CBD is a type of cannabinoid compound. There are over 100 types of cannabinoids, the most famous of which is THC. This compound is famously associated with marijuana and causing a psychoactive effect or“high”. CBD however, is a cannabinoid that does not have any mind-altering or psychoactive effects. CBD comes from hemp or cannabis plants and can be extracted into a carrier oil to become CBD oil. Sold in various forms, CBD is making headlines for its anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, and anti-cancer benefits. CBD affects the body by interacting with the body’s own endocannabinoid system. This system is responsible for maintaining the immune system, managing pain, and regulating sleep. Regarding CBD’s possible anti-cancer benefits, there are two main effects associated with CBD, stopping and slowing the growth of cancer cells, and the management of symptoms associated with chemotherapy.
A study conducted in 2013 by the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology found that CBD has potential as an anticancer drug. The non-psychoactive drug has properties that inhibit the growth of tumors. CBD has anti-migratory, anti-invasive, anti-metastatic, and anti-angiogenic properties. Meaning that CBD can be a drug that both reduces cancer growth and the spread of cancer. The study also showed that CBD only inhibited the growth of cancer cells, and not normal cell production. These results came at the cost of only minor side effects as well. Various studies have shown, and research is continuing to mount to exhibit CBD as a potent inhibitor for cancer.
The second property CBD is known for is its ability to reduce the symptoms associated with chemotherapy. CBD can help with nausea, neuropathic pain, inflammation, and fatigue, all symptoms that come with the treatment of cancer via chemotherapy. Generally, patients with neuropathic pain related to chemotherapy treatment are treated with a variety of pharmaceutical drugs including anti-epileptics, such as gabapentin, antidepressants, serotonin inhibitors, and in severe cases opioid painkillers. These drugs often cause severe side effects in users, such as impairing gastrointestinal function, mood changes, and risk of addiction. CBD on the other hand has been studied and found to have mild side effects and no addictive properties. Dosages can also be maintained as the body does not create a tolerance or dependence to CBD. Although treatment with CBD has not been linked to improved survival rates or remission of cancer, a more well rested and less distressed patient leads to faster recovery.
The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD also help with the managing of the swelling of hands and feet that coincide with undergoing chemotherapy treatment. CBD also helps prevent weight loss associated with chemotherapy as the endocannabinoid system is also involved with the regulation of food intake, and CBD can potentially help regulate appetite and motivation to eat. CBD’s anti-anxiety and anti-depressive properties could also help patient’s emotional health.
CBD is becoming a popular choice for people who want a natural anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, and potentially “anti-cancer” product without wanting to experience the side effects of traditional drugs or the mind-altering effects of marijuana (THC). CBD is available in various forms such as capsules, sprays, and creams and gaining momentum in the medical field to treat various ailments and conditions.