In figures provided by Cancer.gov, an approximate 1,685,210 cases of cancer were diagnosed in the US. And of these cases, 595,690 people died from the disease. To bring these numbers into focus, we can look at it this way: among every 100,000 men, 458 will be given a cancer diagnosis.
The burden of cancer is high, both in terms of lives and lost and the strain on our health care system. Worldwide, cancer is one of the leading causes of death. And projections show that new cancer cases will reach 22 million within the next 20 years.
There is good news on the horizon, however. Trends in the numbers show that the death rates for various cancer types have decreased. This is in many ways thanks to new and better treatments being researched and made available. Among the treatments that are making waves and inspiring hope within the medical arena? CBD oil for its anti-cancer properties.
Legislation is just now trying to keep pace with the discoveries researchers are making. Local businesses, such as Urbnleaf.com, that offers San Diego dispensary membership, are doing their best to keep up with demand. In light of Proposition 64, many other cities are implementing ways for citizens to get a hold of CBD products in a safe manner.
So how does CBD oil factor in to the cancer equation? The following are the highlights of why researchers are getting excited.
What is CBD oil?
Cannabidiol is often referred to by its moniker, CBD. This compound, which is found in the cannabis plant, does not contain the psychoactive strains that THC has, which is also found in the same plant. And for those who don’t know, the psychoactive strain is the element of cannabis that is likely responsible for cannabis’s fame. Although, with its potential to curb cancer, its source of fame may already be changing.
How it works in the fight against cancer
Cancer.gov discusses the various research up to date on CBD and its anti-tumor effects. Among the various positive studies they discuss, they note that cannabinoids may cause the prevention of tumors. They go on to list the various ways this has been evidenced and is being researched. Among the more notable is through
- inducing cell death
- inhibiting cell growth
- modulating tumor cells
Apparently, CBD has also been studied in relation to breast cancer. And it has been shown to activate programmed cell death in breast cancer cells.
Potential as a Leukemia treatment being researched
In a study published in 2006, CBD was found to induce apoptosis. Apoptosis describes the ability of the body to regulate the life cycle of certain cells. And is considered a vital mechanism. When the body is unable to control a cell’s life cycle, this can lead to various neurodegenerative diseases. As well as autoimmune disorders and ischemic damage.
CBD has been shown to affect a cell’s life and decrease leukemia cells. Exposure to CBD led to activation of various mechanisms. This suggests cross talk is occurring between extrinsic and intrinsic apoptotic paths. The authors of the study state, “Together, the results from this study reveal that cannabidiol, acting through CB2 and regulation of Nox4 and p22(phox) expression, may be a novel and highly selective treatment for leukemia.”
Cannabidiol discourages cancer angiogenesis
Angiogenesis, in relation to cancer, is a term used to describe a mechanism where cells have the potential to become cancerous. In 2012, several researchers published a study in the British Journal of Pharmacology. In this study, they described how CBD was shown to have inhibited the angiogenesis of cells through various mechanisms. In their abstract and summary, the research authors state, “Its dual effect on both tumor and endothelial cells supports the hypothesis that CBD has potential as an effective agent in cancer therapy.”
It is important to note that while cannabidiol is being researched for its potential remedies, the road is not fully cleared. Despite the many positive studies that showcase the anti-cancer effects of CBD oil, it is not yet available as an anti-cancer treatment that can be prescribed by your doctor.
There are cannabinoid drugs on the market that are being made available for cancer symptoms, however. And these are to be taken with the purpose of alleviating nausea and other cancer side effects. The two drugs on the market are Dronabinol and Nabilone. Dronabinol can reduce nausea and vomiting that often accompanies chemotherapy. And has been found to improve one’s appetite and thus prevent weight loss. Nabilone treats nausea and vomiting as well.