How CBD Can Treat Cancer
Can CBD Really Help To Treat Cancer? An increasing number of people get diagnosed with cancer every day throughout the world. In fact, according to Cancer Research UK, getting diagnosed with cancer occurs more frequently than getting married, having a first baby, or graduating from college. It’s a complex disease where certain cells split and
Can CBD Really Help To Treat Cancer?
An increasing number of people get diagnosed with cancer every day throughout the world. In fact, according to Cancer Research UK, getting diagnosed with cancer occurs more frequently than getting married, having a first baby, or graduating from college. It’s a complex disease where certain cells split and form what we call tumors, which can grow and spread in other parts of the body. There’s been a lot of talk, especially in the past couple of years, that hemp-derived CBD oil is a great natural treatment for cancer for it prevents malignant cell growth, thus killing the tumor(s) as well as helping with chemotherapy treatment.
In this article, we’re going to explore all of this, explain what CBD is, and support our findings with scientific studies and research regarding the most common types of cancer and CBD’s effect on them.
What Exactly is CBD?
CBD is a type of cannabinoid; a naturally occurring substance found in varieties of cannabis plants like hemp and marijuana. It’s the second most dominant substance in cannabis after the widely known THC, with numerous medical benefits. It’s non-addictive, it’s not emotionally destabilizing, and what’s more, industrial hemp-derived CBD, like the one we offer, is not psychoactive like THC is, so it won’t get you in the state known as “high” nor affect your alertness throughout the day.
As a result of its ability to bind with and activate different cannabinoid receptors in the human body, this safe medicine alternative protects us from various conditions associated with the brain, the central nervous system, the immune system and so on, and according to anecdotal evidence and scientific research, it can be highly beneficial in cancer treatment, which we’ll explain as you read further.
What is CBD’s Effect on Cancer?
“Divide and conquer” might have been Caesar’s strategy to rule the Roman Empire, but it also applies to cancer when it comes to malignant cancer cells. These cells divide and continuously grow, making the tumor progressively bigger while spreading throughout the body. This is where CBD comes into play, with its anti-proliferative properties that inhibit cell division and growth in certain types of cancer, not allowing the tumor to grow.
Cancer cells can also spread to other parts of the body. This spreading makes the cells metastatic, meaning that by traveling through the blood, they find another place to occupy. CBD, being the “golden” cannabinoid, prevents this cancer cell migration, which is why we can say that it has anti-metastatic properties.
In order to keep themselves alive, tumors require lots of blood which they take through a process called angiogenesis. This way the tumors “feed” on the blood, grow new blood vessels, and continuously grow bigger and bigger. CBD has been shown to inhibit angiogenesis by having anti-angiogenesis properties, thus blocking the tumor’s blood supply and preventing it from growing.
Lastly, we come to the big question if CBD can actually kill cancer cells. Well, according to this study, CBD has antiangiogenic effects and can potentially kill neuroblastoma cells, which are tumor cells that form in the nerve tissue, very frequent among children. More studies are needed in order to confirm this, but according to the existing scientific literature, CBD is the future medicine when it comes to treating cancer.
How Does CBD Help With Chemotherapy?
Chemotherapy is a drag. We all know this, since this treatment affects the healthy cells of cancer patients, causing numerous side-effects like nausea, vomiting, lack of energy, diarrhea, fatigue, nerve damage and so on.
Paclitaxel, the chemotherapy medication used to treat various types of cancers like breast cancer, lung cancer, ovarian cancer, pancreatic cancer and a few more, usually causes neuropathy, which means nerve damage. For this common chemotherapy side-effect doctors usually prescribe anticonvulsant and antidepressant medication. CBD, having both anticonvulsant and antidepressant properties, can be a great natural alternative to Paclitaxel by alleviating the neuropathy-induced pain and numbness.
CBD also has anti-inflammatory properties due to its ability to bind to the CB2 receptors which regulate painful inflammation, found mostly in our body’s immune system. It also significantly reduces neuroinflammation (inflammation of the nervous tissue), by binding and activating the TRPV-1 receptor which plays a central role in neurogenic inflammation.
Other common side-effects of chemotherapy are nausea and vomiting. For this doctors usually prescribe antiemetic drugs that can be also used for treating upset stomach or diarrhea, as well as some other common side-effects. Again, we come back to CBD and its anti-emetic and anti-nausea properties that treat and prevent nausea and vomiting induced by chemotherapy. According to this research published in 2012, CBD has this effect by indirectly activating the 5-HT1A cannabinoid receptors in the dorsal raphe nucleus.
During chemotherapy, the patient’s mental health can be affected as well. Fortunately, CBD is proven to be a natural anxiolytic agent with prohedonic effect, meaning that it reduces negative thinking and induces positive mindset. This is due to its ability to bind to the 5-HT1A receptors in the endocannabinoid system, which was tested in a research conducted in 2009. Evidence confirmed that CBD weakens the effects of stress and anxiety, as well as depressive behaviors, by binding to the 5-HT1A receptors, which interestingly, play a bigger role than the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 in reducing anxiety.
Scientific Literature Evidence
There’s been a lot of scientific research done in the past decade exploring the effects CBD has on cancer cells, mostly conducted on mice and rats. Almost all studies recognize CBD’s potential in preventing both cancer spread and growth, so the following studies show CBD’s potential in treating the three most common types of cancer.
Glioma tumor cells are basically brain tumors that start either in the brain or the spine. This kind of brain tumor, that can affect both children and adults, grows from glial cells and makes up about 80% of all malignant tumors. By being fast-growing, it’s very difficult to treat or be completely removed with surgery.
A study published by Dr. Massi et al. reviewed the antitumor effects of CBD regarding glioma cells. The researchers concluded that CBD has anti-proliferative properties by not allowing the glioma tumor cells to grow and spread throughout the brain, which was confirmed in a study published a year later.
The most recent anecdotal evidence that we have regarding brain tumor is William Frost’s case, a four-year-old child who was battling an aggressive brain tumor and whose parents were told that he has only one more year left of his life. Nevertheless, instead of giving up after the doctor’s prediction, his parents started treating him with CBD oil which contained no THC whatsoever, just like our products. Only a couple of months later, William’s tumor became smaller by two-thirds and he could continue living his live like any other child, eventually going back to school.
Lung cancer, or lung carcinoma, causes the most deaths among cancer patients for both men and women. This may be the reason why more and more people treat this type of cancer with CBD hemp oil, after a growing number of studies suggest its anti-proliferative and anti-metastatic properties.
Two studies conducted by Dr. Ramer et al., one in 2010 and the other one in 2012, investigated the effects CBD has on lung cancer, or to be more precise, CBD’s effects on the human lung carcinoma A549 cells, later in other lung cancer cells as well. According to the results, CBD blocked the cells from spreading, decreasing the cell’s invasiveness, thus showing its anti-invasive properties.
Breast cancer happens to 1 in 8 women around the globe, making it the most common type of cancers among the female population. However, on rare occasions, it can affect men as well.
- Significantly decreases tumor aggressiveness.
- It’s the most potent cannabinoid that prevents breast cancer cell division and growth.
- It prevents breast cancer cell metastatic, or cell migration.
- By directly or indirectly activating the CB1, CB2, and TRPV1 cannabinoid receptors in our endocannabinoid system, CBD induces cancer cell death.
After witnessing the scientific literature validated mostly by animal studies and research, we can conclude that CBD does have a huge potential in treating certain types of cancer.
Still, we need more scientific literature regarding CBD’s effect on cancer and more human studies which will reveal the long-term effects this marvel of a cannabinoid has to offer.