CBD CANCER BY BEN OWENS
With CBD’s increased availability, more and more patients are testing the waters to see what cannabinoids can help with their ailments, illnesses, and symptoms thereof. CBD, or cannabidiol, has infiltrated everywhere from the local dispensaries and smoke shops to nearby Natural Grocers and Whole Foods markets. While products containing CBD and hemp-derived cannabinoids abound, how do you know which products actually contain CBD and what those products can do for you? When it comes to cancer, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence supporting cannabinoid use as part of treatment. Studies are beginning to back this information up. In this article, we’ll dive into the potential that CBD has with regard to cancer treatment, examine research to date, and give you information on identifying legitimate products for use.
CBD’S TREATMENT POTENTIAL
HOW TO SHOP FOR CBD CBD can be derived from both hemp and cannabis plants, but you’ll need to live in an area with legal medical or adult-use cannabis if you’re hoping to acquire cannabis-derived CBD. All cannabis-derived products must be bought and sold in a legal, state-licensed dispensary. These products are all required to be subject to various state-mandated tests for both cannabinoid content as well as impurities and residual compounds from fertilizers, pesticides, heavy metals, molds, and more. Since the hemp markets are largely unregulated at this time, and the FDA has only approved a single use case for their sole approved CBD supplement, Epidiolex, the hemp industry runs rampant with “snake oil” salesmen. Some products contain legitimate quantities of cannabinoids, as advertised, while others may not have any included at all.
While studies are slowly on the rise,1 anecdotal evidence suggests that many of the commonly used applications2 for CBD products could also benefit those with cancer during their treatment. CBD products are used globally for inflammation, pain reduction, neuropathy, topical analgesics, appetite stimulation,3 anxiety relief, and even help sleeping. Many of these help with the symptoms of cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation, that can affect appetite, ability to sleep, pain management, and anxiety related to your diagnosis. Additionally, CBD has started to be used in post-cancer treatment4 regimens for PTSD, post-cancer pain, insomnia, and helping to maintain overall homeostasis within the endocannabinoid system. According to the National Cancer Institute, “The potential benefits of medicinal Cannabis for people living with cancer include antiemetic effects, appetite stimulation, pain relief, and improved sleep. Although few relevant surveys of practice patterns exist, it appears that physicians caring for cancer patients in the United States who recommend medicinal Cannabis do so predominantly for symptom management. A growing number of pediatric patients are seeking symptom relief with Cannabis or cannabinoid treatment, although studies are limited.”5