Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of many cannabinoids that can be found in hemp and marijuana, two types of cannabis plants. CBD may help people with cancer manage some symptoms of the disease, as well as side effects of treatment. Scientists are also looking into how CBD could aid cancer treatment, but more research is needed before any conclusions can be made.
CBD is considered psychoactive, but it’s non-impairing and non-euphoric — unlike THC. However, some CBD products may have trace amounts of THC.Let’s take a closer look at how CBD may help people with cancer. There’s solid evidence supporting the idea that cannabinoids can reduce tumor growth in animal models of cancer.
Here are some promising studies:A of in vitro and in vivo studies focusing on pancreatic cancer found that cannabinoids can help slow tumor growth, reduce tumor invasion, and induce tumor cell death. The study authors wrote that research into the effectiveness of different formulations, dosing, and precise mode of action is lacking and urgently needed.
A large, long-term of men within the California Men’s Health Study cohort found that using cannabis may be inversely associated with bladder cancer risk. However, a cause and effect relationship hasn’t been established. A 2014 study in experimental models of colon cancer in vivo suggests that CBD may inhibit the spread of colorectal cancer cells.
Research from 2010 demonstrated the efficacy of CBD in preclinical models of metastatic breast cancer. The study found that CBD significantly reduced breast cancer cell proliferation and invasion. These are just a few studies addressing the potential of cannabinoids to help treat cancer. Still, it’s far too soon to say that CBD is a safe and effective treatment for cancer in humans.
Some areas for future research include:the effects of CBD with and without other cannabinoids like THCsafe and effective dosingthe effects of different administration techniqueshow CBD works on specific types of cancerhow CBD interacts with chemotherapy drugs and other cancer treatmentsCancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation can produce an array of side effects, such as nausea and loss of appetite, which can lead to weight loss.Research suggests that cannabinoids may ease neuropathic pain and nausea.
CBD is also to have anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety properties. So far, only one CBD product has received . That product is Epidiolex, and its only use is in the treatment of two rare forms of epilepsy. No CBD products have been FDA-approved to treat cancer or symptoms of cancer, or to ease side effects of cancer treatment.
Dronabinol comes in a capsule (Marinol) and tincture form (Syndros) and contains THC. Nabilone (Cesamet) is an oral synthetic cannabinoid that acts similar to THC.Another cannabinoid drug, nabiximols, is available in Canada and parts of Europe. It’s a mouth spray containing both THC and CBD and has shown promise in treating cancer pain.
If you’re considering using medical marijuana, talk to your doctor about how best to administer it. Smoking may not be a good choice for people with certain types of cancer. CBD and other cannabis products come in many forms, including vape, tincture, sprays, and oils. They can also be found in candies, coffee, or other edibles.
A 2010 study used a mouse model to study the effects of cannabinoids, THC specifically, on suppression of the immune system. The study found evidence that THC can, in fact, suppress the immune system, though whether that increases the risk of cancer is not well established. When it comes to cancer prevention, CBD research has a long way to go.
The says that CBD has a good safety profile and that negative side effects may be due to interactions with other medications. It states that there’s no evidence of public health-related problems from the use of pure CBD.In 2017, a found that CBD is generally safe, with few side effects.
Researchers also want to know more about how CBD may increase or decrease the effects of other medications. The review does suggest some concern that CBD may interfere with liver enzymes that help metabolize certain medications. That could lead to higher concentrations of these medications in the system. CBD, like grapefruit, interferes with the metabolizing of certain medications.
CBD is a natural substance, but even natural substances must be approached with caution and due diligence. There’s great variation in CBD products. Some CBD product labels make false health claims. In particular, CBD products purchased online have a high rate of mislabeling. After analyzing 84 CBD products sold online, found that about 43 percent had a higher CBD concentration than stated.