A multitude of people now include CBD in their wellness routines. In fact, research shows that CBD could have a wealth of health benefits. Today, we'll look at whether CBD can work for cancer patients. CBD oil has garnered a reputation as being an effective treatment for neurological and physiological illnesses. People who use CBD oil love that it's a natural product that is generally much easier on the body when compared to most pharmaceuticals. It’s commonly used to treat pain, anxiety, and insomnia, but can CBD oil work for cancer patients?
Many cancer patients turn to medical marijuana, to help them cope with side-effects from treatments such as chemotherapy which is recognised by the health authorities to help with the side effects such as nausea. Since CBD is a legal over the counter cannabinoid that is derived from cannabis, could CBD also help with this? We'll walk you through the facts.
Table of Contents
What is CBD?
Before diving into taking CBD for cancer, we'll tell you a little bit about CBD. Sourced from the cannabis plant, cannabidiol is merely one of over 113 recognised compounds in the plant itself. Clinical studies indicate that CBD could have numerous health benefits.
Additionally, in the UK, CBD over the counter products have low amounts of THC. This helps CBD products in the UK fit within legal guidelines. Over the counter CBD products with low amounts of THC allow people to consume CBD oil without worrying about psychoactive effects.
What is CBD oil?
Cannabidiol, CBD is one of the main cannabinoids produced within a cannabis plant. CBD as an oil is an excellent way to consume CBD. In fact, CBD oil is one of the most popular forms of CBD on the market. Popularly used in CBD research, CBD oil is also an easy way to get exact doses of CBD.
However, in the search for CBD, refrain from consuming hemp oil. Manufactured from hemp seeds, hemp oil contains only trace amounts of CBD. Therefore, when it comes to CBD for cancer treatment — among a host of other health issues, avoid consuming hemp oil.
What is cannabis oil?
Generally, manufacturers make cannabis oil from low THC marijuana plants called industrial hemp or just hemp.THC is the other main cannabinoids a cannabis plant produces and is the cannabinoid responsible in the main for the lifted high feelings that consumers may get from cannabis. Cannabis oils can contain much higher levels of THC if produced from a high strength THC plant rather than the low THC version produced from industrial Hemp. High strength CBD oils produced from Industrial hemp are normally available of the counter in the UK. Given the stringent regulations around THC and CBD oil in the UK, cannabis oil with high levels of THC are only available with a medical prescription for medical cannabis. Therefore, patients may opt for non prescription CBD oil instead of prescription cannabis because it is not really available on the NHS and can be expensive..
What does CBD oil do?
CBD has proven a big hit with those looking for wellness products. Research shows that CBD has a big influence on maintaining the body's physiological balance or homeostasis because of how it interacts with many physiological systems of the body and in particular the endocannabinoid system (ECS) the body's engine management system.
The ECS is responsible for several physical functions in our body, including:
Given that many people with cancer experience chronic pain, loss of sleep, and a dip in their appetites, CBD could be crucial in improving their lives.
In fact, a 2018 study in the Journal of Pain Research showed that cannabinoids could relieve pain in patients with malignant diseases. In this study, results showed that the majority of patients reported a reduction in pain.
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What is cannabis oil used for?
You can use cannabis oil in a variety of ways. Research shows that cannabinoids bind to the ECS. This could potentially help with a number of conditions.
For example, research shows that regular doses of CBD oil could help manage pain. An animal study in 2017 showed that rats treated with CBD could manage pain better than rats that didn't get a dose of CBD.
Additionally, a study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology explored the relationship between CBD and nausea in cancer patients. Here, results showed that CBD could potentially reduce chemotherapy-related nausea in people with cancer.
However, that's not all. Anecdotal evidence points to cannabis oil having a selection of benefits. Plus, it's versatile, so it can be ingested, used topically, or added to recipes.
Is cannabis oil the same as CBD oil?
While cannabis oil and CBD oil both contain CBD, they're quite different. This is because manufacturers source cannabis oil from high THC marijuana plants. Therefore, it contains much higher levels of THC than CBD oil.
Conversely, manufacturers mostly source CBD oil from the hemp plant. This means that CBD oil contains much lower levels of THC. Apart from that, full spectrum cannabis oil and CBD both contain all the cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant.
However, it's important to note that due to its high levels of THC, cannabis oil is only avalible on prescription. Therefore non-prescription legal options on the market usually consist of CBD oil.
What is the entourage effect?
CBD is only one of the many cannabinoids in the hemp plant. When you opt for a product made from full-spectrum CBD, you treat yourself to the entourage effect. This means that you get the all the effects of the cannabinoids and terpenes in the hemp plant that produce a proven synergy making the combination more effective than each of the individual components.
In fact, a study in the British Journal of Pharmacology explored the relationship between the entourage effect and therapeutic benefits. Here, results showed that the entourage effect could have a positive effect on blood flow, and potentially improve cortical activity.
Can CBD be used as a complementary cancer therapy?
Cancer is an extremely complicated disease. It affects organs and areas throughout the body. As a result, the treatment plans for each cancer can differ, but studies have shown that CBD or medical cannabis may help treat cancer alongside other treatment options. In particular, it can help with stimulating appetite, pain relief, and nausea.
Stimulating appetite – Cancer treatment can be extremely tough on your body. Chemotherapy and intense medication can make it difficult to have an appetite. Some patients lose lots of weight during their treatment, but tests have shown that CBD can stimulate appetite in children.
Pain relief – CBD has been shown to be an effective way to deal with pain. It inhibits the CB2 receptor in the brain which helps to reduce inflammation. Pain and inflammation can come from the cancer itself and also from cancer treatment. So using CBD for cancer treatment may be an effective pain relief option for patients.
Nausea – Chemotherapy is a necessary evil for some patients. It can help destroy the cancer cells, but it can also come with some extreme side effects. Nausea is a common side effect associated with chemotherapy and for some, it can be devastating. Tests have shown that CBD can help reduce chemotherapy-induced nausea.
CBD may work as an effective complement to traditional cancer therapy, but does it work as a treatment for cancer?
What does the research say?
The world of medicinal cannabis and CBD seems to be changing every day. With governments writing new laws for cannabis use and public perception changing, researchers are now intensely investigating the medical applications of CBD. To get conclusive results a lot of time and money is needed because of this, research is still at a very early stage. Early signs are promising in a lot of areas, but it is still too early to say for sure that CBD is a successful form of cancer treatment on its own.
Tests have shown that CBD may be effective against some forms of breast cancer. Pre-clinical models of metastatic breast cancer tests have shown that CBD reduced breast cancer cell proliferation and invasion. CBD also performed well when tasked with treating gliomas, which are a type of brain tumour, in vitro and in vivo studies.
Future tests plan to investigate how CBD works with specific types of cancers and how it interacts with chemotherapy drugs. This current lack of scientific answers has resulted in people turning towards anecdotal evidence.
Read our similar article on: CBD and Cancer Patients Survey
We’ve all heard stories of how CBD has helped out in individual cases. While these stories can’t be accepted as a scientific fact, they can give hope that one day the full effect of CBD will be known.
Lynn Cameron from the UK was given 18 months to live in 2013. She had an aggressive form of brain cancer and doctors told her that she was terminally ill. Chemotherapy and radiation were not working for her and around that time a friend of hers told her to try CBD oil. She was put off by the fact that it was illegal at that time but decided to try it anyway. She began taking CBD oil daily and at every subsequent scan, Lynn had a reduction in tumour size. After the sixth MRI scan, the cancer had gone.
Anecdotal evidence must be taken with a grain of salt. If you have any questions please speak to experts such as Accesskaneh or medical practitioners for the latest information regarding using CBD for cancer. If you do decide to use CBD oil it is important to get the dosage right. Our next section discusses how to do that.
Why do people use CBD for cancer?
Many people with cancer choose to supplement their wellness routine with a healthy dose of CBD oil. Originally American, many chemotherapy patients chose to vape cannabis. This is because they found that marijuana reduces nausea and increases their appetites.
Of course, this might seem like anecdotal evidence. However, these beliefs were reflected in a 2017 study in the Cancer, Chemotherapy, and Pharmacology journal. Here, results showed that medical marijuana could potentially reduce nausea in people undergoing chemotherapy.
While we cannot expressly say that CBD cures cancer, it could potentially improve the lives of cancer patients.
You may be interested in reading an interview by the Father Of Cancer Sufferer
What do you mean by medical cannabis?
While researching CBD and cancer, you might have come across the term, “medical cannabis“. But what is it? Well, medical cannabis is simply cannabis. Usually, it's made up of the dried and dehydrated leaves and flowers of the cannabis plant.
However, given that cannabis is a controlled substance in the UK, patients require a prescription to obtain medical cannabis. Medical Cannabis prescriptions in the UK are normally through private clinics as the NHS does not in most cases prescribe cannabis, yet!
Thankfully, with a multitude of CBD manufacturers in the UK markets, people can choose a CBD treatment option, instead.
Does CBD oil work?
In the UK, CBD products that are ingested are under novel Novel Foods regulation. This means that manufacturers must follow certain guidelines, before releasing their products onto the markets.
However, the Novel Foods Act also means that many CBD products aren't exactly regulated. In fact, by testing their products in third-party labs, many manufacturers choose to personally uphold this responsibility.
That being said, it's important to remember that not all CBD products are created equal. With the rise of CBD, some manufacturers simply want to capitalise on this boom. This, therefore, could result in lacklustre products. In fact, we've explored this phenomenon before, on The Extract.
We'd recommend opting for a good quality CBD oil, from a reputable manufacturer. Before making a purchase, take some time and do your research. By doing this, you could very well avoid products with much less CBD than advertised or CBD products with harmful additives.
Are there any side effects related to CBD oil?
When it comes to taking CBD oil, side effects are quite rare. This is especially true if you take CBD oil in small doses. However, people have reported some side-effects, particularly when they take large amounts of CBD in one sitting.
Here are the most common side effects:
- Dry mouth: Large amounts of CBD can cause your mouth to feel uncomfortably dry and dehydrated. Thankfully, this can be remedied by increasing your water intake.
- Sleepiness: Anecdotal evidence points to CBD as an excellent sleep aid. However, people have reported that large amounts of CBD can make them feel sleepy. If this concerns you, you could always time your CBD doses, so that you don't experience tiredness halfway through the day.
- Diarrhoea: Patients have noted that diarrhea is a side effect associated with CBD. This is believed to occur when taking very large doses. If you experience this side effect either lower your dose or speak with your doctor to make sure you’re on the correct dosage. It is believed that the carrier oil of the CBD upsets the gastrointestinal tract which can cause diarrhea.
- Tiredness: CBD is used as a natural sleep remedy, so it’s no surprise that it can cause tiredness and drowsiness in patients. These feelings can last between two and six hours. This side effect can be dealt with by taking CBD oil at night rather than during the day. If you suffer from tiredness after taking CBD oil it is very important that you do not drive.
- Appetite change: CBD can affect people in different ways. Some CBD oil users have noticed an increase in their appetite, while others have noted a decrease in appetite. For cancer patients having an increase in appetite may be a good thing. This will encourage you to eat more and get more vitamins and nutrients into your body.
- Weight changes: As with any change in your appetite, you may also notice changes in weight. Nausea may make eating seem uninviting but cancer patients are encouraged to maintain a healthy weight to help beat cancer. If CBD oil prevents you from eating and makes you lose weight then you may need to change your dose or find alternative methods. Side effects with CBD oil are generally less common and less severe than traditional pharmaceuticals. As it is extracted from the cannabis plant which is still listed as a Class B Drug it raises the question, is CBD oil safe?
Read our similar article on: Benefits and side effects of CBD
Is it safe?
CBD oil is widely considered safe to use. Experts believe that it is near impossible to overdose on CBD. There have been no recorded deaths anywhere in the world that have been attributed to CBD. It is non-addictive and for most, side effects can be resolved by altering the dosage or method of consumption.
CBD is also non-psychoactive. One of the main concerns coming from people who are new to CBD is that it will get them high and make them hallucinate. CBD oil will not make you high. THC is the psychoactive component of cannabis may create a lifted high feeling that for a minority can feel uncomfortable. For a CBD product to be legally sold in the UK it must have a THC level of 0.2% or less.
Is CBD legal in the UK?
Yes, CBD is legal in the UK and growing in popularity. The government has made some changes to the regulation which mean all products that are ingesteed such as tinctures have to be registered with applications under Novel food regulations. This means when it comes to making and selling CBD products in the UK, manufacturers have to follow a certain set of guidelines. The limits on THC, a controlled substance in the UK are currently, CBD products on the UK markets can only contain up to 1 mg of THC, per product. This applies to every single CBD product in the UK, regardless of form or strength. The new regulations mean the UK is currently reviewing the is policy and new guidelines will be in place in 2022
To ensure that their products fall within UK guidelines, manufacturers often work with third-party lab facilities. While this helps to establish that their products only contain legal amounts of THC, it also helps them assure their customers that their products contain accurate amounts of CBD.
Additionally, CBD manufacturers in the UK might also choose to work with broad-spectrum CBD, or CBD isolates, as these forms of CBD are free from THC.
CBD and health concerns
If you're looking to add CBD oil to your wellness routine, you might have more than a few questions. If you've wondered about choosing between CBD oil or THC oil for cancer patients, what dosage to take, we want to help.
At The Extract, we've put together a list of the most commonly-asked questions about CBD and cancer.
Read our similar article on: Is CBD legal in UK?
Does CBD cure cancer?
CBD is making waves in numerous wellness communities, but does CBD really cure cancer?
The short answer is no, CBD cannot cure cancer. Most people with cancer have an intense treatment plan, as prescribed by a doctor. However, research shows that CBD could potentially help with the side-effects associated with cancer treatment.
In fact, taking CBD oil before or after cancer treatment could help with feelings of nausea. A 2003 study in The BMJ echoed this sentiment. The study showed that cannabis acted as much a better antiemetic than other medical options.
Furthermore, cancer can be an extremely painful experience. From the surgery and treatment, to the recovery process, many people with cancer report discomfort from intense levels of pain. Here's where CBD can help.
Research shows that CBD can help with pain management. A 2018 study in the Journal of Pain Research showed that individuals treated with CBD reported a reduction in chronic pain. Therefore, with a reasonable CBD dosage, people with cancer might be better equipped to handle cancer-related pain.
Can CBD treat prostate cancer?
Again, we must establish that CBD cannot treat cancer. However, many people turn to CBD to help with the side-effects of chemotherapy.
That being said, when it comes to prostate cancer, research shows that CBD could potentially work to inhibit cancer cell growth. A 2014 study in Pharmacology & Pharmacy indicated that CBD could help inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
That being said, more research must be conducted in the UK, before we can make a solid conclusion about CBD oil as a treatment for cancer.
Does CBD oil help treat liver cancer?
The connection between CBD and cancer is a long-standing one. Many cancer patients use CBD to help with the side-effects of chemotherapy. However, we cannot explicitly say that CBD can really cure cancer.
To verify this claim, more CBD research much be done — research that focuses on the connection between CBD and cancer. We also need more research before we can conclude whether or not CBD oil can help treat liver cancer.
You may be interested in reading our blog on: Is CBD causing Damage to the liver?
Does CBD help melanoma?
CBD topicals boast a number of benefits. However, when it comes to skin cancer, can CBD help? Research shows that CBD could, in fact, be a possible treatment.
A 2019 animal study in the Journal of Surgical Research explored the idea of CBD oil for skin cancer treatment. Results showed that mice treated with CBD experienced a significant decrease in tumour size. Researchers also observed that these mice displayed a better quality of life.
Therefore, based on this, we could potentially see CBD oil used for cancer treatment, once more studies reflect these results.
How does CBD help with breast cancer?
Contrary to popular belief, breast cancer affects both men and women. While there might not be a correct CBD dosage for breast cancer, here's how it can help. A breast cancer diagnosis can often lead to feelings of embarrassment, self-consciousness, and anxiety.
Studies show that CBD could help with anxiety. In fact, a 2015 Springer study concluded that CBD had positive effects on people with a number of anxiety disorders. Therefore, CBD could be crucial in giving breast cancer survivors a new outlook on life!
Read our similar blog on: CBD and Breast Cancer
How can CBD oil help with lung cancer?
The idea of treating lung cancer with CBD might sound absurd, especially given its smokable roots. However, studies show that CBD could actually inhibit lung cancer cells.
A study in The FASEB Journal explored the relationship between cancer cell invasiveness and CBD. Here, results indicated that CBD could interact with the ECS, and by doing so, inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Therefore, with more research, CBD could be a viable lung cancer treatment, after all.
Read our similar article on: CBD and Lung Cancer
How to treat skin cancer with CBD?
There is no direct method to treat skin cancer with CBD. However, research shows that its anti-inflammatory properties could play a role in skin cancer treatment.
A 2017 study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology concluded that CBD could possibly help to delay tumour growth, by interacting with the ECS.
How to use cannabis oil?
Generally, you can take CBD oil sublingually. To do this, simply place a few drops under your tongue and hold it there for 30 seconds, before swallowing.
You could also add your CBD oil to your food and drink, to make edibles in any situation!
Some methods take longer to enter the bloodstream while others have no taste and can be taken discreetly.
Capsules – Capsules are a good starting point for people who may be wary of side effects or worried about getting the exact dose. CBD capsules come with an exact dose of CBD in them. This dose should be clearly labelled on the bottle. Cancer patients may find using capsules as an easy way to integrate CBD into their lives as they will be already taking other forms of medication.
Read our similar article on: 5 Best CBD Capsules in UK
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How to make cannabis oil for cancer?
When it comes to CBD oil, the manufacturing process depends entirely on the manufacturers. Many UK-based manufacturers choose to use the supercritical CO2 extraction process.
This is deemed a more environmentally friendly extraction method. Furthermore, it's famous for being an effective method, without compromising on the quality of the final product.
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Does CBD oil need THC to work?
We're happy to tell you that CBD oil can work without THC. This is because CBD properties work independently of THC. Furthermore, the UK considers THC a controlled substance.
Therefore, THC-rich CBD oils are only available on prescription. Should you be caught with THC rich products without a prescription you could get a hefty fine or legal action.
However, by choosing a full-spectrum CBD product, you could experience the entourage effect, as this form of CBD contains trace amounts of THC.
Does THC oil get you high?
Hypothetically, if you were to consume a THC oil, this could get you lifted and may lead to a high feeling a bit like been drunk. This is because THC is a psychoactive substance. A large dose of THC could also result in feelings of nausea. Because of this, we'd recommend starting with CBD oils with a low dose and gradually increase – start low and go slow.
How much CBD oil to take for cancer
Coming up with a CBD dosage for people with cancer can be slightly tricky.
This is mostly because these individuals often suffer side-effects of cancer and chemotherapy treatment. Usually, this includes some form of nausea, so large doses of anything — CBD included — might not go down easily.
However, we'd recommend opting for a low dose of CBD, before working your way up to stronger options. By doing this, you'll slowly be able to figure out the perfect dose for you.
We cannot explicitly state that CBD can, in fact, cure cancer. However, research shows that CBD could help with some of the symptoms. It could also potentially help with the side-effects of cancer treatments.
Before adding CBD to your diet, make sure you consult with a healthcare professional. They can help you figure out how much CBD you should be taking, and if it'll interact negatively with any of your other medications.
You may also like to read: Where is Cannabis Legal Worldwide?