CBD Oil For Cancer – Complete Guide And Benefits

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We have seen a lot of breakthroughs in cancer research and treatment. Still, cancer remains the leading cause of death. Most of the cancer treatments are arduous, intensive, and expensive. There is a need to explore alternative options for cancer treatment. CBD Oil For Cancer seems to be an ideal candidate that could be used for the different types of cancers.

Before going deep on the benefits of CBD Oil, let’s define what is cancer and its impact on our lives. Then, this article will walk you through the research related to the potential use of CBD oil for cancer treatment.

Overview

Cancer means uncontrolled growth of body cells. Generally, your body cells divide and grow in an organized fashion. However, when they turn cancerous, they start to grow rapidly and in an erratic fashion.

These cells grow at an exponential rate and turn into a mass, and these cells derive nutrients from the surrounding normal cells leading to their death.

Also, these cells can seed into your body system and can migrate to other body parts.

The prevalence of different types of cancers has skyrocketed in the past few years. More than 100 types of cancers have been reported so far.

Here are some staggering facts related to cancer, as reported by the World Health Organization (WHO): [1]

  • Globally, around 1 in 6 deaths are due to different cancer types.
  • During the year 2018, cancers were responsible for around 10 million deaths worldwide.
  • Cancers cause an economic burden exceeding 1 trillion dollars.
  • The most prevalent types of cancers are lung, breast, colorectal, prostate, skin, and stomach respectively. Among these, the most common causes of death are lung, colorectal, stomach, liver, and breast cancers respectively.
  • The most common reversible causes for cancers include alcohol abuse, high body mass index, tobacco use, lack of physical activity, and lack of fruits and vegetables intake.

CBD Oil For Cancer- What Does the Research Say?

CBD cancer

Following are the proposed mechanisms through which CBD oil is believed to help with different types of cancer. [2]

# 1: It Inhibits the Uncontrolled Growth of Cancer Cells

As mentioned before, the normal body cells divide in an extremely controlled fashion. The normal division cycle of a cell is called a cell cycle.

The cells enter into this cycle and undergo a limited number of divisions.

After a cell has reached a certain threshold number of divisions, it undergoes programmed cell death. In other words, the cell commits suicide, something known as autophagy.

The cancer cells divide in an uncontrolled fashion. This happens due to two main reasons.

First, for cancer cells, there is no threshold limit for the number of cell division they can undergo.

In other words, they can divide indefinitely. Second, they don’t commit suicide as well.

CBD oil can control the growth of cancer cells in two ways.

According to research, some cancer types, like breast cancer, exhibit cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2.

The cannabinoids in CBD oil can act on these receptors and can block the downstream cellular processes that signal the cells that it is the time to divide.

Second, cannabinoids can also trigger the expression of certain regions in the cancer cell DNA that can force the cells to commit suicide (autophagy).

# 2: It Can Cut Off Energy Supply to the Cancer Cells

Just as you need food to survive, your body cells need energy to perform different activities including division.

Since cancer cells divide at an exponential rate, they require a lot of energy. The energy comes from the nutrients supplied through the blood to these cells.

CBD oil can potentially control the growth and activity by reducing the energy supply to the cancer cells.

The ingredient in CBD oil can block the cellular processes that help the cancer cells transform the raw ingredients (like glucose) into energy.

Moreover, CBD oil ingredients can also block the secretion of chemicals that promote the growth of new blood vessels.

Once there is less blood going to the cancer cells, they start to die due to a shortage of energy.

# 3: It Can Prevent Migration and Invasion of Cancer Cells

Most of the cancer cells are not limited to one body part.

They have the ability to break off from the primary site of origin and get transferred to some other body sites (called secondary site).

This process is called ‘metastases.’ Cancer cells generally use your blood vessels to move from one body organ to another.

Once the cancer cells break off from their primary site and are headed towards the secondary site, they have first to attach themselves to the walls of blood vessels and then squeeze their way through the walls of these vessels to finally reach the secondary site.

These processes are called cellular attachment, adhesion, and migration.

These processes occur as the blood vessel walls express certain receptors that the cancer cells are able to recognize.

The cannabinoids in CBD oil can help block these receptors. As a result, the cancer cells are unable to attach to the vessel walls and transfer to other body parts.

That’s how CBD oil might be able to prevent cancer metastasis.

# 4: It Can Prevent Cancer Growth Due to its Antioxidant, Anti-inflammatory, Anti-mutagenic, and Immune-modulating EffectsResearch Related to the Use of CBD Oil for Different Types of Cancers

One of the basic processes that turn even normal body cells into cancerous cells is something called oxidative stress.

Oxidative stress means highly reactive molecules that can interact with body cells and denature them.

The part of the cells most susceptible to the attack of oxidative stress is the cell DNA.

Oxidative stress can introduce abnormalities within the DNA structure. Once the DNA structure gets abnormal, the cells can turn cancerous.

CBD oil is loaded with antioxidant molecules. These molecules block oxidative stress.

These chemicals achieve this by blocking the production of reactive molecules and by increasing the expression of body systems that can help lower the levels of oxidative stress.

As a result, CBD oil can help reduce the chances of DNA turning abnormal.

There is another way CBD can manipulate the oxidative stress in controlling cancer growth.

There has been some research where the use of CBD oil leads to increased oxidative stress specifically within the cancerous cells.

This increase in oxidative stress can lead to an increase in the toxic burden inside the cancer cells. This can eventually lead to premature death of the cancer cells.

Another mechanism that might promote cancer development is increased inflammation within body systems.

CBD oil can help minimize the levels of inflammation within your body. This can help reduce the chances of cancer growth and development.

Finally, CBD oil can improve the expression of immune cells and immune mediating chemicals.

Once the immune system is in good shape, it is better able to recognize abnormal body cells and destroy them in an effective manner.

Research Related to the Use of CBD Oil for Different Types of Cancers

Here, we are going to analyze the effects of CBD oil for cancer treatment, as shown in different research studies.

CBD and Brain Cancers

Brain

According to the American Cancer Society, the estimated central nervous system tumor burden among adults and children during 2019 would rise.

Around 23,820 malignant tumors will be diagnosed. Almost 17,760 people will die of the brain and other central nervous system tumors during the year 2019. [3]

Astrocytoma, medulloblastoma, and ependymoma are the three major subtypes of brain cancers.

CBD destroys brain tumor cells by increasing the production of reactive oxygen species in cancerous cells and making them vulnerable to chemotherapy.

CBD Research For Brain Cancer

Following are some salient features of the research was done on CBD and brain cancers so far.

  • CBD Prevents Growth, Differentiation, and Colonization of Brain Cancer Cells

In the case of brain tumors like gliomas, CBD has shown to act in different ways.

According to research, CBD helps speed the death of cancer cells by triggering autophagy.

In addition, the use of CBD can also help prevent the division, differentiation, and colonization of brain glioma cells.

Finally, research has also shown that CBD oil helps improve the sensitivity of the glioma cells to the chemotherapy used. In other words, the use of CBD oil in conjunction with the radiotherapy can produce favorable results. [4]

  • CBD Prevents The Metastasis of Brain Cancer Cells

In more research, CBD has shown tremendous potential in not only preventing the growth and differentiation of the brain tumor cells, but it prevents the spread of cancer cells a well.

The use of CBD oil can help prevent the production of proteins that aid in the spread of cancer cells. [5]

CBD and Lung Cancer

Lung

According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer is the second most common cancer reported in the United States.

It is also responsible for most of the cancer-related deaths in both sexes. Lung cancer represents 13% of all newly diagnosed cases of cancer. [6]

Cannabinoids including CBD are reported to increase the susceptibility of lung cancer cells for apoptosis-mediated cell death and also helps in preventing the cancer cell invasion to adjacent regions.

CBD Research For Lung Cancer

  • CBD Increases Programmed Cell Death (Apoptosis) Within Lung Cancer Cells

The role of CBD in the treatment of lung cancer was studied in different types of lung cancers.

It was found that the use of CBD-based therapies led to a remarkable increase in the rate of apoptosis among cancer cells.

CBD was able to achieve that by increasing the expression of certain genes within the cancer cells.

These genes included the COX-2 and PPAR-γ genes, and increased expression of these genes leads to enhanced apoptosis. [7]

  • CBD Oil is Able to Prevent the Spread of Lung Cancer

As mentioned before, the spread of cancer cells from one part of the body to another involves processes like adhesion and migration.

Research suggests that the use of CBD leads to increased production of a protein called tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinases-1 (TIMP-1). TIMP-1 is known to reduce the adhesion, migration, and mitigate the invasive nature of malignant cancer cells. [8]

CBD and Breast Cancer

Breast

The statistics related to breast cancer are indeed astounding. According to the Breastcancer.org, 1 in 9 American women will develop an invasive type of breast cancer at some point during their lifetime.

During the year 2019, around 300,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer are estimated to be diagnosed in the US.

Also, around 41,760 women are expected to die of metastatic breast cancer during the year 2019.

As of January 2019, more than 3.1 million women in the U.S are diagnosed with a serious type of breast cancer. [9]

Proteins termed as inhibitors of DNA-binding are recognized as the major players in causing breast cancer.

They regulate cancer cell multiplication, and any imbalance or overactivity in them will essentially lead to breast cancer and subsequent invasive metastasis.

Hemp oil for cancer reverses this condition by acting directly on the production of these proteins and maintaining them under normal levels.

CBD and Research For Breast Cancer

  • CBD Oil Cancer Treatment Prevents EGF Pathway

According to research, CBD oil is extremely potent in treating different types of breast cancer.

In one research, scientists have noticed that CBD was able to prevent the growth and differentiation of even triple negative breast cancer cells.

That’s important because triple negative breast cancer is the type of breast cancer most challenging to treat.

CBD achieves this by preventing the activity of a cellular pathway called the Epithelial Growth Factor pathway.

A reduction in the activity of this pathway prevents cancer cell multiplication. [10]

  • CBD Induces Programmed Cell Death With Breast Cancer Cells

Studies have shown that CBD is instrumental in the activation of intrinsic apoptotic (cell death) pathway in malignant breast cancer cells.

CBD is also involved in increasing the production of reactive oxygen which leads to cell autophagy. [11]

CBD and Colorectal Cancer

Colon

According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal is the third most common type of cancer diagnosed among men and women in the United States.

According to estimates, 1 in 22 men will develop colorectal cancer during their lifetime.

More than 150,000 cases or colorectal cancer are estimated to be reported during the year 2019.

Also, it is expected that colorectal cancer will cause more than 50,000 deaths in the U.S during the year 2019. [12]

CBD was in use for a very long time for managing the unpleasant side effects of chemotherapy in colorectal cancer diagnosed individuals.

Recently there is an increased interest in using CBD as a therapeutic agent against colorectal cancer.

It is known to act as an anti tumorogenic agent via activation of CB1 receptors. It can effectively target the faulty cells and mediated inhibition of tumor cells.

CBD and Research for Colorectal Cancer

  • CBD is Able to Prevent DNA Damage and Abnormal Cell Proliferation

Research suggests that CBD prevents the harmful effects of increased oxidative stress on cellular DNA.

CBD was able to protect the cellular DNA and was able to put a stop to the aberrant division of the cells. [13]

  • CBD Selectively Inhibits the Growth of Colorectal Cells

Experiments were conducted on colorectal carcinoma (DLD-1 and HCT116) cell lines and healthy colonic cells to study the effect on Cannabis sativa extract with a high content of CBD on cancer cells.

It was observed that CBD could effectively inhibit colon carcinogenesis and proliferation via CB1 and CB2 receptor activation.

What’s even more interesting is that the CBD was able to differentiate between cancer and normal cells.

It was able to reduce the growth of cancer cells only. It did not harm the normal cell lines. [14]

CBD and Prostate Cancer

Prostate

According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer among men.

As per estimates, one in nine men will develop prostate cancer at least once during their lifetime.

During the year 2019, around 200,000 new cases of prostate cancer are expected to be diagnosed.

Also, more than 30,000 people are expected to die of prostate cancer during the year 2019. [15]

Ceramides are a group of lipid molecules which plays an important role in programmed cell death and inhibition of cancer cell growth.

In the presence of CBD, ceramide gets accumulated in prostate cancer cells.

Accumulation of ceramide leads to depletion in energy source within cancerous cells and this, in turn, leads to cancer cell death.

Also, CBD oil for cancer treatment promotes apoptosis within prostate cancer cells. [16]

CBD and leukemia

Leukemia

According to the American Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, every 3 minutes one American is diagnosed with a type of blood cancer.

These blood cancers account for an approximate 10 percent of the total cancer types diagnosed.

More than 50,000 people have died in the U.S during the year 2018 because of different blood-borne malignancies. [17]

CBD selectively attacks leukemia by inducing programmed cell death via regulation of CB2 receptors.

Moreover, CBD oil is found to have direct toxic effects on blood cancer cells. In other words, the use of CBD can directly kill cancer cells. [18]

CBD and Some Other Forms of Cancer

CBD oil also helps with some other forms of cancer. These cancer forms are as follows:

  • Studies have confirmed the potential of CBD oil in treating skin tumor cells through a series of experiments.
  • In one study researcher compared the effect of CBD oil in treating thymoma cells. CBD was able to induce apoptosis in thymoma cells.
  • CBD oil also inhibits growth and induces programmed cell death in Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus-infected endothelium.
CBD Oil For Cancer - Pinterest

The Treatment of Cancer With
CBD Oil and Chemotherapy-Related Side Effects

In addition to the treatment of cancer, cancer patients deal with some challenges. For instance, pain and nausea are common side effects of cancer and cancer chemotherapy.

CBD oil has shown immense potential in treating cancer and chemotherapy-related side effects. The details are as follows. [19]

CBD Oil and Pain

Pain is a common complication that most of the cancer patients face.

In several RCTs, researchers have found that patients taking CBD oil and other cannabinoid preparations experienced a significant improvement in pain scores compared to other patients who used conventional pain relief.

Some chemotherapy drugs lead to a side effect called neuropathy.

Neuropathy means nerve damage and this damage leads to persistent and intestine pain.

Researchers have found that the use of CBD oil leads to the activation of CB1 and CB2 receptors. This activation soothes the nerves and leads to an improvement in neuropathy symptoms.

Another benefit of using CBD oil is its ability to enhance the effects of conventional painkillers. Researchers have found that cancer patients using CBD oil experienced a significant pain-relieving effect with the handling of opioid analgesics.

CBD Oil and Nausea

Nausea and vomiting are common side effects that patients experience following the use of chemotherapy drugs. Some RCTs have shown the benefits of CBD oil improving these chemotherapy-related side effects.

CBD Oil and Appetite Stimulation

The use of CBD oil leads to an improvement in appetite and aids in reducing chemotherapy-related anorexia as well.

CBD Oil and Overall Quality of Life

The cancer patients using CBD oil experience an overall improvement in their quality of life.

Conclusion

To conclude, CBD Oil For Cancer is an effective and proven adjuvant therapy that can be used in the management of a variety of cancer types. It is also helpful in improving the overall quality of life and in tackling a variety of chemotherapy-related side effects.

References

  1. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/cancer
  2. Bandana Chakravarti et al. Cannabinoids as therapeutic agents in cancer: current status and future implications. Oncotarget. 2014 Aug; 5(15): 5852–5872.
  3. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/brain-spinal-cord-tumors-adults/about/key-statistics.html
  4. Massimo Nabissi, et al. Cannabidiol stimulates Aml‐1a‐dependent glial differentiation and inhibits glioma stem‐like cells proliferation by inducing autophagy in a TRPV2‐dependent manner. Cancer cell biology. Volume137, Issue8 15 October 2015 Pages 1855-1869
  5. Solinas M, et al. Cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid compound, inhibits proliferation and invasion in U87-MG and T98G glioma cells through a multitarget effect. PLoS One. 2013 Oct 21;8(10):e76918
  6. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/non-small-cell-lung-cancer/about/key-statistics.html
  7. Ramer R, et al. COX-2 and PPAR-γ confer cannabidiol-induced apoptosis of human lung cancer cells. Mol Cancer Ther. 2013 Jan;12(1):69-82.
  8. Ramer R, et al. Cannabidiol inhibits lung cancer cell invasion and metastasis via intercellular adhesion molecule-1. FASEB J. 2012 Apr;26(4):1535-48.
  9. https://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/understand_bc/statistics
  10. Elbaz M, et al. Modulation of the tumor microenvironment and inhibition of EGF/EGFR pathway: novel anti-tumor mechanisms of Cannabidiol in breast cancer. Mol Oncol. 2015 Apr;9(4):906-19.
  11. Shrivastava A, et al. Cannabidiol induces programmed cell death in breast cancer cells by coordinating the cross-talk between apoptosis and autophagy. Mol Cancer Ther. 2011 Jul;10(7):1161-72.
  12. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/colon-rectal-cancer/about/key-statistics.html
  13. Aviello G, et al. Chemopreventive effect of the non-psychotropic phytocannabinoid cannabidiol on experimental colon cancer. J Mol Med (Berl). 2012 Aug;90(8):925-34
  14. Romano B, et al. Inhibition of colon carcinogenesis by a standardized Cannabis sativa extract with high content of cannabidiol. Phytomedicine. 2014 Apr 15;21(5):631-9.
  15. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/prostate-cancer/about/key-statistics.html
  16. Sreevalsan S, et al. Induction of apoptosis by cannabinoids in prostate and colon cancer cells is phosphatase-dependent. Anticancer Res. 2011 Nov;31(11):3799-807.
  17. https://www.lls.org/http%3A/llsorg.prod.acquia-sites.com/facts-and-statistics/facts-and-statistics-overview/facts-and-statistics
  18. Scott KA, et al. Enhancing the activity of cannabidiol and other cannabinoids in vitro through modifications to drug combinations and treatment schedules. Anticancer Res. 2013 Oct;33(10):4373-80.
  19. D.I. Abrams. Integrating cannabis into clinical cancer care. Curr Oncol. 2016 Mar; 23(Suppl 2): S8–S14.

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