Cannabidiol (CBD) is rapidly gaining popularity as a natural treatment for a wide range of health issues. One particularly difficult-to-treat condition some people take CBD oil for is cancer.
In Australia, an estimated 430,000 people lived with cancer in 2014, and 144,713 new cases were diagnosed in 2019 alone. There are many different types of cancer, including breast, prostate, skin, lung, brain, and others. What they all have in common, however, is abnormal cell growth.
Cancer remains an incurable condition, but can CBD offer relief? Let’s look at what researchers have to say.
How Can CBD Oil Help with Cancer
Marijuana is perhaps the most popular alternative treatment for cancer and pain. As such it’s not surprising that CBD oil — which contains many of the same compounds, but with low levels of intoxicating THC — can be beneficial for cancer sufferers.
When it comes to CBD oil and cancer, the potential benefits are divided into two areas: relieving the symptoms of cancer and chemotherapy, and preventing cancer cell growth.
In terms of symptom relief, CBD oil can help with the two major symptoms of cancer and chemotherapy: pain and nausea. As discussed in our previous article on chronic pain, CBD affects many of the receptors that control the interrelated processes of pain and inflammation.
In addition, CBD can reduce pain in other ways such as increasing the levels of the body’s natural endocannabinoid anandamide and boosting adenosine — a neurotransmitter (brain chemical) that regulates pain and inflammation.
Meanwhile, CBD’s antiemetic (anti-vomiting) properties that may have something to do with its effects on the receptors for serotonin, a key neurotransmitter.
Finally, there is some early evidence that CBD and other cannabinoids may prevent cancer growth by making it more difficult for cancer cells to reproduce.
CBD Oil and Cancer: The Research
Research on the cancer benefits of CBD and other cannabinoids is a growing field. Although most of the current studies focus on preparations that combine THC and CBD, there is overwhelming evidence that CBD can improve pain and nausea associated with cancer and chemotherapy as well as potentially prevent cancer growth.
For starters, numerous test tube and animal studies are demonstrating that CBD can prevent the growth of cancer tumors. For example, a 2006 study by Italian researchers found that out of five tested cannabinoids, CBD showed the best ability to prevent breast cancer growth.
Similarly, a 2012 study reported that CBD protected mice against colon cancer. However, human studies are needed to reproduce these effects.
In addition, multiple studies are demonstrating CBD’s effects on pain. For example, a 2013 study in mice found that CBD reduced neuropathic pain caused by the chemotherapy drug Paclitaxel. Meanwhile, a 2010 human study showed that a combination of THC and CBD relieved cancer pain more effectively than isolated THC.
Lastly, a 2002 study in rats demonstrated that CBD interferes with nausea, leading the researchers to suggest that it “may have therapeutic value in the treatment of chemotherapy-induced nausea.”
CBD Oil Dosage For Cancer
Dosage remains one of the most common yet difficult questions when it comes to CBD oil. This is especially true for cancer because everyone’s case is different: a CBD dosage that may work well for one person may not be enough for another.
We recommend starting with the lowest possible dose and gradually increasing it until you feel the desired relief. As a general rule of thumb, however, cancer will require higher-end dosages.
Full-Spectrum CBD Oil for Cancer
As it stands, CBD oil is a safe, natural, and effective complementary remedy to standard cancer treatment.
As we’ve discussed above, CBD oil can not only relieve symptoms of cancer and chemotherapy, such as chronic pain and vomiting, but might also fight cancer directly by preventing and impeding cancer cell growth.
As a final note, if you’re thinking about trying CBD oil for cancer, we recommend going with a full-spectrum product. One such oil available in Australia is offered by the brand Good Alternatives.
Full-spectrum hemp formulations have greater effectiveness and fewer side effects than pure CBD because they also contain many other beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes that work together in a holistic, whole-plant synergy.