Can CBD help with Cancer?

There has been a lot of interest in cannabinoids in the cancer setting and Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabidiol and cannabidiol have been studied to evaluate its role in the treatment or prevention of cancer.  There are multiple hearsay stories in press praising the effects of CBD in treating cancer.

There are multiple hearsay stories in press praising the effects of CBD in treating cancer. An article in The Sun for example describes how a man from Stoke-on-Trend managed to shrink his lung cancer just by using CBD oil and no chemotherapy (source).

Various clinical studies however have yelled mixed results and most of the scientific research has been done in a laboratory.  Depending on the cannabinoids scientists have found that CBD can cause a cell to die, stop cells from dividing and stop cells from developing new blood vessels. On the other hand they have also found that cannabinoids can damage important blood vessels and in some situations, encourage cancer cells to grow.

Other studies have looked at whether using cannabis may increase the risk of developing cancer but yet again produced mixed results. Some of them has shown that using cannabis may protect against cancer but other others have shown an increased risk of cancer.

Although It is still unclear whether using cannabis has any anti-cancer effects, evidence suggest that the chemicals in cannabis might help with symptoms such as nausea, pain.  For example, some drugs that have been developed using the chemicals in cannabis have been effective in treating sickness caused by chemotherapy, or improving a person’s appetite. CBD oil can also help with stress and anxiety caused by dealing with the disease.


Cannabis Oil

Understandably, many people want to try anything that may help treat cancer – particularly if things are not going well with conventional treatments and Cannabis oil is only one of a number of treatments people might come across. Cannabis oil can contain varying amounts of CBD and THC.

You need to be aware that buying cannabis oil online can be risky as you do not know what you are getting or how pure it is. There are side effects of using cannabis oil. THC can increase your heart rate, cause dizziness, hallucinations, paranoia and make you feel ‘stoned’. They may also interact with other drugs.

The cannabinoid delta-9-tetrahydrocannabidiol (THC) and products that contain THC are illegal in the UK.

CBD oil

CBD in its pure form is not a controlled substance under the Misuse of Drugs Act as it does not contain THC and therefore does not have any psychoactive effects. It can therefore be sold legally in the UK as a food supplement

There are a number of examples where people say that using CBD oil has had a dramatic effect on their health. But these are individual stories and not based on clinical research trials. If you are thinking of using CBD oil, we suggest you talk to your healthcare team.

If you’re considering using medical marijuana, talk to your doctor about how best to administer it. Smoking may not be a good choice for people with certain types of cancer. CBD and other cannabis products come in >many forms, including vape, tincture, sprays, and oils. They can also be found in candies, coffee, or other edibles.

Can CBD treat cancer?

There are currently no large clinical trials that are investigating the use of cannabis or cannabinoids as a cancer treatment. The theory for lack of large clinical trials is that there are no financial benefits of the pharmaceutical industry. Small pilot studies exist, but the research is still in its early stages.

There are however evidence supporting the idea that cannabinoids can reduce tumour growth in animal models of cancer. The action of CBD that’s promising for cancer treatment is its ability to moderate inflammation and change how cell reproduce. CBD has the effect of reducing the ability of some types of tumour cells to reproduce.

Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation can produce an array of side effects, such as nausea and loss of appetite, which can lead to weight loss. Research suggests that cannabinoids may ease neuropathic pain and nausea. THC has shown to improve poor appetite due to cancer and cancer treatment, while CBD can suppress it. CBD is also thought  to have anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety properties.

Although CBD products have been approved to treat epilepsy, no CBD products have been FDA-approved to treat cancer or symptoms of cancer, or to ease side effects of cancer treatment.

Literature review

The effects of cannabis in treating cancer have been studied as early as  1974 with a study shown that cannabis has antitumour effects. The results of this 1974 study, reported in an Aug. 18, 1974, Washington Post newspaper feature, were that cannabis’s component, THC, “slowed the growth of lung cancers, breast cancers and a virus-induced leukaemia in laboratory mice, and prolonged their lives by as much as 36 percent.”

In 1975 an article in the Journal of the National cancer institute titled “Antineoplastic Activity of Cannabinoids,” they reported that “Lewis lung adenocarcinoma growth was retarded by the oral administration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabinol (CBD). Mice treated for 20 consecutive days with THC and CBD had reduced primary tumour size.”

In 1998, a research team at Madrid’s Complutense University Led by Dr. Manuel Guzman discovered that THC can selectively induce programmed cell death in brain tumour cells without negatively impacting surrounding healthy cells. They reported in the March 2002 issue of “Nature Medicine” they had destroyed incurable brain cancer tumours in rats by injecting them with THC.

In 2007 Harvard Researchers found that compounds in cannabis cut the growth of lung cancer. 

 Research in 2010 demonstrated that CBD significantly reduced breast cancer cell proliferation and invasion.

A study in 2014related to colon cancer concluded that CBD may inhibit the spread of colorectal cancer cells.

Treatment of gliomas is another area that CBD might be promising.

A large, 2015 study in California found that cannabis use can reduce the risk of developing bladder cancer by 45%.

The authosrs of a study in 2016, found that cannabinoids seem to inhibit the growth of many different types of tumour cell in both test tubes and animal models.

Another study in 2019  found that cannabinoids can help slow tumour growth, reduce tumour invasion, and induce tumour cell death of pancreatic cancer.

According to a 2019 study CBD provoke cell death and make glioblastoma cells more sensitive to radiation, but with no effect on healthy cells.

While research has shown that cannabis smoke still produces carcinogens, the link between inhaled marijuana and cancer remains inconclusive.

However, ingesting CBD extract does not expose the body to the same carcinogens as smoking marijuana. More long-term studies in humans are necessary to determine what role, if any, CBD has to play in the prevention of cancer.


As a cancer preventive

There are not many studies on the role of CBD as a cancer preventative today and the few studies are contradictory and only in laboratory settings. More research is therefore needed before conclusive evidence that cannabinoids can help with prevention of cancer.

How does CBD oil work?

CBD is extracted from  hemp plants that do not contain significant amounts of the psychoactive substance (THC or tetrahydrocannabinol) found in marijuana strains of cannabis. CBD therefore is not causing a ‘high’ and is not addictive but provides the health benefits of marijuana.

CBG oil interacts with the endocannabinoid system in the brain that in turn increases the effects of serotonin and anandamide, to reduce pain perception. It is also has  antioxidant properties that suppresses inflammation.

Apoptosis is a natural process in the body where the cells are destroyed as part of a particular mechanism. Cancer cells grow at an abnormal rate in the body because they no longer acknowledge the bodys signals that encourage or destroy cell growth.As the cells travel and metastasize in other organs.

As these cells grow and divide, they become more uncontrollable. And since they no longer respond to apoptosis, they tend to expedite cell proliferation and ignore the other signals from normal cells. The endocannabinoid system can help in modulating cell growth and death.

The endocannabinoid system has two primary receptors. One is the CB1 receptors which are mostly found in the brain, and the other one is the CB2 receptors which are primarily found in the immune system.

THC is the active compound in cannabis that binds to the CB1 receptors and is responsible for mood, behavior, and other cerebral functions. On the other hand, CBD latches onto the CB2 receptors and tells these receptors if there are ?invaders? that are detrimental to the body. Once they bind together, the receptor activation can then help the endocannabinoid system in signaling an antitumorigenic warning. Which means, it impairs cancer development through inhibiting reproduction, metastasis, and tumor angiogenesis.


How to use CBD oil

CBD is extracted from marijuana plants as either an oil or powder that can be mixed into creams or gels that can be presented as liquid or capsules and can be taken orally or as a cream to be rubbed on the skin. 


In conclusion CBD oil should be not used as an alternative to medical treatment for cancer.CBD may help people with cancer manage some symptoms of the disease, as well as side effects of treatment. More research however is needed before any conclusions can be made on how CBD could aid cancer treatment.


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