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Best cbd oil for cancer cure

Cannabidiol Oil for Cancer Patients: Nature’s Best Remedy?

Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is a supplement that has gained tremendous popularity over the past few years. The compound is marketed for numerous indications and sold across the United States by various shops, gas stations, and online retailers. CBD is produced in a variety of formulations, one of the more prevalent being CBD oil. 1 One area in which CBD oil is gaining interest is the cancer setting, and because of its wide availability, it is likely that many cancer patients are turning to this alternative medicine to help manage their disease or symptoms. It is therefore important for healthcare professionals to educate themselves regarding the efficacy, safety, and legality of this compound.

CBD is a compound derived from the cannabis plant. Cannabis is the source of one of the oldest plant-based medicines known to man, and for thousands of years it has been cultivated by humans for various purposes. 2 Two common strains of the plant are marijuana, cultivated for its medicinal purposes, and hemp, cultivated for its use in food, clothing, and paper. 3 The cannabis plant contains various active components, two of which are cannabinoids and terpenes. 2 Researchers have identified up to 113 different cannabinoids and 120 different terpenes in cannabis. 4 The two cannabinoids delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD are the most prevalent and well-known cannabis components. However, terpenes have also been shown to bind to receptors in animal studies, suggesting that they may play a role in the overall pharmacologic profile of cannabis. 2 Many people likely associate cannabis with marijuana and the “high” effect that it elicits. This psychoactive effect is a result of the action of THC on cannabidiol (CB)1 and CB2 receptors. 5 CBD does not act in the same way; in fact, it is thought to have antagonistic effects on the CB receptors. As a result, it does not produce the psychoactive effects seen in THC-containing cannabis. 5 CBD has a long list of proposed benefits, including potential antiepileptic, anxiolytic, antipsychotic, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective effects. 6 Medicinal marijuana products often contain a combination of THC and CBD but may also be pure THC or CBD alone. CBD oil, however, primarily contains the CBD, with minimal (<0.3%) THC content.

The legal status of cannabis and cannabis-related products in the United States can be difficult to understand. Federally, the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) of 1970 placed cannabis and its components into schedule I, the most restrictive category. 7 As of January 1, 2020, 33 individual states, along with Washington, DC, Puerto Rico, and Guam, have implemented laws that allow for medicinal cannabis use. Of these, 11 states plus Washington, DC, and Guam allow for recreational use. 8-10 These states can sell all types of cannabis products with varying contents of active ingredients (e.g., THC, CBD) and dosage forms. The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp, defined as cannabis-derived product with less than 0.3% THC, from the CSA. 7 This has allowed for widespread commercial sales of CBD products outside of medical marijuana dispensaries. 11 The extracts that are produced from cannabis can range widely in their composition and effects, depending on which part of the plant is used. Hemp seed oil contains no THC and minimal CBD and is extracted from cannabis seeds. CBD oil and cannabis oils, which are extracted from the flower or plant material, contain CBD at variable levels; the difference is that CBD oil can contain only up to 0.3% THC. 3 The sale of these products is legal in all states but Idaho, Nebraska, and South Dakota, where no cannabis access laws currently exist. Because these CBD oils do not contain psychoactive levels of THC, they can be purchased and consumed without the recommendation or certification of a provider. 3

In 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved CBD oral solution (Epidiolex) for the treatment of seizures in Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet syndrome. 7 Epidiolex, a purified CBD oral solution that contains less than 0.1% THC, was placed into schedule V (low-abuse potential) by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in 2018. 12,13 This is currently the only FDA-approved CBD product, and it has not been evaluated in cancer patients. According to the DEA, all non-FDA-approved CBD products are still considered schedule I controlled substances. 13 The 2018 Farm Bill allows for exceptions to this status under certain conditions. In order for hemp-derived CBD to be considered legal, it must be produced by a licensed grower under specific conditions set forth by the Farm Bill, state regulations, and federal regulations. 14 This, along with the implementation of state laws on cannabis access, has made the regulation of CBD products a difficult task. 8 A 2016 study investigated the labeling accuracy of online-purchased CBD products. Researchers purchased 84 non-FDA-approved CBD products and tested their CBD and THC content. The alarming findings were that only 31% were accurately labeled within 10% of the reported CBD content, and 21% of the products contained unlabeled THC at a low level.15 The FDA has issued warnings regarding mislabeling to dozens of firms that market CBD products and has warned the public to beware of these products. 16

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Cannabinoids have been used to treat patients with cancer since 1985, when dronabinol (Marinol), a synthetic THC product, was approved by the FDA to treat chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. 17 The specific role of CBD in cancer treatment is still unclear. In vitro and in vivo studies have shown some evidence for CBD’s efficacy as an anticancer agent through mechanisms such as induction of apoptosis or inhibition of tumor growth and metastasis. 18,19 In vitro data supports the ability of CBD to induce tumor cell death in patients with glioblastoma. 20 Furthermore, case reports have been published showing a potential anticancer effect in lung cancer and ovarian cancer patients. 21,22 Regarding supportive care for cancer patients, the role of CBD is again unclear. Evidence exists for the use of cannabis for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, cancer pain, anorexia and cachexia, and appetite stimulation; however, most studies were poorly designed and evaluated products that also contained THC. 2 Until more human trial data become available, the appropriateness of using CBD oil in these indications remains uncertain. Several studies are investigating the use of CBD in patients with cancer for indications such as palliative care in cancer patients to reduce symptom burden; as standard-of-care treatments in patients with multiple myeloma, glioblastoma multiforme, and gastrointestinal malignancies; and for prevention of graft-versus-host disease in patients undergoing allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. 23-25 Continuing research is necessary to understand CBD’s usefulness in treating cancer patients.

As noted, CBD lacks the psychoactive effects that are found with other cannabinoids. This does not mean that it can be used without concern. Epidiolex has been associated with hepatocellular injury, sedation, and suicidal behavior and ideation, in addition to more common side effects of decreased appetite (16–22%), diarrhea (9–20%), fatigue (11–12%), and insomnia (5–11%). It is important that patients using CBD be made aware of the possibility that they will test positive in a cannabis drug screen. 12 It should be noted that rigorous safety studies have been performed only with prescription Epidiolex, not with over-the-counter or other CBD oil products. Given that the strengths of CBD oil products vary greatly, it is difficult to fully understand the side-effect profile of CBD. Emerging evidence has also indicated the potential carcinogenicity of CBD, with one study finding that CBD can cause chromosomal damage in human-derived cell lines. 26 Also of note, CBD interacts with a number of common medications. CBD is a substrate for cytochrome (CYP) p450 enzymes CYP3A4 and CYP2C19; a dose reduction should therefore be considered when a patient is concomitantly using moderate or strong inhibitors of these enzymes, and a dose increase should be considered when a patient is using moderate or strong inducers. In addition, when CBD is used concomitantly with substrates of UGT1A9, UGT2B7, CYP2C8, CYP2C9, CYP1A2, or CYP2B6, a dose reduction of the substrate should be considered. 12 The combination of potential side effects and drug interactions, along with the regulatory issues highlighted above, raises concerns about patient safety. As evidenced by the widespread use and current availability of CBD oil products, patients are likely to consume these products despite a lack of efficacy or safety data. Because of this likelihood, healthcare providers should provide guidance to their patients on selecting the safest product possible. (Table 1 – see PDF) lists considerations for choosing high-quality CBD oil products. 3

Overall, very little evidence exists to support the medical use of CBD oil for patients with cancer. Although some case reports have demonstrated benefit, the lack of data from well-designed human trials presents the single largest barrier to acceptance and routine use of CBD by medical professionals. In addition to the lack of evidence, CBD’s questionable legality also presents an obstacle to be overcome before providers can comfortably recommend it to their patients. In the meantime, as the CBD craze sweeps across the nation, providers should focus on educating themselves about the risks and benefits of CBD oil in order to manage expectations and avoid adverse effects and drug interactions in their patients who are curious about CBD.

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Cannabis, CBD oil and cancer

Cannabis is a plant and a class B drug. It affects people differently. It can make you feel relaxed and chilled but it can also make you feel sick, affect your memory and make you feel lethargic. CBD oil is a chemical found in cannabis.

Summary:

  • Cannabis has been used for centuries recreationally and as a medicine.
  • It is illegal to possess or supply cannabis as it is a class B drug.
  • Research is looking at the substances in cannabis to see if it might help treat cancer.
  • There are anti sickness medicines that contain man-made substances of cannabis.

What are cannabis and cannabinoids?

Cannabis is a plant. It is known by many names including marijuana, weed, hemp, grass, pot, dope, ganja and hash.

The plant produces a resin that contains a number of substances or chemicals. These are called cannabinoids. Cannabinoids can have medicinal effects on the body.
The main cannabinoids are:

  • Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
  • Cannabidiol (CBD)

THC is a psychoactive substance that can create a ‘high’ feeling. It can affect how your brain works, changing your mood and how you feel.

CBD is a cannabinoid that may relieve pain, lower inflammation and decrease anxiety without the psychoactive ‘high’ effect of THC.

Different types of cannabis have differing amounts of these and other chemicals in them. This means they can have different effects on the body.

Cannabis is a class B drug in the UK. This means that it is illegal to have it, sell it or buy it.

CBD oil, cannabis oil and hemp oil

There are different types of oil made from parts of the cannabis plant. Some are sold legally in health food stores as a food supplement. Other types of oil are illegal.

CBD oil comes from the flowers of the cannabis plant and does not contain the psychoactive substance THC. It can be sold in the UK as a food supplement but not as a medicine. There is no evidence to support its use as a medicine.

Cannabis oil comes from the flowers, leaves and stalks of the cannabis plant. Cannabis oil often contains high levels of the psychoactive ingredient THC. Cannabis oil is illegal in the UK.

Hemp oil comes from the seeds of a type of cannabis plant that doesn’t contain the main psychoactive ingredient THC. Hemp seed oil is used for various purposes including as a protein supplement for food, a wood varnish and an ingredient in soaps.

Why people with cancer use it

Cannabis has been used medicinally and recreationally for hundreds of years.

There has been a lot of interest into whether cannabinoids might be useful as a cancer treatment. The scientific research done so far has been laboratory research, with mixed results, so we do not know if cannabinoids can treat cancer in people.

Results have shown that different cannabinoids can:

  • cause cell death
  • block cell growth
  • stop the development of blood vessels – needed for tumours to grow
  • reduce inflammation
  • reduce the ability of cancers to spread

Scientists also discovered that cannabinoids can:

  • sometimes encourage cancer cells to grow
  • cause damage to blood vessels

Cannabinoids have helped with sickness and pain in some people.

Medical cannabis

This means a cannabis based product used to relieve symptoms.

Some cannabis based products are available on prescription as medicinal cannabis. The following medicines are sometimes prescribed to help relieve symptoms.

Nabilone (Cesamet)

Nabilone is a drug developed from cannabis. It is licensed for treating severe sickness from chemotherapy that is not controlled by other anti sickness drugs. It is a capsule that you swallow whole.

Sativex (Nabiximols)

Sativex is a cannabis-based medicine. It is licensed in the UK for people with Multiple Sclerosis muscle spasticity that hasn’t improved with other treatments. Sativex is a liquid that you spray into your mouth.

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Researchers are looking into Sativex as a treatment for cancer related symptoms and for certain types of cancer.

How you have it

Cannabis products can be smoked, vaporized, ingested (eating or drinking), absorbed through the skin (in a patch) or as a cream or spray.

CBD oil comes as a liquid or in capsules.

Side effects

Prescription drugs such as Nabilone can cause side effects. This can include:

  • increased heart rate
  • blood pressure problems
  • drowsiness
  • mood changes
  • memory problems

Cannabis that contains high levels of THC can cause panic attacks, hallucinations and paranoia.

There are also many cannabis based products available online without a prescription. The quality of these products can vary. It is impossible to know what substances they might contain. They could potentially be harmful to your health and may be illegal.

Research into cannabinoids and cancer

We need more research to know if cannabis or the chemicals in it can treat cancer.

Clinical trials need to be done in large numbers where some patients have the drug and some don’t. Then you can compare how well the treatment works.

Many of the studies done so far have been small and in the laboratory. There have been a few studies involving people with cancer.

Sativex and temozolomide for a brain tumour (glioblastoma) that has come back

In 2021, scientists reported the final results of a phase 1 study to treat people with recurrent glioblastoma (a type of brain tumour that has come back). The study looked at Sativex in combination with the chemotherapy drug temozolomide.

Researchers found that adding Sativex caused side effects, which included, vomiting, dizziness, fatigue, nausea and headache but patients found the side effects manageable.

They also observed that 83 out of 100 people (83%) were alive after one year using Sativex, compared to 44 out of 100 people (44%) taking the placebo.

However, this phase 1 study only involved 27 patients, which was too small to learn about any potential benefits of Sativex. The study wanted to find out if Sativex and temozolomide was safe to take by patients.

Researchers have now started a larger phase 2 trial called ARISTOCRAT, to find out if this treatment is effective and who might benefit from it. Speak to your specialist if you want to take part in a clinical trial.

Sativex and cancer pain

There are trials looking at whether Sativex can help with cancer pain that has not responded to other painkillers.

The results of one trial showed that Sativex did not improve pain levels. You can read the results of the trial on our clinical trials website.

Cancer and nausea and vomiting

A cannabis based medicine, Nabilone, is a treatment for nausea and vomiting.

A Cochrane review in 2015 looked at all the research available looking into cannabis based medicine as a treatment for nausea and sickness in people having chemotherapy for cancer. It reported that many of the studies were too small or not well run to be able to say how well these medicines work. They say that they may be useful if all other medicines are not working.

Other research

A drug called dexanabinol which is a man made form of a chemical similar to that found in cannabis has been trialled in a phase 1 trial. This is an early trial that tries to work out whether or not the drug works in humans, what the correct dose is and what the side effects might be. The results are not available yet. You can read about the trial on our clinical trials database.

Word of caution

Cannabis is a class B drug and illegal in the UK.

There are internet scams where people offer to sell cannabis preparations to people with cancer. There is no knowing what the ingredients are in these products and they could harm your health.
Some of these scammers trick cancer patients into buying ‘cannabis oil’ which they then never receive.

You could talk with your cancer specialist about the possibility of joining a clinical trial. Trials can give access to new drugs in a safe and monitored environment.

More information

The science blog on our website has more information about cannabis and cancer.