CBD, cannabidiol, is a cannabinoid that comes from the hemp plant. The hemp plant comes from the Cannabis Sativa family, but hemp does not contain the psychoactive properties associated with marijuana plants. CBD will not get the user “high” and boasts many health benefits. CBD is legal due to its trace amount of THC (0.3% or less) and is available to those seeking health remedies without the side effects of prescription medication.
The National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society have published articles recognizing that cannabinoids play a beneficial role in the treatment of cancer. The American Cancer Society stated “Most recently, scientists reported that THC and other cannabinoids such as CBD slow growth and/or cause death in certain types of cancer cells growing in lab dishes. Some animal studies also suggest certain cannabinoids may slow growth and reduce spread of some forms of cancer.” The National Cancer Institute recognizes CBD as relieving pain, reducing inflammation and lowering anxiety “without causing the ‘high’ of THC.” This same article states “Cannabis has been shown to kill cancer cells in laboratory testing.” Both agencies noted the reduction in vomiting and nausea associated with chemotherapy. This shows progress in the medical field of accepting the advantages of cannabinoids in treating diseases and conditions, which falls in line with the shift in societal acceptance.
How Does CBD Help Treat Cancer?
Cannabinoids, like CBD, bind to the endocannabinoid system’s receptor CB-1 and CB-2. When this happens, ceramide synthesis is induced. Ceramide synthesis can lead to the differentiation (where a cell changes from one type to another), proliferation (cell development and division) and programmed cell death. In regards to cancer, the programmed cell death is key in killing the cancer. The presence of ceramides induces autophagy, which is involves your body naturally recycling cells. Autophagy (meaning “self-eating”) creates membranes that hunt out diseased or damaged cells, which are broken down and left over healthy molecules are left over for energy or making new cells. Benefits can be achieved through topical, sublingual, oral and vaporizer methods of using CBD.
How Does CBD Help With the Side Effects of Cancer?
Cancer and cancer treatments bring a myriad of adverse side effects to the person affected. One major short-term and long-term side effect is fatigue. CBD is able to help the user get restful sleep through its balancing of the endocannabinoid system. Nausea and vomiting can be diminished as CBD interacts with the serotonin receptors to reduce nausea. Cannabidiol treats chronic and neuropathy pain, which are common in patients. The anti-inflammatory properties assist with combating swelling (edema) that many people experience during treatments.
CBD works with the immune system to boost functioning, which is critical to replenish and boost in patients where their immune system is already battling cancer. The antimicrobial nature of CBD adds another layer of protection to prevent secondary illnesses from infecting the patient, which will further stress the immune system. The anti-inflammatory properties assist with combating swelling (edema) that many people experience during treatments.