Cancer and Cannabis Oil (CBD Oil)
In the past years, CBD / cannabis oil has been gaining more and more press about the benefits it offers to many diseases. But one disease, in particular, that is often in the spotlight for its CBD success and miracle recoveries is cancer.
The use of Cannabis for medicinal purposes has been going on for thousands of conditions worldwide, including cancer.
With studies emerging at a high rate, it’s becoming increasingly obvious why people are turning to CBD to help manage their conditions and in some instances, completely cure disease.
Before we go into CBD anymore, it’s important to look at what cancer is.
There are more than 200 different types of cancer, consequently, 1 in 2 people in the UK receiving a diagnosis at some point in their life.
Cancer is a class of diseases characterised by out-of-control cell growth. It begins to harm the body when altered cells divide uncontrollably to form masses of tissues or lumps- tumours. While the majority of cancers result in tumours and lumps, this is not always the case. In Leukaemia, cancer prohibits normal blood function by abnormal cell division within the bloodstream.
Not all tumours are dangerous though, tumours can be benign (non-cancerous), which means they won’t spread to anywhere else in the body. Malignant tumours are cancerous tumours and these can grow into the surrounding tissues.
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How does cancer develop?
Cancer is a result of mutations in the DNA within cells. Each cell has DNA inside, this is then packaged into a larger number of individual genes. Each of these genes has a set of instructions that tell the cell what functions to perform, as well as how to divide and grow.
Occasionally there are errors within the instructions that can cause the cells to stop its normal function and this may allow a cell to become cancerous. The area where the cancer begins is often known as the ‘primary-cancer’.
When the affected genes mutate, they can instruct a healthy cell to grow and divide rapidly, this creates many new cells that all have the same mutation, as these cells divide and grow, they create a mass of cells – a tumour.
Normal cells know when to stop growing and dividing, however, cancer cells lose the controls that tell them when to stop, as a result, the tumour will continue to grow over time.
As the disease develops, it begins to take up more space and can cause pressure on the surrounding structures, as a result, it can also grow into other nearby structures (local invasion).
Due to the growth of a tumour and the pressure it causes on healthy cells, the tumour will often force itself through normal tissue. As it continues to grow, It will squeeze and block small blood vessels in the area, this will result in low blood and oxygen levels in that area and result in the death of normal tissue. Consequently, this then makes it easier to continue on its journey.
As the tumour advances, continuing to grow and destroying more tissue, it will begin to spread (metastasise) to other areas of the body.
What causes cancer?
There’s not one exact cause of cancer, however, it can be a result of many factors. Most cancers occur due to gene changes that happen during a person’s lifetime.
In rare cases, cancers you can inherit through faulty genes passed down in families.
Environmental and lifestyle factors can also contribute to cancer. These can include; smoking, exposure to radiation (i.e UV Radiation), cancer-causing chemicals (carcinogens), poor diet, drugs, alcohol and hormones.
Signs and Symptoms
The signs and symptoms caused by cancer can be different from person to person, also the symptoms depend on which part of the body the cancer is affecting.
Common signs and symptoms associated with the disease include:
- Lump or mass
- Changes to the skin (colouring or changes of existing moles)
- Unintended weight gain or weight loss
- Changes in bladder or bowel habits
- Difficulty swallowing
- Trouble breathing or a persistent cough
- Bleeding or bruising that doesn’t have a cause
- nintended weight gain or weight loss
- Changes in bladder or bowel habits
- Unexplained and persistent muscle or joint pain
- Changes in appetite
The main types of treatment offered on the NHS include:
Surgery is usually the main treatment in order to remove a tumour. Surgery is ideal for patients who have primary-cancer (one area of the body).
Radiotherapy targets high energy x-rays in the general affected area.
Unlike radiotherapy, brachytherapy is internal. It involves placing small ‘seeds’ of radioactive material into the tumour that releases radiation slowly to kill of the affected cells. There’s two types of brachytherapy; LDR (low dose rate) and HDR (high does rate).
You may need anti-cancer drugs like Cytotoxic to destroy cancer cells. There are different chemotherapy drugs available, the drug you have will depend on the type of cancer you have.
Hormonal therapy works by reducing the level of hormones in the body to block the hormones reaching the cancer cells. This can stop it growing.
When it comes to treatment, it’s common for doctors to use a combination of treatments.
Although the treatments above aim to get rid of the cancer, they can result in a wide range of short-term side-effects as well as long-term effects.
This is because when radiation passes through the body, it can harm healthy tissue, nerves and organs. Consequently, once these have damage, they won’t repair themselves.
Common Short-term side effects are:
- Loss of hair
- Fatigue (extreme tiredness and weakness)
- Lymphedema (Swelling in the body’s tissues)
- Skin reactions
- Flu-like symptoms
- Changes in your blood
- Nausea or vomiting
- Fertility problems
- Loss of appetite
Long-term side effects
Life-long side-effects will depend entirely on the treated area. Using radiotherapy for prostate cancer can lead to incontinence, erectile dysfunction, infertility and changes in bowel habits.
Long-term side-effects for lung cancer would be breathlessness, narrowing of the oesophagus (food pipe), infertility and effects on the heart and spinal cord.
Cancer and CBD Oil
There are a wide range of personal stories circulating online from cancer patients who have used CBD oil alongside cancer treatment or as a stand-alone treatment.
Not only have studies shown that cancer sufferers who took CBD usually needed less pain medicine, but testimonials and scientific studies have found that CBD can actually cause cancer cells to commit suicide.
While there are not yet enough studies to confirm this, an internet search on patient stories shows a high success rate of CBD, particularly in people with a terminal diagnosis who have turned to CBD as the last option.
The medical industry has since taken notice on CBD and its potential as a cancer treatment.
The Endocannabinoid system (ECS)
The human body has its own system for creating and processing its own cannabinoids. This system is the endocannabinoid system (ECS)
The ECS helps to fine-tune most of our vital physiological functions. Simply, the ECS helps to regulate and harmonise all the major body systems making sure all or vital organs work well with one another. The ECS involves functions like appetite, pain modulation, digestion, reproduction, motor learning, stress and memory.
A good way to explain ECS is that if you imagine the body like a machine, each system works together to keep the machine moving. The immune system is a like a filtration system, the brain is like the motherboard, and endocannabinoids help to maintain these systems.
As with any machine, whether it be a result of poor maintenance, damage, or natural ageing our body parts and systems can deteriorate and malfunction. When this happens, it affects the entire body and can lead to various health problems.
How does CBD work?
Cannabis contains a substance called cannabinoids and it’s this substance that plays an important role when it comes to this disease.
Most scientific research conducted for cancer has focused on cannabinoids, with the majority of scientific research conducted in a laboratory. The research has found that cannabinoids can cause cancer cells to die, stop the cells from diving and stop cells from developing new blood cells.
While studies still don’t have strong evidence to confirm that cannabis can be a cancer-killer, it’s important to note that what may work for one person may not work for another.
To read more about CBD oil for the treatment of cancer, click one of the patient stories below.
- Woman, 52, given just six weeks to live claims she has ‘cured’ with cannabis oil
- Terminal Bowel Cancer Cured
- Breast Cancer Cured
- Cannabis Cured My Cancer- Video
To view more medical studies, please visit our Research Page.