How to use CBD for Cancer
One of the most profound uses for CBD is the treatment of various cancers. CBD has two major functions in the treatment of cancer; slowing/stopping the growth of cancerous cells (prevention) and dealing with the symptoms of cancer treatments like chemotherapy (symptom management). In the United States, the most common treatment for cancer is chemotherapy – an administration of intense anti-cancer drugs that induce severe side effects like nausea, fatigue, gastrointestinal disease, etc. Believe it or not, CBD actually combats all of these side effects! This is the beauty of plant-based medicine – experience an improved quality of life without any risk of overdose or side effects.
What’s more? CBD has been shown to stop cancerous cells dead in their tracks. Studies have been performed evaluating CBD’s ability to treat various types of cancer including; bladder, brain, breast, colon, endocrine, Leukemia, lung, prostate, and skin. In order to better understand the mechanisms by which CBD helps treat cancer patients, we turn to a series of medical studies that have been conducted over the past twenty years. We will address the results below.
A 2013 study concluded that “Collectively, the non-psychoactive plant-derived cannabinoid CBD exhibits pro-apoptotic and anti-proliferative actions in different types of tumors and may also exert anti-migratory, anti-invasive, anti-metastatic and perhaps anti-angiogenic properties. On the basis of these results, the evidence is emerging to suggest that CBD is a potent inhibitor of both cancer growth and spread. Interestingly, the anticancer effect of this compound seems to be selective for cancer cells, at least in vitro, since it does not affect normal cell lines.”
A 2012 study found that “CBD exerts a potent anti-angiogenic effect by widely affecting several pathways involved in this process. Its dual effect on both tumor and endothelial cells further suggests that CBD could represent a potentially effective agent in cancer therapy.”
A 2010 study evaluated the impact of CBD on cancer cell invasion. The study findings “provide a novel mechanism underlying the anti-invasive action of cannabidiol and imply its use as a therapeutic option for the treatment of highly invasive cancers.”
Learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19914218
A 2004 study concluded that “The nonpsychoactive CBD was able to produce a significant antitumor activity both in vitro and in vivo, thus suggesting a possible application of CBD as an antineoplastic agent.”
Learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14617682
A 2016 study evaluated CBD in the treatment of Neuroblastoma (NBL), one of the most common solid cancers in children. The results “demonstrate the antitumorigenic action of CBD on NBL cells. Because CBD is a nonpsychoactive cannabinoid that appears to be devoid of side effects, our results support its exploitation as an effective anticancer drug in the management of NBL.”
Learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27022310
2011 looked at the effects of CBD in the treatment of breast cancer. The data demonstrated “that CBD inhibits human breast cancer cell proliferation and invasion through differential modulation of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) pathways…”
Learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20859676
A 2012 study investigated the chemopreventative effect of CBD on colon cancer. The study concluded, “that cannabidiol exerts a chemopreventive effect in vivo and reduces cell proliferation through multiple mechanisms.”
Learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22231745
A 2013 study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology provides evidence “that plant-derived cannabinoids, especially cannabidiol, are potent inhibitors of prostate carcinoma viability in vitro.”
Recommended CBD Regimen for Cancer Treatment
When formulating a CBD regimen for a specific disease or illness like cancer, it’s important to understand that high-quality CBD should be used regularly for maximum effect. Meaning it should be used as a preventative first – it can also be used to manage your symptoms, but the preventative maintenance is most important! Think about it like any other anti-cancer drug, you want to establish a baseline concentration of CBD in your system.
In order to treat cancer, we recommend ingesting full spectrum CBD oil daily in the form of Tinctures or Gel Capsules. The ingredients in the two products are the same; the only difference between the two is the form factor and dosage – pills vs. sublingual tinctures. We suggest those suffering from any kind of cancer start with 20-40mg per day of CBD. If relief is not felt at this dosage, we suggest increasing by 10mg until the desired effects are achieved. In addition to their antiproliferative properties, these ingestible products provide sustained symptom relief for several hours – many people find they provide relief for the whole day! The one thing to keep in mind with ingestible CBD products is the delayed onset time – it can take up to 90 minutes for the full effects of the tinctures or capsules to be felt.
Managing Acute Symptom Flare-Ups
In addition to the daily cancer treatment program outlined above, many people find they still need a safe way to manage symptom flare-ups. Whatever the symptoms, we recommend vaporizing CBD isolate to combat these acute flare-ups. The benefit of vaporizing or dabbing CBD isolate is that the relief can be felt almost instantaneously. CBD isolate is 99% pure CBD (shown in image below) and provides a wave of relief that can be felt throughout the whole body.
You can also ingest more CBD in the form of tinctures (shown in image below) or capsules to combat these flare-ups, just keep in mind that the onset time will be significantly longer than vaporizing.
A Quick Note About CBD & Drug Testing
If drug testing is a part of the conditions of your employment, you might be concerned about the potential of CBD to cause you to test positive for THC. This isn't an unfounded concern -- however, there isn't exactly a cut-and-dry way to answer it.
Much of the data we have about CBD is anecdotal, and its potential impact on drug testing is no exception. There are very few peer-reviewed studies on the subject, but there appears to be a small risk of a false positive for some users. Avoiding full-spectrum products containing traces of THC can reduce your risk of a false positive, but that may not eliminate the risk entirely.
If you are concerned about passing a drug test, you should consider this potential risk when deciding whether CBD is right for you. To learn more about the science of CBD and drug testing, check out our article for a more thorough discussion of how to minimize your risk of a false positive.