Medical marijuana has long been associated with treating the symptoms of cancer. But can CBD with no THC in it be effective too?
We know CBD has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, as well as the ability to reduce pain sensitivity and act as an antiemetic (anti-nausea agent). It can also help to elevate mood, reduce anxiety and improve the quality and duration of sleep.
All of these effects are hugely beneficial in the treatment of symptoms experienced by cancer patients as a result of their illness or the treatment they are receiving for it.
As cannabis research is still in its infancy due to decades of restricted access, the studies on the subject are limited.
But what research has been done thus far is very promising. Here are some of the leading studies:
- A 2019 medical review of in vitro and in vivo studies focusing on pancreatic cancer found that cannabinoids can help slow tumour growth, reduce tumour invasion, and induce tumour cell death. The study authors wrote that research into the effectiveness of different formulations, dosing, and precise mode of action is lacking and urgently needed.
- Another 2019 study indicated that CBD could provoke cell death and make glioblastoma cells more sensitive to radiation, but with no effect on healthy cells.
- A large, long term study of men within the California Men’s Health Study cohort found that using cannabis may be inversely associated with bladder cancer risk. However, a cause and effect relationship hasn’t been established.
- A 2014 study in experimental models of colon cancer in vivo suggests that CBD may inhibit the spread of colorectal cancer cells.
- A 2014 medical review of 35 in vitro and in vivo studies found that cannabinoids are promising compounds in the treatment of gliomas (a type of tumour that starts in the glial cells of the brain or the spine).
- Research from 2010 demonstrated the efficacy of CBD in preclinical models of metastatic breast cancer. The study found that CBD significantly reduced breast cancer cell proliferation and invasion.