Cancer. Did you just get a chill at the sight of the word? It’s one that you definitely don’t want to hear from your medical team, but thanks to some significant strides in medicine, cancer is finally starting to get its butt kicked. And while we’re getting cancer out of here, let’s get dependency-building pharmaceuticals out of here too. If you’re looking for a natural cancer remedy and pain therapy, look no further. See, CBD and cancer, they aren’t exactly on friendly terms. Read on to find out what we mean.
A New Contender
If you’ve read some of our posts about the many symptoms and disorders treated by CBD, it’s probably no surprise to you that CBD and cancer don’t get along. For example, consider the following cancer symptoms (which, of course, vary by type of cancer, location and stage):
Pain that worsens at night
Back or hip pain
Itching, swelling and other skin disturbances
Sound familiar? While this is by no means an exhaustive list of the dozens of cancer symptoms out there, these issues are all readily addressed by CBD.
That’s not even the most exciting part, though.
Research targeting the interactions between CBD and cancer is actually starting to point towards an anti-tumor potential, meaning that, in the future, we may see a CBD-based prevention and/or treatment method.
The Research So Far
As per usual, the academic review that we are referencing is just a tad dry, so we will give you the highlights.
For several years now, researchers have been uncovering the “antitumorigenic” effects of THC.
THC is CBD’s mind-altering counterpart found in the cannabis plant. Researchers learned that the endocannabinoid system in our brain has the potential to greatly slow or event prevent the spread of cancerous cells. This is a life-saving discovery in itself. Finally we may be able to stop cancer’s lethal potential to spread throughout the body.
2. CBD may be able to stimulate cell death.
The second observation brought forth by the 2013 review on cancer and cannabis interactions hinted at an even greater potential. This was the ability of CBD to stimulate apoptosis, or cell death. Imagine a laser-sharp version of radiation and chemo. Because it is location specific, it won’t cause nearly as much damage. By training the cancerous cells to die when they are supposed to instead of dropping chemical nukes on them, we could change the entire cancer treatment paradigm.
What This Could Mean for CBD and Cancer
We won’t call them “problems,” we’ll call them “challenges.” If CBD is to break through the hearsay and into the real research and development phases (i.e., FDA approval, large-scale clinical trials), two things have to happen:
First of all, as you can see, the anti-tumor potential of cannabis is mostly credited to THC. The good news? Researchers believe that the relationship between CBD and cancer will be as fruitful as that between THC and cancer. The, uh, challenging news? Years of research are still required before CBD can convince a largely skeptical medical community.
The second challenge, though not the last, is the pharmaceutical industry’s vice grip on conventional cancer treatments. This isn’t going to be self-produced album; the CBD crowd will definitely have to join, not beat, big pharma if they want to make a difference.
Until then, who said word-of-mouth marketing can’t go viral? CBD and cancer–pass it on.