What is CBD?
First, a short explanation about CBD. Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the active ingredients of the cannabis plant, more specifically the cannabis sativa plant. The cannabis sativa plant is split into two parts: Marijuana and hemp (also known as industrial hemp).
CBD is just one of many 'cannabinoids'. In fact, there are hundreds of cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol or 9-tetrahydrocannabinol) is another cannabinoid and generally much better known given its intoxicating effects.
The two active substances should not be confused with each other. Although actually, research does show that the two are complementary and increase the effects if taken together. In contrast to THC, CBD does not cause a state of intoxication, does not have psychoactive effects, does not make you "high" and carries no risk of addiction.
According to the WHO, CBD is generally considered safe.
Nevertheless, reports have emerged that CBD can cause liver damage in very high doses. However, many studies and researchers are more concerned with the advantages of cannabinoids, which are said to be helpful in relation to many different diseases.
We already know CBD has been accepted to some extent in the world of medicine. Epidiolex is the only CBD drug available and is used in the treatment of epilepsy for patients aged 1 upwards. This is the first and only FDA (US food and drug administration) approved CBD drug available.
The exact effects of CBD are currently being investigated even more intensively. What we do know, is that it can be said that the active ingredient can have antidepressant, anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects.
CBD is being used for a variety of reasons, including:
Pain management, including neuropathic and chronic pain
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
...and many more.
As well for some major ailments, CBD is also being used for general wellness, much like vitamins. It's beneficial effects on the immune system are appealing to those who wish to lead a healthy and natural lifestyle. As well as those who desire an alternative and holistic way to relax and stay calm.
How Can CBD Help With Cancer?
Although the number of studies is still very low and certainly cannot be generally applied to every situation, some research has already shown promising effects of cannabidiol (CBD). These will have to be investigated further over time and confirmed in subsequent studies.
For example, there are studies that suggest that CBD may inhibit the growth of leukemia cells, as well as cervical, breast and prostate cancer cells. However, some of these studies have not been performed on humans.
Studies in which cancer cells and metastases have decreased following patients taking CBD are particularly interesting and suggest cannabinoids could be used to trigger cell death (apoptosis) of the diseased cells.
It is also suspected that CBD suppresses and inhibits angiogenesis. This could prevent the formation of new blood vessels and the docking with existing blood vessels and thus steal the nutritional basis for the cancer cells.
CBD for frequent complaints from cancer patients
Unfortunately, cancer is very adaptable. It is not only the disease itself that the sufferers must endure but additional side effects that reduce the quality of life of cancer patients. Could CBD help?
Above all, potential relief of pain is available due to the anti-inflammatory effects of CBD. Both the cancer and the treatment can cause the sufferer pain.
Patients often suffer from inflammation, pressure on internal organs or nerve injuries. For this reason, CBD could also be of interest to patients with end-stage cancer.
But even with depression, CBD could be a conceivable alternative to already known agents with stronger side effects.
According to science, CBD could increase serotonin and glutamate levels in the body, causing an increased feeling of happiness.
The anxiolytic effect can be helpful in acute anxiety and calm the patient somewhat. Fear is often a reason why it is harder to fall asleep at night.
With the help of cannabidiol, however, the body could be relaxed a little. According to a report, THC can even help with nightmares.
And what about nausea and vomiting? The CBDA (cannabidiolic acid) could be used here. Studies show that low doses of cannabidiolic acid could be a suitable antidote to alleviating strong nausea.
And mixture of CBD, CBDA and THC is potentially even more effective. This network could be used primarily for chemotherapy.
So if CBD could really at least mitigate and reduce these side effects, the cannabinoid would be an interesting substance for people with end-stage cancer that would provide a little more quality of life.
CBD in combination with other therapies
So CBD seems to be a promising drug for cancer patients. But what about other cancer therapies? Can CBD be combined with these?
For example, it would be conceivable to supplement chemotherapy with CBD. This approach has already been examined more closely by the GW Pharmaceuticals Group.
In one study, patients with a brain tumour were given the drug Sativex, which also contains CBD in addition to THC, whereas another group of patients received only one placebo. There were promising results and the survival rate significantly improved.
The combination of CBD with radiation therapy was also examined in 2017. In this study too, glioblastomas focused on a malignant brain tumour.
The study showed that the CBD could weaken the cancer cells, making them more susceptible to radiation therapy.
This way, cannabinoids like CBD and THC could also increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy.
They weaken the repair mechanism of a cancer cell and make it much more susceptible to aggressive chemotherapy.
"In 2016, at the age of 23 I was diagnosed with a rare form of ovarian cancer called 'low grade serous ovarian cancer'. This type of cancer, created massive tumors that would push into my spine and would cause a lot of pain. Over time it got worse. Not only did I have a lot of pain, but I was struggling with inflammation in my stomach (from multiple surgeries), insomnia and PTSD.
When I was battling cancer, I started to use tinctures and gummies from Discover CBD and I noticed almost immediately that the CBD was helping not only with the aches and pains, but it was helping my stomach inflammation and mood. I was able to get a full nights sleep without tossing and turning, and I can’t even begin to describe how it helped my PTSD."
Cheyann Shaw Fitness Model and Influencer
CBD as a prevention for cancer?
Some people wonder whether they can or should even use cannabis or CBD to prevent cancer. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) in the United States has reviewed and evaluated several studies on this topic.
Unfortunately, the results are somewhat confusing and inconsistent. For example, a study of over 60,000 participants found that cannabis use would not increase the risk of cancer due to tobacco use.
At the same time, however, the same study found that men who smoked cannabis were at greater risk of prostate cancer than men who had never smoked.
So it seems the cannabis smoke is still carcinogenic, so the situation is not entirely clear when inhaling marijuana.
However, taking CBD does not expose the body to the same carcinogens as when smoking. Further studies are needed to be able to answer the role of CBD in the prevention of cancer more precisely.
Because in some studies the risk of lung cancer from smoking and inhaling cannabis increased.
Although promising results have been seen, some studies did show that the risk of lung cancer from smoking and inhaling cannabis increased.
These studies focus on smoking CBD. But there are many other ways to take CBD that does not involve the potential risks of smoking. For example, oils and capsules.
How to use CBD products
If you choose to try CBD oil for cancer, one of the most effective way should be sublingually. This is where the the oil is dropped under the tongue. CBD oil generally comes in tinctures with a dropper, so it's easy to administer.
CBD oil works quickly and is absorbed into the oral mucosa after a few seconds.
A disadvantage of CBD oil, however, is that not everyone likes the taste, which can be quite bitter.
A CBD liquid comes in the vapouriser or in an e-cigarette and is therefore vaped. Here too, rapid absorption through the mucous membranes is guaranteed. But you should be careful if you already have inflammation and injuries in the mouth.
Hemp tea is also particularly practical. You can drink this well before going to bed if you have sleep problems. You just have to brew the CBD tea and let it steep for a while.
CBD for animals with cancer
Animals like dogs and cats can get cancer as well as humans. CBD works by interacting with the body's endocannabinoid system and plays an important role in many different body processes.
Animals also have such an endocannabinoid system, which is why the substance CBD could also achieve the same or at least similar effects on them.
Consequently, CBD oils could also help animals or their disease by simply relieving the side effects of cancer, such as pain, anxiety and nausea.
The use of CBD in animals with cancer is also supported by the fact that some studies have been carried out on mice or rats and positive effects have also been found here.
Our success stories come from social media, other CBD websites or through people we know personally. Some people are comfortable sharing their names and products, others prefer to remain anonymous. We feel hearing other people's positive experiences are a vital part of learning about how CBD can help, although it is important to remember that not all CBD products work the same for everyone. Don't be disheartened if one product/dosage doesn't work for you... keep trying!
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