Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of many compounds in the cannabis plant. It is gaining popularity because it seems to offer many benefits. While there is an ongoing debate, some people recommend using CBD in the treatment of cancer.
Overall, it is too early to make any claims about CBD as a cancer treatment. While the initial results of small studies on cancer cells are promising, they are not conclusive.
Meanwhile, this compound
It is important to note that CBD is not the same as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a different compound in cannabis that causes a “high” when a person smokes or ingests it.
In this article, learn about the ways that people with cancer may benefit from CBD.
The majority of the available evidence suggests that CBD and cannabis therapies
Many people who are having cancer treatment experience nausea and loss of appetite, issues that can make it difficult to maintain a healthy weight.
Ingesting a cannabis product that delivers THC to the bloodstream
Both cancer and its treatment can lead to pain. Cancer often causes pain due to inflammation, pressure on internal organs, or nerve injury. When the pain is severe, it can become resistant to opioids, which are powerful pain relief medications.
CBD acts indirectly on the CB2 receptors, which
Cannabis may help people with cancer who experience regular nausea and vomiting, especially when this stems from chemotherapy.
However, the antinausea effect
Many people find relief from low doses of THC. Prescription versions of synthetic THC that have fewer side effects are also available.
Some people wonder whether cannabis or CBD might help prevent cancer. The
An older study of
On the other hand, the authors of a
While research has shown that cannabis smoke produces carcinogens, the link between inhaled cannabis and cancer remains
Meanwhile, ingesting CBD extract does not expose the body to the same carcinogens as smoking cannabis. More long-term studies in humans are necessary to determine what role, if any, CBD has in preventing cancer.
No large clinical trials are currently investigating the use of cannabis or cannabinoids, such as CBD, as a cancer treatment. There are small pilot studies, including an investigation into the use of THC and CBD in combination with chemotherapy as a treatment for a type of brain cancer. However, the research is still in its early stages.
In 2016, scientists concluded that cannabinoids
However, they also noted that some dosages and types of cannabinoid might suppress the immune system, allowing tumors to grow unchecked.
Overall, determining whether cannabinoids can combat cancer will require much more research.
The cannabinoid receptors in the brain do not act like many other drug receptors. For this reason, using CBD, for example,
Also, there are no apparent lethal doses of CBD or THC, which is not true for traditional pain management medications. This is because cannabis does not affect respiration function in the central nervous system like opiates do.
It is worth noting, though, that the body has widespread cannabinoid receptors. This is why CBD affects not only the brain, but also many other organs and tissues.
Small-scale studies have found that people generally tolerate CBD well, but some people may experience mild side effects, including:
CBD can also interact with a range of medications and cause liver damage. These medications include:
- antianxiety medications
- anti-seizure medications
- blood thinners
- chemotherapy drugs
- muscle relaxers
- sedatives, or sleep aids
CBD products can also interact with some over-the-counter aids and supplements, so it may be a good idea to speak with a doctor before trying them.
Also, people should
In addition, increased liver toxicity is a possible side effect of CBD. In one 2019 study, researchers administered varying doses of CBD to mice. The mice had that received higher doses experienced liver damage within 1 day.
Some people might be concerned about the possibility of becoming dependent on CBD. Clinical trials of Epidiolex, the CBD product that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved to treat epilepsy, found no indications of physical dependence. The manufacturers of Epidiolex do warn about the potential for liver problems in the product’s safety information.
Finally, as the
As with any new supplement, speak with a doctor before using CBD during cancer treatment to ensure that it will not cause interactions.
Is CBD legal?The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the legal definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act. This made some hemp-derived CBD products with less than 0.3% THC federally legal. However, CBD products containing more than 0.3% THC still fall under the legal definition of marijuana, making them federally illegal but legal under some state laws. Be sure to check state laws, especially when traveling. Also, keep in mind that the FDA has not approved nonprescription CBD products, and some products may be inaccurately labeled.