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Six Potential CBD Oil Benefits For Cancer Patients

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Cancer is one of the leading causes of death globally. In 2020, there were an estimated 19.3 million new cancer cases and 10 million cancer-related deaths worldwide.

While there is still no cure for cancer, the search for effective treatments and supportive therapies continues to be a top priority. In recent years, there has been growing scientific interest in the use of cannabis-based medicine in general, and CBD oil in particular, as a way to treat and/or manage the symptoms of cancer.

Key takeaways

  • CBD oil can interact with certain medications, so consult a specialist medical cannabis prescriber before using it.
  • While side effects from CBD oil are generally mild and short-lived, it’s essential to be aware of them.
  • Not all CBD oil products are created equal, so choosing high-quality products from reputable manufacturers is crucial for safety and efficacy.
  • Medical cannabis options containing THC may offer additional benefits for cancer patients, but it’s important to consult with a specialist before using it alongside conventional treatments.
  • Consider leaving reviews at CBD Ratings to contribute to the growing body of evidence on the effectiveness and safety of CBD products.

This article will examine the potential benefits of CBD oil for cancer patients. It is, however, crucial to emphasise that CBD oil is not intended to replace conventional cancer treatments and should never be touted as a cure for cancer. 

Instead, it is regarded as a potential complement to these treatments, aiming to enhance their effectiveness and provide additional support to patients.

CBD oil for cancer

Six CBD oil benefits for cancer treatment

CBD has been shown to have nausea-relieving, pain-relieving, anti-anxiety and sleep-enhancing properties. These address many of the common side effects of cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy.

Additionally, CBD oil may enhance the efficacy of chemotherapy. Research suggests that CBD oil can potentially increase cancer cells’ sensitivity to chemotherapy drugs, thereby improving their effectiveness. 

One interesting study found that CBD oil enhanced the anticancer effects of a commonly used chemotherapy drug, cisplatin, in lung cancer cells. The combination of CBD oil and chemotherapy exhibited synergistic effects, inhibiting cancer cell growth, and promoting cancer cell death more effectively than chemotherapy alone.

Furthermore, CBD oil may have direct anticancer effects, targeting cancer cell growth and metastasis. Studies have indicated that CBD oil can modulate various cellular pathways involved in cancer progression.

For instance, this study showed that CBD oil inhibited the migration and invasion of breast cancer cells, suggesting a potential role in reducing metastasis. Another study demonstrated that CBD oil induced apoptosis, programmed cell death, in colon cancer cells, thereby inhibiting their growth.

CBD oil and cancer symptom management

CBD oil has been investigated for its potential role in managing various symptoms associated with cancer. As previously mentioned, studies have shown promising results regarding its effectiveness in reducing pain, inflammation, nausea, vomiting and improving sleep quality.

This research paper investigated the efficacy of CBD as a treatment for cancer-related pain specifically. They concluded that ‘Emerging evidence suggests that CBD and other cannabinoid treatments may relieve cancer pain and ease the side effects of chemotherapy.’

CBD also interacts with serotonin receptors, such as 5-HT1A. These are involved with pain modulation and the regulation of nausea and vomiting. Danilo De Gregorio et al. studied the interaction of CBD and serotonin. They concluded that there was sufficient evidence to justify further study in the area.

Another study looked at the impact of CBD on the regulation of nausea and vomiting. The authors concluded that ‘CBD effectively prevented conditioned retching and conditioned gaping.’

Sleep disturbances are also prevalent among cancer patients, often due to pain, anxiety, or medication side effects. This clinical trial found that ‘Anxiety scores decreased within the first month in 57 patients (79.2%) and remained decreased during the study duration. Sleep scores improved within the first month in 48 patients (66.7%).’

CBD oil for cancer

CBD oil and cancer mental health

Cancer diagnosis and treatment can significantly impact mental health. It often leads to increased levels of anxiety and depression among patients. CBD oil has emerged as a potential therapeutic option for managing these psychological symptoms and improving overall well-being.

Several studies have explored the effects of CBD oil on anxiety and depression. As previously mentioned, CBD interacts with receptors in the brain, including the serotonin 5-HT1A receptor, which is involved in regulating mood and emotions. By modulating these receptors, CBD may have anxiolytic and antidepressant properties, potentially reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression.

For example, in one study, researchers investigated the anxiolytic effects of CBD in individuals with generalised social anxiety disorder (SAD). The results showed that CBD significantly reduced anxiety levels and improved participants’ overall well-being. Another study found that CBD demonstrated potential antidepressant effects in animal models.

Furthermore, CBD has been suggested to have a positive impact on anxiety and sleep, which are closely linked to mental health. By promoting relaxation and reducing stress levels, CBD oil may contribute to a better mood and improved quality of life for cancer patients.

Potential risks and side effects of CBD oil

Although CBD oil can deliver many significant benefits, it is crucial to consider its potential risks and side effects. Here are four key factors to consider before deciding whether it’s appropriate for you to try CBD oil as a treatment.

Drug interactions

CBD has the potential to interact with the metabolism of specific medications, especially those processed by the cytochrome P450 enzyme system. This system is responsible for the breakdown and elimination of various medications in the body, making it important to be aware of potential interactions with CBD.

In certain cases, CBD can inhibit these enzymes, leading to a slower breakdown and elimination of medications. Conversely, CBD may also induce these enzymes, leading to a faster breakdown and clearance of medications from the body. This can result in reduced levels of the medication in the bloodstream, potentially diminishing its effectiveness.

It’s worth noting that drug interactions with CBD are not limited to cancer medications but can occur with a wide range of drugs, including those used to manage pain, seizures, anxiety and more. It is, therefore, crucial to provide a comprehensive list of all medications, supplements, and herbal products you are taking to your healthcare provider.

Side effects

While CBD oil is generally well-tolerated, it’s important to be aware of potential side effects. Although they are generally mild, some individuals may experience issues such as fatigue, dry mouth, changes in appetite or diarrhoea when using CBD oil. These side effects are usually temporary and tend to diminish as the body adjusts to the CBD oil or with appropriate dosage adjustments.

Issues with lack of standardisation

The consumer CBD oil market is huge, and not all products are created equal. Some products may be inaccurately labelled or contaminated with potentially harmful substances. Therefore, selecting CBD oil from reputable manufacturers that prioritise quality control measures is vital.

Reputable manufacturers of CBD oil will offer third-party laboratory testing to validate the contents and purity of their products. These tests assess the cannabinoid profile, terpene composition and potential presence of contaminants such as pesticides, heavy metals or residual solvents. By choosing CBD oil from trusted manufacturers, you can have greater confidence in the product’s quality and safety. Check out the reviews here at CBD Ratings to see what other CBD customers are saying!

Prescribable medical cannabis products are subject to much more stringent quality control measures than over-the-counter CBD oil products. If you are at all worried about the quality or safety of a CBD oil product, speak to your healthcare provider for guidance.

CBD oil for cancer


Can medical cannabis be prescribed for cancer patients?

Yes, medical cannabis can be prescribed to manage a variety of symptoms associated with cancer and its treatment. These include pain, nausea, vomiting, and sleep disturbances.

Is CBD oil the same as medical cannabis?

No, CBD oil is not the same as medical cannabis. While both are derived from the cannabis sativa L. genus of plants, CBD oil is extracted from hemp varieties, which contain very low levels of THC (the psychoactive compound in cannabis). Medical cannabis products can legally contain varying levels of THC, which has been shown to have additional therapeutic benefits for cancer patients.

Can CBD oil be used alongside conventional cancer treatments?

Yes, CBD is usually fine to use alongside conventional cancer treatments, but not without first speaking to a specialist who understands your unique situation and medical cannabis itself.

CBD oil and cancer in brief

CBD oil shows great promise in controlling the unpleasant side effects of harsh cancer treatments, and with further research, it may prove to be an effective adjunct therapy for cancer itself. However, choosing high-quality oil from a reputable source is vital to get the best results. 

Cancer patients should also consider reaching out to a private medical cannabis clinic. The specialists working with such clinics are well-versed in cannabis therapeutics and have experience in prescribing medical cannabis to manage cancer-related symptoms effectively. While CBD alone may provide a certain level of relief, a combination of CBD and other cannabinoids (such as THC) may be more effective in managing symptoms.

If you have experience with any CBD products, consider leaving a review here at CBD Ratings. Doing so will add to the growing body of evidence on the efficacy and safety of CBD products in managing various health conditions, including cancer. At CBD Ratings, we are committed to providing reliable information and resources to help UK residents make informed decisions about their health and well-being!