Can CBD be used as an aid in cancer treatments?

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Lately, given the market growth and new laws regarding the use of medical cannabis and cannabis-derived products in Europe and the United States, there have been many claims regarding the beneficial effects of cannabidiol (CBD) oil and CBD-based products in preventing or managing several different types of conditions, such as chronic or acute pain, anxiety, schizophrenia, psychosis, skin conditions, amongst others.

Due to its effects on the human endocannabinoid system, CBD can act in many different areas of the body, ranging from the brain to the skin, and have several various effects. As far as we know, it can act as an analgesic, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulator, among other actions. Therefore, for the past few decades, researchers have been intent on discovering what else it can do and how it can be used.

Cancer is one of the most difficult known conditions to treat and manage. The treatments that are effective are also quite aggressive and have severe side effects, like pain and nausea, further debilitating the patients’ already frail health. In this light, many of the current research is focused, not only on finding new therapeutic strategies and cures but also on improving the existing methods and finding ways of minimizing the current treatments’ side effects, as well as managing cancer pain.

In terms of scientific evidence, although there is still much research to be conducted before making any conclusive statements, some experts and studies indicate that CBD may be an effective option to be used as a complementary therapy in cancer treatments. Following the currently available studies, there is not enough evidence to support the claims that CBD can prevent or cure cancer, but there are some pieces of scientific evidence supporting its use in managing cancer treatments’ side effects.

According to studies cited by the National Cancer Institute, some preparations of CBD and THC were effective in managing pain in advanced cancer patients, whose pain couldn’t be relieved even while using strong opioids. However, there isn’t a significant amount of available data for human studies yet. In terms of animal and in vitro studies, CBD showed promising results in antitumor, tumor preventive, anxiolytic, and sleep-promoting studies.

These results shed some light on the possible contribution of CBD and other cannabinoids to cancer treatments, while also revealing the need for further studies, especially in terms of clinical trials.

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