Can CBD treat cancer? CBD (cannabidiol), which is a cannabinoid found in the marijuana plant may hold the promise of treating cancer, but more research is needed. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) does recognize marijuana’s benefits in alleviating many of the symptoms caused by cancer and also cancer treatments.
Cannabis to Treat Cancer
Many researchers believe that all the cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant may eventually prove beneficial in the treatment of cancer. Rick Simpson Oil is a high tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) oil that is believed by many to help the body heal from cancer. In 2003, Rick Simpson used the oil on cancerous skin lesions with immense success. After his malignant skin cancer healed, he started to advocate cannabis to treat cancer. In one highly acclaimed study, researchers used cannabis in conjunction with radiation therapy to treat highly aggressive glioma cancers. It was found that the cannabinoids made the cancer cells more responsive to the damaging effects of the radiation.
What is Cancer?
Cancer occurs when a rogue cell in the human body starts to divide abnormally without stopping. The disease process can take place in any cell or part of the body. Normal cells within the body replicate as the old cells die. As they replicate, they form identical, healthy likenesses of the old/dying cell. However, cancer cells do not grow in an orderly fashion. Instead, the cancerous cells replicate rapidly and create abnormal cells. The mass of abnormal cells forms a tumor. The malignant cell has the capability of invading nearby organs or spread via the body’s blood or lymph system to other locations. Cancer holds the classification of a genetic disorder and occurs when genes fail to control the cancerous cells. However, outside pollutants such as cigarette smoking, exposure to asbestos, and other carcinogens appear to spur cellular changes which lead to certain types of cancers.
Medical Marijuana and Chemotherapy
For decades, physicians and researchers have acknowledged that the use of marijuana helps alleviate the often-unbearable nausea and vomiting that occurs because of chemotherapy used to kill cancer cells. Cannabis also helps spur the appetite of the cancer patient, so they can eat and maintain their body weight while undergoing treatments.
Synthetic Cannabinoids for use in Cancer Patients
Two pharmaceutical drugs, Dronabinol (Marinol) and Nabilone (Cesamet), were approved for treatment of nausea and vomiting in patients undergoing chemotherapy. Both drugs feature synthetic forms of cannabinoids found in the marijuana plant. Each of the drugs acts in a similar fashion to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Dronabinol also helps improve the cancer patient’s food intake.
Medical Marijuana for Cancer Patients
Many states have legalized the use of medical marijuana for cancer sufferers. In such locations, cancer patients can now seek much-needed relief without having to turn to costly pharmaceutical drugs. Also, CBD-infused products and vapes have become legal on a state level in all 50 states.
Cannabis and Pain
In many cases, cancer sufferers experience extreme pain such as neuropathic pain. According to the American Cancer Society, studies have shown that marijuana, especially smoked or vaporized cannabis products, appear to significantly relieve the pain. CBD also acts as a strong anti-inflammatory which further reduces discomfort.
Cannabis Kills Cancer Cells
The National Cancer Institute acknowledges the following, ‘Cannabis has been shown to kill cancer cells in the laboratory.’ However, it is undeniable that marijuana clearly helps relieve the symptoms of both cancer and the associated side effects of the various treatments.
Studies continue around the world as researchers focus on treating and alleviating symptoms with the various cannabinoids of the marijuana plant. Many studies indicate that the use of cannabis in conjunction with standard cancer treatments may prove beneficial not only in relieving the symptoms of the cancer but also in destroying the malignancy.