CBD Oil and Cancer: 9 Things You Need To Know

If you keep up with mainstream media, you’ve probably read that CBD is the miracle ingredient that is effective against many ailments known to man. 

How true is this claim?

Along with all other diseases, such as arthritis and inflammation, CBD supposedly is also useful against cancer. Recent research has shown that it might help manage symptoms in cancer patients besides playing a role in treatment. 

Some people are quick to jump the gun and assume that CBD might be the cure for cancer. So let’s preface this article by saying that there’s no truth to that. 

However, that does not mean that CBD is not beneficial for cancer patients.

CBD research is still in the early stages, and we can’t say more unless there’s substantial scientific evidence. In this guide, we’ll explain nine things you need to know about the marijuana-cancer relationship. We’ll also discuss CBD oil and cancer.

1. Can CBD Cure Cancer?

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: CBD does not cure cancer. In fact, it does not cure any disease at all. 

However, this does not mean that CBD is not beneficial.

Scientist doing a lab test.

Evidence from scientific studies has shown CBD’s usefulness as a treatment method for cancer. In some cases, it complements the existing treatments. 

2. CBD and Cancer Treatment

In the past few years, CBD has popped up a lot in cancer research. 

So what does the research say about CBD oil and cancer?

Some evidence indicates that CBD might reduce tumor growth in cancer cells. However, the study was conducted in animal models, and the cannabinoid may not have the same effect in humans. 

Another study showed that CBD might enhance the uptake of anti-cancer drugs. Plus, it may increase their potency. 

Besides these two investigations, some other studies also addressed CBD’s effectiveness in cancer treatment. For example, in 2019, an assessment of multiple in vivo (studies involving animal models or human clinical trials) and in vitro (research done using test tubes and other laboratory equipment and doesn’t involve any living organisms) was conducted.

The research showed that CBD might help reduce tumor growth in pancreatic cancer. 

The results also indicated that CBD could cause the death of cancer cells while preventing tumor invasion. Moreover, the researchers said that more research is urgently needed to understand CBD dosing and formulations. 

Another study from the same year showed that CBD might cause cancer cell death without affecting the normal cells. These results are quite promising, considering one of the major side effects of anti-cancer drugs is their inability to differentiate between normal and tumor cells. 

Additionally, a 2014 experiment showed that CBD inhibits metastasis in colorectal cancer cells in vivo. 

Since breast cancer is one of the most pressing health concerns worldwide, it’s refreshing to see that CBD might help manage the condition.

A 2010 research showed that CBD might prevent invasion by metastatic cancer cells. Moreover, it may also reduce proliferation in breast cancer cells. 

3. Can CBD Prevent Cancer?

If CBD can be used as a treatment, could it also prevent cancer in the first place? Unfortunately, the results from scientific studies on the marijuana cancer relationship don’t point in a single direction. 

A study on over 64,000 men who used cannabis showed that CBD users did not have a high risk of tobacco-associated cancers. But the same study also reported that men who use cannabis but have never smoked tobacco have a higher risk of prostate cancer. 

A 2015 study suggested a link between CBD and bladder cancer. It showed that cannabis users were at a 45% lesser risk of suffering from bladder cancer in the future. 

Evidently, we need more research in this regard to understand the relationship between CBD and its role in preventing cancer. 

4. Has the FDA Approved Any CBD Oil for Cancer?

At the current time, the FDA has only approved an anti-seizure CBD spray called Epidiolex. They have not approved or recommended any CBD oil for cancer. 

The legality of CBD oil for pain or cancer is quite complicated at the moment. 

At the federal level, it’s legal to manufacture hemp products, provided they’re not advertised for medicinal use. Any product that’s aimed for medical use has to undergo FDA’s review. 

Secondly, CBD’s legal status becomes more complicated at the state level. The same is the case with marijuana. 

For instance, Texas passed the Compassionate Use Act that allows people to use medical marijuana for a few medical conditions. These include epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease. 

Before using CBD for any medicinal purpose, we suggest you thoroughly review the laws regarding the legality of cannabis in your state and country

6. Does CBD Oil Make You High?

CBD alone doesn’t tend to make you high. 

Hemp plants contain a compound called Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC for short. THC is responsible for the high you feel when you take marijuana. 

Generally, most CBD products have a limited amount of THC that allows you to get all the benefits of the compound without feeling high.

However, if a CBD oil contains a THC content of more than 0.3%, it can have a psychoactive effect. 

It’s best to check the label on your CBD oil to see what compounds are added to the product before you purchase.

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7. Does CBD Oil Have Side Effects?

Before using any type of product, it’s best to learn as much about it as possible. This applies to CBD oil as well. If you’ve decided to take CBD for pain, it may be a good idea to look into the side effects first.

According to CBD research, CBD oil might have certain side effects, including the following:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Weight gain
  • Dry mouth
  • Fatigue and drowsiness

It may be wise to consult an expert before you decide to add CBD oil to your daily routine. An expert may be able to guide you on dosage and how to tackle the possible side effects you experience.

8. Does CBD Oil Interact With Cancer Drugs?

How do CBD oil and cancer drugs interact?

Some people consider CBD oil as a supplement and do not mention it to their doctors. However, that’s a grave mistake, especially if you’re using cancer drugs. 

If you take a closer look at the label of your CBD product, you’ll probably find a grapefruit warning. People whose doctors have asked them to keep away from grapefruit are advised to refer to experts before using CBD products.

CBD works in a manner that’s quite similar to grapefruit. It interferes with the metabolization of certain medications.

CBD research shows that cannabinoid interacts with different drugs, including blood thinners, thyroid medicine, and seizure medicine.

Therefore, if you’re using medicines for cancer or pain, CBD can inhibit their functions or lead to more body chaos. 

As mentioned earlier, regardless of whether you’re using CBD for pain or any other reason, don’t forget to tell your doctor about it.

9. Can You Use Any CBD Product for Cancer?

It is necessary to be cautious when purchasing CBD products, more so if you’re a cancer patient.

The rising popularity of CBD has led to a huge variety of CBD products flooding the market. Unfortunately, this means that you can’t just select any random CBD product. Instead, you’ll have to take extra care before selecting a product.

Marijuana plants growing next to each other.

A study that analyzed 84 CBD products found that 43 percent of products had higher concentrations of CBD than what was stated on the label. Around 26 percent had lower CBD concentrations than stated.

This goes to show that you can’t take a product at face value.

To reiterate, be sure to consult an expert before you self prescribes CBD products. 

Here are a few general tips to keep in mind when selecting CBD for pain:

  • First, avoid products that make too many health claims.
  • Compare labels of different products to get an idea of the different concentrations.
  • Hemp-derived products have lower concentrations of CBD.
  • Marijuana-derived products have higher concentrations of THC and may have psychoactive effects.
  • Also, check if the product is lab-tested and certified. You can also look for any possible warnings from the FDA to determine the quality of the product.
  • With your CBD dosage, it’s best to start small and then slowly increase the quantity. It’ll require some patience, but it’s the best way to determine a suitable and effective dosage.

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CBD Oil Take Away for Cancer Patients

Right now, cancer patients should be very clear on the fact that CBD oil is not the cure. Yes, it might aid their condition, but that’s no reason to believe that CBD is all they should be using. 

Some doctors believe CBD to be the missing link in the health equation. However, cancer patients must keep in mind that there are other parts of the equation, too, such as chemotherapy and cancer drugs. Until there’s more research on the marijuana-cancer relationship, it’s hard to say anything final on the matter. Till then, patients can consult with their doctors about the safe use of CBD in the treatment of pain and anxiety – two major characteristics of cancer.

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