Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of many cannabinoids that can be found in hemp and marijuana, two types of cannabis plants.
CBD may help people with cancer manage some symptoms of the disease, as well as side effects of treatment. Scientists are also looking into how CBD could aid cancer treatment, but more research is needed before any conclusions can be made.
Cannabis, or marijuana, has enough tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to get you high, but hemp does not. CBD is considered psychoactive, but it’s non-impairing and non-euphoric — unlike THC. However, some CBD products may have trace amounts of THC.
Benefits of CBD Oil
A study from the European Journal of Pain showed, using an animal model, CBD applied on the skin could help lower pain and inflammation due to arthritis. Another study demonstrated the mechanism by which CBD inhibits inflammatory and neuropathic pain, two of the most difficult types of chronic pain to treat.
CBD can offer an alternative for people who have chronic pain and rely on medications, such as opioids, that can be habit-forming and cause more side effects. However, more research is needed to verify the pain-relieving benefits of CBD oil and other products.
This response creates anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects that help with pain management. This means that CBD oil and other products may benefit people with chronic pain, such as chronic back pain.
Several studies point to the potential benefits of CBD for anxiety. CBD may also benefit people with other forms of anxiety, such as social anxiety disorder (SAD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It may help treat anxiety-induced insomnia as well.
In 2011, a study researched CBD’s effects on people with SAD. Participants were given an oral dose of 400 milligrams (mg) of CBD or a placebo. Those who received CBD experienced overall reduced anxiety levels.
Multiple recent studies have shown that CBD can help with PTSD symptoms, such as having nightmares and replaying negative memories. These studies have looked at CBD as both a standalone PTSD treatment as well as a supplement to traditional treatments like medication and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
There’s solid evidence supporting the idea that cannabinoids can reduce tumor growth in animal models of cancer. CBD may also enhance uptake or increase the potencyTrusted Source of certain drugs used to treat cancer.
Here are some promising studies:
- A 2019 reviewTrusted Source of in vitro and in vivo studies focusing on pancreatic cancer found that cannabinoids can help slow tumor growth, reduce tumor invasion, and induce tumor 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.
- A 2019 studyTrusted Source 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 studyTrusted Source 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 reviewTrusted Source of 35 in vitro and in vivo studies found that cannabinoids are promising compounds in the treatment of gliomas.
- 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.
These are just a few studies addressing the potential of cannabinoids to help treat cancer. Still, it’s far too soon to say that CBD is a safe and effective treatment for cancer in humans. CBD shouldn’t be considered a substitute for other cancer treatments.
Several studies have pointed to cannabinoids as substances with a high potential as neuroprotective treatments in ischemic or traumatic brain damage . Lately, our group has demonstrated that the cannabinoid receptor agonist WIN55212–2 induces signs of neuroprotection in both in vitro and in vivo models of neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (NHIE) in rats .
Because the production of psychoactive effects is likely to limit the therapeutic value of compounds such as WIN55212–2, we have now also performed experiments with cannabidiol (CBD), a major nonpsychoactive constituent of cannabis. Importantly, CBD has been found to induce neuroprotective effects in both in vitro and in vivo studies . These neuroprotective effects are thought to rely mainly on the potent antiinflammatory and antioxidant properties of CBD , although inhibition of calcium transport across membranes, inhibition of anandamide uptake and enzymatic hydrolysis, and inhibition of iNOS protein expression and NF-κB activation might also account for CBD-induced neuroprotection.
What the research says about CBD and heart disease. CBD’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties may be able to reduce risk factors that can lead to heart disease, like high blood pressure. It may also be able to reduce the risk of related conditions, like stroke.
High blood pressure is the leading risk factor for hypertensive heart disease. Your blood pressure can rise under stress, but some research suggests a dose of CBD can lessen that spike.
In a 2009 study, rats were subjected to a stressful situation that caused their blood pressure and heart rate to increase. A dose of CBD lowered both their blood pressure and heart rate.
Heart disease increases your risk of stroke. An ischemic stroke happens when a blood clot blocks blood flow to the brain. A blood vessel in the brain can also burst, causing a hemorrhagic stroke.
A 2010 review found that CBD may help protect stroke patients from brain damage and even aid recovery by boosting brain function.
Antipsychotic effects: Studies suggest that CBD may help people with schizophrenia and other mental disorders by reducing psychotic symptoms.
Substance abuse treatment: CBD has been shown to modify circuits in the brain related to drug addiction. In rats, CBD has been shown to reduce morphine dependence and heroin-seeking behavior.
Anti-tumor effects: In test-tube and animal studies, CBD has demonstrated anti-tumor effects. In animals, it has been shown to prevent the spread of breast, prostate, brain, colon and lung cancer.
Diabetes prevention: In diabetic mice, treatment with CBD reduced the incidence of diabetes by 56% and significantly reduced inflammation.