In recent times, the medical field has witnessed several advancements and innovations to treat various diseases. But, with cancer there are obvious gaps and lags in advancements and discoveries limiting modern medicine and invasive procedures from treating and eradicating cancer completely.
Cannabis has been used as a medicine for thousands of years to cure or treat symptoms of several diseases and ailments. There are several studies for evidence showing that cannabis can be used to treat the side effects of cancer and cancer treatment, control tumor growth and also can prevent cancer in the future.
If you are looking to understand CBD and how it can be used for cancer patients, this article has everything you need.
What is CBD? How does it work?
Cannabinadol or CBD is a cannabinoid extracted from the leaves of the cannabis plant. The cannabis plant has hundreds of cannabinoids. Cannabinnadol is widely sought after for its immense health benefits.
CBD is manufactured and sold in the form of CBD oils, capsules, gummies, ointments or gels. Some CBD users prefer vaping CBD to enjoy its benefits. CBD by nature is a compound that is known for its relaxing and pain relief properties. CBD is extensively used and recommended to establish a state of homeostasis in the body.
CBD and the Human Body
The endocannabinoid system in the human body is responsible for maintaining balance in the body and regulating several functions of different organ systems. For instance, the endocannabinoid system helps to regulate inflammatory responses and also relieve pain in localized areas with the help of endocannabinoids in the body.
The endocannabinoid system has distinct components like neuroreceptors, endocannabinoids and metabolic enzymes. Each of these components have distinct functions in regulating bodily functions.
The endocannabinoid receptors like CB1 and CB2 are the main receptors of the system. These receptors interact with endocannabinoids and CBD to induce the body to regulate pain, inflammation, or other ill effects like fever, nausea, etc.
The receptors can also help the body fight against the symptoms of anxiety, depression, eating disorders, PTSD and neurological ailments like epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, and arthritis.
CBD molecules based on several studies were seen to resemble the molecular structure of endocannabinoids, making them compatible to interact with the CB1 and CB2 receptors.
Some studies claim that CBD prevents the activity of metabolic enzymes that are responsible for the breakdown of endocannabinoids. This helps to prolong the effect of the endocannabinoids and retain the molecules in the system resulting in a buildup. This buildup comes in handy when the body faces an ill effect, pain or inflammation to readily act on them and bring homeostasis.
Research supporting CBD and Cancer Treatment
There are several studies that have been conducted globally regarding the relevance and benefits of CBD and cancer treatment. The studies show solid evidence that CBD can immensely benefit cancer patients in many ways. Here are some notable advancements in relevance to CBD and cancer:
- In 2019, a study on in-vivo and in-vitro pancreatic cancer found that CBD can slow down the growth of tumor cells, reduce tumor invasion, and induce tumor cell death.
- Another study in 2019 proved that CBD provokes cell death and can make glioblastoma cells more sensitive to radiation and leaves healthy cells unaffected.
- Based on a long-term study of men within the California Men’s Health Study Cohort found that CBD lowers the risk of bladder cancer.
- In 2014, a specific study on experimental models of colon cancer in vivo reported that CBD can stop the spread of colorectal cancer cells.
- In vitro and in vivo studies on 35 specimens in 2014 found that CBD can be a potential compound for treating gliomas.
- In 2010, preclinical models of metastatic breast cancer were used to demonstrate the efficacy of CBD. It was observed that CBD reduced the proliferation and invasion of breast cancer cells.
How CBD helps in Cancer Treatment
As mentioned above, regular use of CBD can lower the risk of certain cancers and also inhibit the growth and spread of cancer calls. Other than that, CBD helps cancer patients in many ways from controlling side effects of cancer to pain relief.
Cancer treatments like radiation and chemotherapy can have several side effects like weight loss, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, etc. CBD helps to ease nausea and vomiting and also helps to increase appetite by regulating the parts of the brain responsible for hunger and thirst.
Cancer patients also struggle with chronic pain due to the ailments or their medication. CBD is popularly known for its pain management abilities and is suggested by many physicians as an alternative to modern medicine.
CBD in the form of CBD oil, capsules, gummies, tinctures, and gels can be used for pain relief. Although some prefer smoking or vaping CBD, it may not be recommended for certain cancers.
There are some studies that indicate that CBD can enhance the uptake of chemotherapeutic drugs or can increase its potency.
Is CBD legal in India?
The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (NDPS Act) does not apply to the leaves of the cannabis plant. According to the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 , if CBD is extracted from the leaves of the cannabis plant, it can be legally manufactured, sold, purchased and used. Since CBD products are mostly extracted from the leaves of the cannabis plant, it can be used for medicinal and health benefits.
CBD has been used for remedial purposes and to restore balance to the body for many years. There are several reliable studies that show that CBD can immensely benefit cancer patients to deal with the side effects of radiation therapy or chemotherapy. It can also boost moods by improving symptoms of depression and regulating sleep patterns.
CBD is recommended to be used every or regularly with food or as a supplement to see its true benefits. However, if you have not used CBD before, it is better to consult your physician or oncologist before beginning to consume CBD along with the cancer treatment course.