Chemotherapy and CBD Use: What the Studies Show
With the advent of CBD research, it is becoming apparent that Chemotherapy and CBD use are good fit. This is because the effectiveness of CBD in combating the side effects of cancer treatments. While chemotherapy is designed to kill cancer cells, it also damages healthy cells throughout the body. This cell damage is what creates adverse effects in the body. Numerous studies have shown that using CBD may help lessen six of the most common side effects of chemotherapy, both during and following treatment.
Neuropathic Pain Relief
Cancer itself can cause pain, which may then be compounded by chemotherapy treatment. Pain may be a result of inflammation, tumor-pressure on organs, or even nerve damage. With so many potential sources of pain, it can be hard to treat.
Nerve pain, or neuropathic pain, is common in chemotherapy patients, but it is a complex, chronic pain that is notoriously resistant to treatment. Cannabinoids have been “found to be safe, modestly effective, and a reasonable option for treating chronic neuropathic pain.” In a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel group study of THC/CBD spray in peripheral neuropathic pain treatment, over 30% of participants felt relief.
Now, 30% may not seem like a staggering result, but as with any treatment, individuals respond uniquely to treatments. This is especially promising for patients who may have not been able to find relief elsewhere. In fact, the Canadian Pain Society has revised its recommendations in treating neuropathic pain to include cannabinoids as a therapy.
Further, another recent study looked at how CBD works with serotonin receptors, which play a role in both pain and anxiety. Researchers concluded that repeated treatment with low-dose CBD induces analgesia, reduces anxiety, and rescues impaired neurotransmission in neuropathic pain conditions.
One of the strongest study-related benefits of concurrent chemotherapy and CBD use is in relieving inflammation. Inflammation itself can cause pain, but chronic inflammation can also cause other symptoms such as fatigue.
There is a vast amount of scientific studies that show CBD is effective at treating inflammation, though none (yet) directly investigate chemotherapy. Still, it is being proven over and again that “cannabinoids suppress inflammatory response and subsequently attenuate… symptoms. This property… is mediated through multiple pathways.” With the complex behavior of both pain and CBD, studies keep finding interesting ways in which they interact. This is excellent news for the complex pain that many cancer sufferers encounter.
CBD Pain Cream is a good choice for aching muscles.
Opioid Risk Avoidance
Opioids are powerful drugs that are often used when treating chronic and/or intense pain. While they are effective, they can be addictive. They also come with heavy side effects when coupled with high doses and long-term use. Some risks include osteoporosis, immunosuppression, and increased morbidity, as well as opioid-induced hyperalgesia syndrome (hyper-sensitivity to pain). Further, pain can become opioid resistant, leaving patients with few options.
By coupling chemotherapy and CBD use, patients may be able to lessen or eliminate their need for opioids, and thus avoid the documented risks associated with them.
Many long-term chemotherapy patients also suffer from anticipatory nausea, which is difficult to treat. While nausea and vomiting have been shown to be relieved by THC, there is emerging research that has shown some relief in mice through using CBD. Further, “Preclinical research indicates that cannabinoids, including CBD, may be effective clinically for treating both nausea and vomiting produced by chemotherapy or other therapeutic treatments.”
For those in the midst of cancer treatment, anxiety about procedures, side effects, and outcomes is very real. In a review analysis of 49 existing studies, it was “concluded that CBD could be an excellent way to combat anxiety, panic disorders, and perhaps post-traumatic stress disorder. Preclinical evidence conclusively demonstrates CBD’s efficacy in reducing anxiety behaviors relevant to multiple disorders.”
Our Juicy Fruit Hemp Joints are a good choice for when you need to feel calm and centered.
Sleep is essential when your body is trying to heal itself. Unfortunately, the stress, pain, and other symptoms can interfere with a good night of sleep. As discussed above, CBD may be able to help you with some of the underlying causes of sleeplessness. It could also potentially help with the sleep-wake cycle itself. In a study on rats, the “administration of CBD appears to increase total sleep time” in the test subjects. This small study is just the tip of the iceberg for future sleep-CBD studies.
Try Happy Bearz Gummies with CBD and Melatonin when you struggle to fall asleep.
Chemotherapy and CBD: A Note of Caution
It is important to note that chemotherapy and CBD use should be discussed with your supervising physician. Some highly concentrated CBD oils could potentially “increase the toxicity or decrease the effectiveness” of some anti-cancer therapies.
Cancer and chemotherapy are formidable opponents. No two people have the same experiences. Chemotherapy and CBD use may be a good choice for you to treat the disease while managing your symptoms. If you are considering using CBD during cancer treatment, always speak with your doctor first.