Cancer itself is an excruciating illness. To add to the patients’ suffering, they need to endure painful chemotherapy sessions just to kill the cancer cells. In addition, they have to constantly bear with awful nausea and vomiting, which are among the aftermaths of chemo-therapies.
To ease the sufferings caused by cancer, many patients are now turning to health products that may relieve the side effects of chemo procedures. One of the popular supplements taken by cancer patients is the CBD
Is CBD or cannabis oil an effective treatment for nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy? What are the possible benefits that a cancer patient may get from taking this supplement?
To help you decide if you need to try CBD, check out the research and studies done to prove its effectiveness.
Lately, CBD is rising to be an alternative treatment for many ailments. More drugs and health supplements are adding CBD as a main ingredient because of its potentials.
So, what is CBD?
Cannabidiol or CBD is among the 104 cannabinoids that the cannabis (commonly known as the marijuana plant) contains. If you think that this will make you “high”, then you are wrong.
The tetrahydrocannabinol or THC is the main psychoactive compound in cannabis that causes the mind-altering euphoria. On the other hand, CBD is not considered psychoactive. For this reason, CBD is appealing for people who need pain relief without the ecstatic sensation.
To be used, CBD is extracted from the cannabis plant and is diluted with an oil, such as the hemp seed or coconut oil. Thus, the CBD oil is made.
How It May Ease Chemotherapy Side Effects
You have probably heard that marijuana can provide relief for cancer patients who are experiencing nausea and vomiting after chemotherapy. There could be some truth in this, considering the potential effectiveness of CBD as a treatment.
One of the benefits that are associated with CBD is being a cure for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. Actually, there are medications given to help relieve patients from the stressful effects of chemotherapy. However, some of these could be ineffective, so people have to look for alternatives.
There were studies conducted that proved CBD to have anti-emetic and anti-nausea properties. Some studies suggested that CBD works by indirectly activating the somatodendritic 5-HT1A receptors. (1, 2, 3)
One study, which involved 16 individuals going through chemotherapy, revealed that administering CBD and THC through a mouth spray led to decreased chemotherapy-related symptoms. The result was better than that of a standard drug. (1)
A research review concluded that CBD and other cannabinoids may be effective in curing nausea and vomiting that are caused by treatments like chemotherapy. Thus, it may help improve the patients’ condition after chemotherapy treatments. (1)
Ways CBD Can Complement Chemo Treatments
Chemotherapy is designed to destroy the cancer cells in the body. However, the drugs that are used in this treatment are very strong that even healthy cells are killed. As a result, the patients experience excruciating pain, leaving them too uncomfortable.
The treatment usually causes draining side effects, which make the patients weaker. The side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, fatigue, and hair loss.
CBD may offer more benefits to cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Aside from treating nausea and vomiting, there are other reliefs that this compound may give. They are the following:
- Decreases inflammation- CBD is known to have anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, it may help reduce the swelling of the patients’ hands and feet due to chemo. (1)
CBD subdues the inflammatory response by interfering with the CB2 receptors of the endocannabinoid system. One animal study showed that CBD decreased the swelling of a paw tissue. (1)
- Suppresses appetite- Unlike THC which promotes appetite, CBD may help patients manage their weight. CBD does this by interacting with the receptors of the endocannabinoid system. This may help in regulating the appetite. (1, 2)
- Reduces neuropathic pain- Cannabidiol may also help decrease neuropathic pain caused by chemotherapy. Several studies proved this claim.
One clinical trial involved treatments using CBD and THC on cancer patients. The result was a significant decrease in neuropathic pain in two weeks. (1)
Other studies concluded that CBD may stop neuropathic pain without diminishing the effectiveness of chemotherapy and affecting the nervous system. Moreover, research proved that cannabinoids have the capability to lessen nerve pain. (1, 2)
- Regulates the mood- CBD may help cancer patients avoid anxiety and depression while undergoing chemo. The treatment may result in the dysfunction of the endocannabinoid’s system, which can affect the mood. This leads to patients becoming depressed. (1)
Has Anti-Cancer Properties
Aside from being a potential treatment for chemotherapy-induced nausea, vomiting, and other symptoms, there are also speculations that CBD may help cure cancer.
There are animal and test-tube studies supporting the claim. One study involving mice concluded that CBD may help prevent the spread of breast cancer cells. Then, a test-tube trial showed that concentrated CBD could cause cancer cell death in the human breast. (1, 2)
However, more studies involving humans need to be conducted to reassure the effectiveness of CBD as a cancer cure. The safety and side-effects of using this compound have to be determined first. For this reason, consumers are advised not to replace prescribed cancer treatments with cannabis products.
Consult Your Doctor
CBD may be a promising substance that could help ease cancer patients’ sufferings. However, health products with CBD must not be taken as an alternative to prescribed drugs. More studies are needed to prove its efficacy and safety yet.
If you want to take CBD supplementation, please inform your doctor beforehand. Not doing so may affect your condition negatively instead. Your physician will guide you in taking the product and monitor its effect on you.
For additional information on CBD’s possible health benefits, please check out more of Yuuto Nutrition’s educational articles.