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CBD For Cancer: Is It Beneficial?

CBD For Cancer: Is It Beneficial?

In recent years, interest in the use of cannabis for treating cancer, particularly the cannabinoid cannabidiol or CBD, has ballooned. It is well known that CBD is beneficial for numerous ailments including anorexia, pain, inflammation, and neurodegenerative diseases, to name a few. In this article, we will discuss if CBD is beneficial for cancer patients, which types of cancer CBD may be beneficial for, how CBD works to fight cancer, and how to know if CBD is a good choice for you. 


Cancer is a word that penetrates the vocabularies of the vast majority of people on earth. We all have been or will be personally affected by cancer at some point during our lives. Worldwide, an estimated 19.3 million new cancer cases and 10 million cancer-related deaths occurred in 2020. These numbers are staggering and despite a rigorous scientific effort for many decades, surefire cures for cancer have not been developed.

CBD For Cancer: Is It Beneficial? softgel capsules on table

Cancer, what is it?

Cancer is a very complex and multi-dimensional condition, however, to put it simply cancer is a disease in which some of the body’s cells grow uncontrollably and spread to other parts of the body. Cancer can initiate almost anywhere in the human body, which is made up of trillions of cells. Typically, human cells grow and multiply to form new cells as the body needs them. Similarly, when cells become old or damaged, they die and are replaced. Sometimes this orderly process breaks down, and abnormal or damaged cells grow and multiply when they shouldn’t, eventually causing tumors that can be cancerous and metastasis to other areas of the body. Cancer is a genetic condition in that it is caused by changes to genes that control the way our cells function, especially how they grow and divide. 

CBD For Cancer: The Research

Despite decades of intensive cancer research, a surefire cure has yet to be developed. As is the case with many conditions that lack a cure, many cancer patients seek alternative treatments to combat the disease. There is growing evidence that CBD may be useful to help mitigate symptoms associated with cancer, as well as side effects associated with treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation. CBD has been shown to trigger apoptosis (cell death) in cancer cells via the production of reactive oxygen species. It has also been shown that CBD may activate TRPV-2 receptors to promote cell death in human brain cancer cells.

Research has indicated that CBD could be an effective treatment method for a variety of cancer types. A 2019 review focusing on pancreatic cancer showed cannabinoids could help slow tumor growth, reduce tumor invasion, and induce apoptosis in tumors. Furthermore, a study conducted in a mouse model of colon cancer showed that CBD was effective in reducing cell proliferation in colorectal tumors, as well as reduction of polyps and lesions associated with the disease. In a study utilizing a mouse model of breast cancer, it was shown that CBD inhibits human breast cancer cell proliferation via differential modulation of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and reactive oxygen species pathways. Moreover, it was shown that CBD significantly reduces primary tumor mass in these mice.

CBD: A Complementary Treatment for Cancer?

Common cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation can result in an array of negative side effects including nausea and loss of appetite leading to weight loss. It has been shown that cannabinoids, specifically THC, could improve appetite suppression due to cancer treatment. To date, however, no CBD products have been approved by the FDA to treat symptoms of cancer or to ease the side effects associated with cancer treatment. There have been very few studies conducted on the role of cannabinoids in the prophylactic treatment of cancer. There is a need for long-term studies of people using CBD products to investigate their potential in cancer prevention. 


Is CBD for You?

The World Health Organization (WHO) states that CBD has a good safety profile and that negative side effects are likely due to interactions with other medications. To date, there is no evidence of public health-related issues from the use of pure CBD. Thus, CBD is widely considered to be an innocuous cannabinoid that could have many potential health benefits. However, CBD, like grapefruit, interferes with the metabolizing of certain medications. If you are a cancer patient interested in using CBD, please consult your physician. Particularly if your medication comes with a grapefruit warning or is an antibiotic, antidepressant, antiseizure, blood thinner, and oral or IV chemotherapy. 

CBD for Dogs With Cancer?

CBD has become a popular alternative treatment for many ailments for humans and their furry friends alike. Although there hasn’t been any peer-reviewed research completed on this subject, anecdotal reports from pet owners who have administered CBD to their pets suffering from cancer are positive. CBD is popular among pet owners for its anti-nausea and anti-inflammatory effects, as well as appetite stimulation. Thus, CBD may positively affect your pet’s quality of life if they are suffering from cancer or other chronic illness. Please consult your veterinarian before administering your pet any medication they have not been prescribed.  


Is CBD safe?

The short answer is yes. The safety profile of CBD has been determined to be good by numerous studies and public health organizations. However, it has been shown that CBD may interfere with how your body processes some cancer drugs, called drug interaction. More research is needed on these effects, and you should not administer CBD until consulting your oncologist. 

Can CBD help people with cancer?

The answer to this question is still up for debate. Studies to answer this question are currently underway; some scientists are investigating whether CBD can relieve the side-effects associated with cancer treatment while others are studying whether CBD can slow or stop the growth of cancer cells. 


CBD For Cancer: Is It Beneficial? girl wearing black doing yoga

Final Thoughts 

It is evident that CBD has become a popular and effective alternative treatment for numerous ailments. People often turn to alternative treatments when traditional treatments have failed them. However, because research related to CBD and cancer is still in its infancy, people should approach this avenue of treatment with caution, consult their physician, and stay up to date on the most recent research. 


The information provided is for informational purposes only. We do not claim to treat or cure any health ailment or condition. Please consult your doctor or healthcare provider before trying any new product. We are not responsible for any adverse reaction(s) you may have to any of the products featured on this site. See our T & C for more information.

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