CBD, Cannabis, and CancerCraig Swanson
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There has been a great amount of excitement over the recent research being done on the various effects of marijuana, and particularly of the cannabinoid CBD, or cannabidiol, on cancer cells. Cannabis has in fact been used for thousands of years for its many medicinal properties.
In more recent history though, in vitro (in a petri dish) tests have shown the actual death of cancer cells when introduced to marijuana compounds and in vivo (in test animals) tests have shown that when marijuana treatment was used in conjunction with cancer treatment drugs, the effectiveness of the drug was increased while side effects of the cancer treatment drugs were diminished. It has also in certain circumstances been shown to reduce tumor size and growth in patients. Unfortunately, all of this research, though promising, is still just that; research. The FDA has yet to approved cannabis as a cancer treatment. Marijuana-derived medications are not yet able to be prescribed in order to treat cancer itself.
There are a couple FDA approved drugs for the treatment of cancer-related side effects such as pain, inflammation, anxiety, and, and nausea, but no drugs yet created for cancer treatment itself. In the meantime though, there are many ways that CBD can help cancer patients to cope with the side effects of cancer and cancer prescription drugs.
The human body has receptors in the brain and central nervous system that receive cannabinoids like THC and CBD naturally. In fact, the body makes its own cannabinoids which it uses to balance the bodies immune system, sleep cycle, and feelings of appetite, anxiety, and pleasure. What CBD does when it interacts with the brain and central nervous system is that it triggers the body to make more of its own natural cannabidiol, balancing the body to feel less pain. This is great news for patients who experience chronic pain do to either the effects of their cancer medication or cancer itself. CBD has an amazing anti-inflammatory effect as well.
This helps the body overall to feel more relaxed and pain-free. CBD comes in many forms, including vapor, oil, wax, crystal, shatter, tincture, edible snacks, capsules, and also lotions that can be applied directly to the pain site. This method is great for localized pain, but in order to feel a more whole body pain relief, a smokeable or ingestible variety is recommended. For the best pain-relieving effects of CBD, a patient should take their CBD product regularly throughout the day. It may take anywhere from several moments to an hour to take effect, depending on what CBD product the patient chooses to use, with vapors, waxes, crystals, or shatters taking the least amount of time.
One of the best uses of hemp or marijuana for chemotherapy patients is an anti nausea. Marijuana first became famous in the cancer community for its effect on nausea.Though CBD and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) both on their own help to alleviate nausea well, CBD by binding to the CB1 receptor responsible for balance and appetite, and THC by releasing endorphins which act as an antiemetic, for best results, it is recommended that patients with extreme and/or chronic nausea drink hemp juice.
High in CBDA (the raw, unheated form of CBD) which is a better anti nausea and anti-emetic (anti vomit) than either THC or CBD, hemp juice really is the best choice, if it is available. If your local dispensary does not offer hemp juice, any form of cannabis high in CBD will be effective. THC is an excellent anti-nausea and anti-emetic, and in most patients is an amazing stress relieving agent, but in few patients this same chemical can actually aggravate anxiety. Be wary of this when starting any THC containing product and consider switching to a lower THC to CBD ratio if you experience any feelings of anxiety after taking the product.
If you have experienced anxiety from either smoking marijuana or using another THC containing hemp product, then CBD capsules or crystals might work best for you. Capsules are by far the easiest way to dose as they come pre-dosed so it is the easiest to use accurately, though it does take the longest of any hemp product to take effect. Capsules are a great choice if you are new to the world of marijuana and are nervous about the variety of products available.
Crystals, which can come in as much as 99.2% pure CBD but usually around 98%, are very easy to add to vapor juice or even foods. They can also be used in oils and taken under the tongue. The crystals appear as a white powder and easily dissolve. Crystals can als be found in subcategories such as shatters and waxes, which are used by dabbing and inhaling. If you suffer from anxiety, it is recommended that you start at the lowest starter dose of your CBD product and only slowly increase over time. In anxiety patients, it is found that taking too large a dose of CBD can actually overfire the CB1 and CB2 receptors, aggravating symptoms of anxiety.
Depending on what product you use, whether it is tincture, oil, vapor, wax, edible, crystal, etc, you might have a different starting dose. A good rule of thumb is 1 mg of CBD per 100 pounds of body weight. It is important to be aware of the amount of CBD in your product, and calculate based on that as well. If you are using a tincture, you will need to determine how many mL of liquid you should use in a serving. Usually you would want to start with only a fifth to a quarter of a dropper, depending on your body weight. If you are having trouble determining your starting dose, or adjusting your dose with your CBD product, consult with your physician.
THC is known to cause a euphoric, light-headed feeling with some short-term loss of motor function and memory, can increase heart rate and aggravate anxiety. CBD often has very few and very light side effects, with the majority of patients reporting no side effects at all. CBD products will not cause you to feel high at all, but if you take a much higher dose than is recommended you might experience dry mouth, drowsiness or some insomnia. If you experience an servere or hard to manage side effects, such as anxiety or depression, stop use of your hemp product and consult with your physician to help determine your correct ratio and dosage.