, and others. Naturally, all these treatment types work in different ways, and very often a patient is prescribed a combination of some of them for a faster and better result.

Quite recently, comprehensive research has been carried out to reveal the astonishing effects of cannabinoids, and the results prove to be really promising. These and many other issues concerning the effects CBD can have on patients with cancer are going to be discussed further in the article.

Studies on the Cancer -Treating Properties of CBD

There is conclusive evidence that cannabinoids can help reduce tumor growth in certain animals with cancer. Besides CBD can also increase the potency of certain drugs used in cancer treatment and inhibit cancer cell migration.

To start with, CBD is a compound derived from one of the oldest plant-based medicines known to people. It does not contain the psychoactive levels of THC; hence it does not cause “high” and neither does it develop a dependence.

In 2018 the FDA approved the oral solution Epidiolex to help reduce the number of seizures in patients with epilepsy. Actually, cannabinoids have been used to treat patients with cancer since 1985. It was then that the FDA approved Marinol, a synthetic THC product, to alleviate nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy.  But CBD’s role in cancer treatment is still obscure.

However, there are some promising studies carried out in this respect. And summing up their results we can say that most of them provide some solid evidence that cannabinoids can prevent tumor growth, diminish tumor spread and provoke tumor cell death. In one study (2010), it has been found that CBD can considerably reduce breast cancer cell proliferation. Besides, according to some evidence the most potent dose of CBD can help reduce cancer pain, stimulate the appetite. But so far, the studies have been carried out mostly on animals, and more research on people is necessary to be able to say for sure that CBD is a safe and effective cancer treatment, or a complementary treatment for patients with cancer.

As is known, some of the basic cancer treatments, namely chemotherapy and radiation, cause a bunch of unwanted side effects. Among these the most widespread adverse events are vomiting, nausea, insomnia, anxiety, loss of appetite, leading to weight loss eventually. A worthy and potentially fruitful research carried out in 2016 suggests that CBD along with less than 0,3% THC levels can alleviate neuropathic pain and nausea, stimulate the patient’s appetite and display its anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety effects.

CBD as a Cancer Preventive

Many health professionals today look at CBD as a complementary method rather than as an alternative to a traditional treatment method. Meanwhile many patients have noted that the relative higher dosage of CBD helped them better the daily quality of their life, improve the quality and quantity of their sleep, and reduce the level of anxiety and depression.

There is some anecdotal evidence as to CBD’s role in preventing cancer. Some more long-term research is required on people consuming various CBD products, monitoring the dosage, the side effects, and the frequency of use.

There is a wide array of CBD products sold online to choose from: oil, tincture, edibles, capsules, creams, vapes, and sprays. CBD oils enjoy most popularity among cancer patients, though topicals are also widely used to help with dryness and discomfort of the skin after radiation.

Side-Effects of CBD

When it comes to the side effects of CBD, there are not enough studies on the potential risks of CBD, so it cannot be claimed with full certainty that it is devoid of negative side effects. However, it must be mentioned that it has a good safety profile and is well-tolerated by patients. Most negative side effects occur because of the interaction of CBD with other medications. These can be diarrhea, headaches, uncontrolled vomiting, tiredness or exhaustion, weight changes, etc. No research has been done so far to say for sure whether CBD affects hormones in the body or not, or whether CBD can weaken or strengthen the effect of other medications. Some studies, though suggest that CBD can affect the metabolic function of the liver which will lead to the overconcentration of some medications in the system.

If you are taking antibiotics, blood thinners, oral or IV chemotherapy, sedatives, antiseizure and thyroid medications, you should consult your health professional before going for CBD. Just keep in mind that everybody is unique, so no one can say for sure how CBD will influence their body.

How to Choose CBD Products

It is rather difficult to pick a most safe and effective CBD product from among the wide variety of the types. Some products sold online may have false claims on their labels, so one should be very cautious while choosing a CBD product. You should also look for information concerning the  third- party lab test results, the sourcing and manufacturing, and avoid the products with exaggerated health claims.

The Takeaway

CBD can help patients with cancer to relieve neuropathic pain, anxiety, reduce vomiting, nausea, improve the appetite, the quality of sleep. However, it should not be used instead of the basic treatment methods. More comprehensive studies are needed as to CBD’s dosage, risks, administration and effects on the patients with cancer.