Very few pilot studies have been published with regard to cannabidiol and its effect on cancer cells. Researchers in 2016 found evidence that cannabinoids can suppress the growth of cancer cells, however, the authors of the study also acknowledged some research showing that some high dosages of cannabinoids also increased the chance of developing specific cancer tumors.
What is CBD Oil, and How Does It Differ from Marijuana and Hemp?
CBD is packaged in an oil base after extraction because of the solubility of cannabidiol and its ability to bond with oils. But to give you a clearer understanding of CBD and how it differs from hemp and marijuana, we’ve outlined the following:
- Cannabidiol (CBD) is present in marijuana and hemp.
- CBD is normally extracted from hemp, where it’s found in higher amounts than in marijuana.
- Marijuana (cannabis) contains about one hundred different compounds, most of which are cannabinoids. CBD and THC are the main active compounds.
- CBD can be extracted from marijuana, where may or may not contain THC (although legally this raises problems.)
- Hemp plants are growth specifically for commercial CBD, and may contain strains of CBD that are richer, and purer than others.
- CBD does not make you high but has medicinal value.
- THC does make you high, and also has medicinal value.
- There are different types of CBD oil, some of which contain additional compounds present in hemp and marijuana.
- CBD isolate means the product contains CBD alone. Broad-spectrum, and full-spectrum CBD oil contains additional marijuana compounds.
Can CBD Treat Cancer?
The medical benefits of CBD do not make it a magic cure for any specific ailment. However, the antioxidants that are found in whole-spectrum CBD oil may be useful in protecting cells from decay, but more importantly, cannabidiol assists in removal of free radicals, and prevents oxidation; which of course is essential in cancer prevention. That being said, there’s hardly any proof that CBD can treat or prevent cancer.
Is CBD Oil Even Legal?
Cannabidiol is legal throughout the U.S. and can be used as any other herbal supplement for treating and managing conditions such as pain and nausea.
One thing to keep in mind is that THC, which is present in marijuana (and hemp to some extent) is illegal in much of the country. For this reason, the THC content in your CBD oil may make it illegal marijuana if it exceeds 0.3 percent. To avoid getting into trouble with the authorities, check that your CBD oil was extracted from hemp and doesn’t contain THC.
Some states allow the purchase and use of medical marijuana; in which case you may be free to use full-spectrum CBD oil (which contains THC).
CBD Oil Benefits for Cancer
Even if CBD oil cannot be said to prevent or cure cancer, the compound still has incredible benefits that can be useful for cancer patients. Here’s a quick look at CBD benefits for cancer:
Relief from Chronic Pain
Both CBD and THC reduce pain by a complex mechanism involving brain receptors, immune system response, hormones, and the Endocannabinoid network of glands and neurotransmitters. This is useful for cancer patients who may experience pain as a side effect of the disease, or the medication used to treat cancer.
In addition to being life threatening and physically devastating, cancer has been known to cause mental health problems in some patients.
To keep your mental health in check and reduce stress and anxiety, take daily doses of broad-spectrum CBD (check that it doesn’t have THC).
Less Nausea and Vomiting
Some herbal plants like cannabis and ginger reduce nausea and can play a role in the management of cancer.
Cannabidiol has neuroprotective effects and is used in treating epilepsy (see Epidiolex, a CBD-infused medicine). It may also prevent seizures in cancer patients.
How to Use CBD Oil?
Take CBD with a doctor’s approval and use it as you would any mild supplement. Since it doesn’t pose any known risk to human health, CBD may be used daily, or multiple times a day if needed. Check the labels for instructions on dosage.
What Research Has to Say
While CBD does seem to be effective at managing more common ailments, there needs to be more information about how it should be used to manage cancer or strengthen the body against the disease. Long-term conclusive research is needed is on CBD and its effect on cancer cells. Always use the compound cautiously, with recommendations for safety from a qualified health expert.