CBD or cannabidiol has become popular among many people in recent times thanks to its huge potential in treating many health problems. Many claim it to have anti-inflammatory, anti-stress, and anti-epileptic qualities. Some even believe that CBD can cure cancer. But is it true, or is it just a hunch?
What is CBD?
The plant cannabis has more than 100 compounds but only two have been isolated until now. One of them is delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol which is also called THC. It is an intoxicating cannabinoid that makes people high. The other compound is CBD, very different from THC containing no psychoactive effect but having therapeutic potential.
CBD and THC come from both hemp and marijuana. But the hemp contains more CBD and only 0.3% of THC. This is why hemp was legalized in the 2018 Farm Bill. This opened the door for people to use CBD for ailments like inflammation, pain, anxiety, insomnia, and seizures. There have also been claims that CBD can ease the side effects of cancer and the treatment of cancer. Some cancer patients have reported finding relief in anxiety, depression, insomnia, and nausea. But to date, there has been no test on whether CBD works on actual cancer patients.
Can CBD treat Cancer?
The good news is, that research on whether CBD can treat cancer is underway. Some studies on CBD as a cancer treatment were done on animals. A 2019 study found that CBD can help slow tumor growth, reduce tumor invasion, and induce tumor cell death in terms of pancreatic cancer. Another 2019 study found that CBD could provoke cell death and make glioblastoma cells more sensitive to radiation without harming the healthy cells. Before death, in 2014, studies found that CBD can restrain the spread of colorectal cancer cells in colon cancer. A 2010 researchfound CBD to be effective in reducing breast cancer proliferation and invasion.
Some recent studies include a test in 119 patients whose cancers were metastatic and traditional cancer therapies were exhausted. They were given CBD on a schedule of three days on and three days off. In most of those patients, a decrease in their tumor size was noticed with no side effects. In another study on 2 patients with aggressive gliomas, a type of brain cancer, a positive response was found after giving CBD capsules along with chemoradiation and medications. Their disease did not worsen for two years.
Despite showing positive results, these tests are not enough. Particularly the claims of unauthorized CBD users should not be taken seriously yet. But one thing is for sure, these results pave the way to a brighter future for CBD and cancer treatment.
Can CBD help Cancer Patients?
Along with the research on whether CBD can treat cancer, there are ongoing studies on whether CBD can treat the side effects of cancer. Also, during the cancer treatment procedures, cancer patients pass through a tough time with pain, nausea, and loss of appetite. Studies are also being done on CBD to ease these treatment side effects in cancer patients.
A big factor in how CBD might help cancer patients is the inclusion of THC in CBD products. THC has shown effectiveness in improving poor appetite due to cancer and cancer treatment. On the other hand, due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety properties, CBD might help relieve cancer and cancer treatment-induced pain in cancer patients.
Side Effects of CBD
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), CBD has a good safety profile. However, CBD might lead to risky side effects if used in combination with other medications. The few normal side effects people might face are loss of appetite, fatigue, and diarrhea.
Researchers say that CBD, like grapefruit, can interfere with certain medications. So, you have to be cautious and watch for grapefruit warnings when using medicines along with CBD. Also, avoid taking CBD if you also take antibiotics, antidepressants, anti-seizure medications, blood thinners, muscle relaxers, sedatives, or oral or IV chemotherapy.
CBD is a great cannabis compound, but its market is unregulated and the products in the market are very doubtful. CBD is available in the form of oils, tinctures, salves, creams, lotions, capsules, gummies, brownies, and vapes. But not all of these products derive directly from hemp. The Federal Drug Association (FDA) has set a limit of only 0.3% THC in all CBD products. But most of the CBD products in the market contain more THC than the limit.
Also, about more than two third of CBD products use labels that falsify the number of ingredients in the product. Not all the products are made of hemp-derived CBD. Some products might also contain other chemicals that can be harmful to your health.
To prevent risk, get a consultation with a doctor before using any CBD products. Also, check if the product you are about to use has a CoA or Certification of Analysis. If any marketer fails to provide you with a CoA of their product, do not use that product.
CBD might not be a cancer-treating cannabinoid yet, but the tests show that it is on the right track to being a cure for cancer patients. There needs to be more thorough research on the qualities, properties, and effectiveness of CBD. With time, CBD can probably be a life-saving drug. But until then, do not fall for the false marketers, and use CBD with proper caution to get the best of its benefits.