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6 Things To Know About CBD Oil and Cancer

CBD oil is everywhere these days. You can find them at your local pharmacy, in a dispensary or even at a gas station. You hear it being talked about on tv, at your Chiropractor’s office, and even in politics. 

CBD oil is most known for helping people with seizures and anxiety but it’s also a great aid for cancer patients. 

Through ongoing research CBD is showing to have many benefits for cancer patients. 

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) says, 

“The action of CBD that’s promising for cancer treatment is its ability to moderate inflammation and change how cells reproduce. CBD has shown to have effect in reducing the ability of some types of tumor cells to reproduce.”

What is CBD oil?

Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is derived from the hemp plant which is a cousin of the marijuana plant. While CBD is a component of marijuana, by itself it does not cause a high because it does not activate the same regions in the brain as THC. 

CBD works by interacting with our body’s endocannabinoid system which is a regulatory system made up of naturally occurring cannabis-like molecules. These endocannabinoids work like neurotransmitters, sending messages through the body to help maintain homeostasis. CBD interacts with these receptors, triggering positive effects.

CBD oil is safe and usually well-tolerated. The Word Health Organization (WHO) released a report that said, 

“In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential. CBD is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile.”

How does CBD help people with cancer?

There is no current research that has proven that CBD can cure cancer. However, there are ongoing studies that have found correlations between CBD and some positive effects it has on certain debilitating symptoms. 

Here are 6 symptoms cancer patients endure and CBD’s role in alleviating them. 

1. Nausea and Vomiting

CBD has antiemetic effects, which means it prevents vomiting. This helps cancer patients immensely and has been shown in studies to be more effective than the typical antiemetic drugs like prochlorperazine, metoclopramide and several others given to chemotherapy patients.  

2. Anorexia Cachexia

Anorexia Cachexia is the loss of appetite associated with late-stage cancers. This leads to malnutrition, weakness, and dangerously rapid weight loss. CBD has shown to be an appetite stimulant in both HIV-positive and cancer patients. 

3. Neuropathy

Neuropathy is where your peripheral nerves are damaged or malfunctioning and causes numbness, weakness, and pain in the hands and feet. CBD can help block the pain by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) and relieving symptoms such as inflammation, pain, and muscle spasms.  

4. Anxiety & Depression

CBD helps with anxiety and depression by binding to and activating a serotonin receptor (CB1), which results in a calming, mood-boosting effect. 

5. Insomnia 

Studies have shown that CBD indirectly increased adenosine, a chemical responsible for decreasing wakefulness and signaling the brain to sleep. CBD also helps to reduce anxiety, promoting good sleep quality. 

  1. Severe Night Pain

Sever night pain is one of the most debilitating symptoms a cancer patient endures. This pain comes on at night and doesn’t let up, leaving the patient exhausted, sleep deprived and in pain. A study found that THC/CBD shows a 30% reduction from the baseline pain. This coincides with the findings that CBD helps to alleviate arthritis and back pain. 

CBD oil for cancer

There is no CBD oil that has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat cancer. 

The only CBD product that has been approved by the FDA is Epidiolex which is used to treat conditions related to epilepsy called Lennox Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. 

How to use CBD oil

CBD Oil also known as CBD tincture is infused with high concentrations of CBD along with a carrier oil like coconut or hemp seed oil. The mixtures are usually in 1oz bottles and contain a graduated dropper for easy dosing. 

Users place the desired amount of CBD oil under the tongue and let it sit in the mouth for about 30-60 seconds before swallowing. User’s need to wait before swallowing to increase the CBD’s bioavailability

You can also get your CBD in the following forms: 

  • Capsules
  • Topicals
  • Vape

CBD oil side effects are:

  • Tiredness or fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Changes in appetite or weight
  • Dry mouth
  • Low blood pressure

The biggest concern with using CBD oil is that it can interact with certain medications, causing your body to absorb more concentrated doses and leading to liver damage. The types of medications that may interact with CBD include but are not limited to: 

  • Antihistamines
  • Benzodiazepines
  • PDE5 Inhibitors
  • Beta Blockers
  • Antipsychotics
  • SSRIs and Tricyclic Antidepressants

Best practices when it comes to safety:

  • Consult with your oncologist and/or care team about CBD—they will inform you if it interacts with any of your current drugs.
  • CBD is unregulated (with one exception), meaning consumers need to actively investigate each product. Carefully research each brand and ensure the product is lab certified.
  • Monitor your results very closely and be transparent with your healthcare team.

There is also a lack of regulation when it comes to CBD/Hemp products. There are some but we still have a long way to go in that respect. It’s hard to know the true level of CBD of THC in any product or what the true ingredients are. Do your research, go to a trusted source, and ask for the Certificate of Analysis (COA) to be sure that your CBD oil is within the guidelines of 0.3% or lower THC and that there are no harmful substances like pesticides or heavy metals. 

What is the best CBD oil for cancer?

If you want to start implementing CBD into your care routine go for an oil that is full spectrum as opposed to broad spectrum or isolates. CBD oil that is full spectrum contains all the cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and fatty acids from the plant and seems to have a higher level of success when it comes to treating the symptoms of cancer. 

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