CBD for Cancer Treatment
While mortality rates have declined over 26% since the early 90s, cancer is still one of the nation’s leading causes of death. Over 38% of men and women will be diagnosed with some form of cancer in their lifetime, and this rate is expected to rise to over 23 million by 2030 according to National Cancer Institute estimates. Unfortunately, this horrendous affliction has likely touched you and your family at some point.
Certain cancers can enter complete remission after radiotherapy and drug treatment and never come back. Unfortunately, cancer has no definitive treatment, and certain chemotherapy drugs may pose their own long term health risks for your heart, nerves, and immune system.
Worst of all are the particularly grim figures surrounding certain prognoses such as prostate, breast, pancreatic, lung, and nervous system cancer. Depending on a patient's condition, their best recourse might only be to try and improve their quality of life for as long as they have left.
While it currently hasn’t been shown to cure, prevent, or extend the life expectancy of cancer for patients, CBD (cannabidiol) has shown immense promise as the potential quality of life booster cancer patients may need.
Marijuana has long been known to potentially improve appetite, alleviate nausea, and alleviate neuropathic pain symptoms in those suffering from cancer or other terminal illnesses, but the strong psychoactive effects brought on by THC may make it unsuitable for cancer patients to consume regularly, and may exacerbate the symptoms of anxieties and mental health issues in certain users.
As it is only one atom arrangement moved from the molecular components of THC, CBD can deliver some of those therapeutic benefits found in marijuana without the psychoactive effects, making it a preferable and safer alternative. Read on to find out more about CBD’s promising future as a cancer treatment.
Despite the long known therapeutic efficacy of cannabis, with over 6000 years of recorded history dating back to ancient Europe and Asia, the notion of isolating and synthesizing cannabinoids has been a fairly recent innovation in the history of medicine. An Israeli team of scientists led by Dr. Raphael Mechoulam has been at much of the forefront of discovering how the pharmacology of these different cannabinoids operates, conducting decades of cutting edge research from the 1960s to 1990s.
Still, only recently have researchers began to apply this knowledge toward clinical trials on animal and human test subjects. Ostensibly, particularly therapeutic cannabinoids work by activating the body’s CB1 and CB2 cell receptors in the body, receptors which make up a network known as the endocannabinoid system. The ECS plays a vital role in regulating the body’s unbalanced states through physical and psychological ailments, and research suggests that the pain of cancer is no exception.
CBD has been shown to inhibit angiogenesis (the growth of blood vessels in tumors) through receptor mechanisms, and it has also been shown to possess comprehensive apoptotic (cancer cell killing) capabilities. It is important to add the caveat that antitumorigenic capabilities are not synonymous with curing cancer.
That said, the anti-inflammatory properties in CBD have profound implications for alleviating the exorbitant pain cancer patients endure on a daily basis, as well as conditions of chronic pain in general.
Once again, it is worth emphasizing that patients should not be under the false impression that CBD products are a definitive cure-all which could entirely eradicate their cancer into remission. Also, while it certainly has the potential to improve the quality of life of those suffering from cancer, no current studies suggest that CBD prolongs the lives of those suffering from cancer.
Buyers must also be careful to ensure that their CBD was derived from reliably sourced industrial hemp, as the industry’s long-standing lack of regulatory oversight leaves plenty of leeway for all sorts of shady business practices to avoid. Always ensure that your CBD products are verifiably 100% organic, as those created with pesticides, herbicides, or chemical solvent extraction methods can ironically increase the risk of intaking harmful carcinogens.
Furthermore, CBD may interfere with liver enzymes which can inhibit the metabolization of several prescription drugs, so depending on what you’re currently taking, always consult your primary care physician before trying CBD.
CBD’s future as a potential cancer treatment looks bright. As CBD research progresses, we expect to uncover more uses and benefits. If you or a loved one is suffering from cancer and would like to speak to one of our team members about CBD, please don’t hesitate to reach out and we’d be happy to help.