CBD has penetrated the medical arena with its vast range of positive effects on the body and has slowly turned into a preferred remedy for a number of health conditions. A successful pain relief source and anti-inflammatory compound, CBD’s benefits are almost infinite. The powerful substance is extracted from cannabis plants like marijuana or hemp and can be consumed in different methods. CBD consumers have alternatives such as CBD oil, CBD tinctures, CBD edibles for the culinary gurus, and can even vape the compound.
Although the cannabinoid is linked to marijuana it is certainly not responsible for the mind-altering effects that consumers report as the “high” feeling. In fact, CBD is completely non-psychoactive and if extracted with little to no levels of THC (the psychoactive substance found in marijuana) will cause no harm on the mind and will not lead to unexpected feelings.
One of the medical cures of CBD is related to the treatment of cancer, one of the most serious diseases known to mankind today. But what is it in reality?
What is cancer?
Cancer can vary in types and forms but all of its varieties have one thing in common – the cells in the body start splitting up and spreading into the surrounding tissues. The point of origin of cancer can be merely anywhere throughout the body and there are no barriers to its development. It is natural that human cells grow and split up in order to create new cells to suit the body’s purposes. This way, old cells are replaced by new and healthier cells, which are capable of carrying out more functions.
However, if cancer develops, the process of cells division is damaged. Older cells no longer die to let new cells take over but they rather remain active and not needed by the body. The excessive number of old cells that remain in the body continue dividing and form what is known as a tumor. Certain types of cancer, such as leukemia, can exist and never form a tumor as they are located in the blood. So where does CBD take its place in all of this?
CBD and cancer
The symptoms and side effects of cancer are serious and sometimes difficult to cope with. There is the possibility of severe inflammation, unbearable pain, indigestion or lack of appetite, unexpected weight loss, night sweats, itching, and more. Even during or after treatment, patients share that the condition is still unpleasant and uncomfortable. The emotional state of patients is also commonly unstable, as the vulnerability towards depression or anxiety tends to increase.
Apart from the standard cancer treatments that can be received in a hospital or via medical experts, cancer patients have recently started turning an eye towards CBD as a natural alternative in the fight with the disease. In fact, the CBD cannabinoid has been used for the treatment of different conditions of centuries. However, with the controversies regarding marijuana and its legality around the world in recent years, the compound had almost turned into a taboo word because of its origin. Thankfully, nowadays, when there is enough scientific research behind the matter, the compound is yet again penetrating the market and its true potential can be embraced once again.
Let’s see how CBD can influence cancer and how it can be used as a complementary source of therapy.
CBD reduces pain
We slightly touched the fact that CBD can have a powerful effect on reducing or completely removing severe pain. Cancer patients suffer serious pain, both during the different phases of the disease and during treatment. One of the biggest causes of pain is the inflammation, which puts additional weight on the internal organs of the body. Inflammation could also possibly cause nerve injury, which is especially painful. The worst part is that high levels of pain can sometimes fail to respond to opioids, meaning that it is there to stay and nothing can be done from a medical perspective.
The good news is that CBD can come to the rescue in such scenarios and communicate with the CB2 receptors from the endocannabinoid system to trigger signals, which can ultimately lead to the reduction of the inflammatory process and therefore lower the pain. This can provide an overall relief to cancer patients and allow them to calm down the body and mind.
CBD fighting nausea
Another uncomfortable and unpleasant symptom of cancer is nausea. Especially when there is chemotherapy treatment, chances are that patients will experience nausea or vomiting. CBD has an influence on lowering the nausea symptoms, especially if the CBD product contains some levels of THC as well. The difference between THC and CBD is in the psycho-activity of the two.
While CBD is not psychoactive and therefore preferred as a source of treatment, THC is the psychoactive element in cannabis, which makes users high. For this reason, the medical industry is careful about the prescription of THC to patients as it may sometimes cause the opposite effect of relief and in fact trigger an increase in symptoms, due to its mind-altering effect. It is worth mentioning that when taken in certain ratios, THC and CBD can be perfect partners as CBD can cancel out the high effect of THC while the consumer still benefits from its health benefits.
CBD for appetite
Similar to the previous point about nausea, going through cancer treatment can leave patients with a complete lack of appetite. The loss of appetite has its own negative effects on the body as the normal weight and calorie balance is likely to be harmed, meaning that the body will not have enough available energy to fight the disease. Furthermore, the lack of healthy nutrition can be a factor for a weak immune system, again causing additional difficulties for the cancer patient.
CBD can help the body regain its appetite, once again, when combined with low doses of THC. CBD oils are especially successful in reducing nausea and making the body feel the need to eat and gather valuable nutrients. In this sense, CBD can also be used to fight weight loss, another typical side-effect of cancer.
CBD as an anti-depressant
Even people with strong mentalities can find lost on the way to treating cancer. The treatment processes are usually lengthy and burdening and even the most positive mindsets can become vulnerable and exposed to depression. Depression with cancer patients is extremely unfavorable as once the mind gives up, the body finds it even more difficult to keep fighting.
Research reveals that CBD has a positive influence on depression and can reduce the negative thoughts of patients and stabilize the mood swings, thanks to its ability to communicate with the endocannabinoid system’s CB1 and CB2 receptors. The receptors are responsible for different functions of the body, including regulating emotions and moods. Once the communication is established, CBD can play an active role in stimulating a positive mood, pushing away depressive thoughts and anxiety.
CBD slows down cancer cell growth
The best of CBD’s abilities is probably its power to slow down the growth of cancer cells. Although more research is required regarding this benefit of CBD, studies reveal that the compound may, in fact, be able to constrain the development of cancer cells throughout the body. Although medical experts have not started prescribing the cannabinoid for this purpose yet if more research confirms this theory this may lead to a major breakthrough for cancer patients.
Cancer prevention is key
What is even more interesting is that there may be a relation between the consumption of CBD and the prevention of cancer in the first place. Research on cannabis consumers reveals that there is a tendency of those who have taken in CBD in their systems to be less exposed to cancer. However, this is still not isolated to CBD alone as cannabis contains a range of other cannabinoids, including THC, which is also increasingly being researched regarding its influence on the condition.
Consuming CBD products has its benefits over smoking marijuana from different perspectives. For instance, smoking the plant of certain extracts can expose the human body to a number of unhealthy carcinogens, which may lead to long-term negative effects. In addition, consuming clean CBD extract will omit the chance of feeling high, which for some may not be a pleasant and enjoyable feeling. Before consuming a CBD product it is worth doing as much research as possible regarding its origin, method of extraction, concentration levels, THC:CBD ratio, and any additional information which you may find.
CBD has been strongly related to the treatment of cancer but its abilities do not end there. Your independent CBD treatment will require a unique and specific plan, including dosing, time of consumption, and more. Speak to your medical consultant regarding the treatment and ensure that CBD is legal in your country before purchasing a CBD product.