It’s been a good year for cannabidiol proponents. CBD oil has been making news in the medical community over its remarkable effectiveness in treating a wide range of afflictions. In May 2017, CNN reported that cannabidiol was shown to slash the number of seizures in children afflicted with a rare type of epilepsy.
So, what is next on the CBD front? And what should you know about CBD oil that will help you make wise health decisions? Studies are now focusing on how cannabidiol might be used as an anti-cancer treatment. Here is a little primer about cannabidiol and what is presently on the market.
Cannabis and CBD and how the two relate
Cannabidiol is a chemical found in the cannabis plant. You may be familiar with the term cannabis. Maybe you equate it with the products that businesses, such as Urbn Leaf, a dispensary in San Diego, are selling across the nation. But where cannabidiol differs from recreational cannabis products is that it contains none of the psychoactive elements found in its close relations.
Cannabidiol can be found in both varieties of the cannabis plant, marijuana and hemp. But where marijuana is cultivated to contain a large amount of THC, the psychoactive element. Hemp is cultivated for other purposes and therefore often has low amounts of THC. Put simply, cannabidiol is harvested and cultivated with a focus on its effectiveness as a natural treatment.
Its potential as an anti-cancer treatment
As the use and acceptance of cannabidiol has grown, it was only a matter of time before researchers began to study its anti-cancer properties.
Cancer claims 171 people per every 100,000 men and women per year. And it affects 454 people out of every 100,000. In 2016, the number of new cancer cases was an estimated at 1,685,210. And expenses related to cancer care in 2010 totaled nearly $125 billion.
Effective cancer treatments have gone far to bring down the mortality rate of cancer. And one of the new hopefuls on the scene is CBD. There is a reason why researchers and drug manufacturers are pouring time and money into CBD studies. Cancer.gov lists the anti-tumor possibilities that cannabidiol has shown in studies conducted to date. In their summary, they note that cannabinoids appear to create a hostile environment for tumors. CBD does this through the following means:
- inhibiting tumor angiogenesis metastasis and invasion
- inhibiting cell growth
- inducing cell death
- providing an anti-inflammatory response
CBD has been studied in relation to the following cancer types with encouraging results:
- bladder cancer
- neurodegenerative disorders and brain cancers
- breast cancer
- colon cancer
- lung cancer
How CBD oil is being used at present
Lawmakers are taking notice of the abundance of CBD studies. And reform is taking place. At present, however, the ways and purposes for which CBD oil is being prescribed is limited. But progress is being made, with more and more medical professionals seeing it as a valid remedy for various ailments, including:
- Chemotherapy pain relief. There are two drugs that contain cannabis compounds that have been permitted on the US medical market. Dronabinol is used in treating vomiting and nausea and loss of appetite because of chemotherapy. Nabilone is often prescribed when other drugs have proven ineffective in reducing pain. When effective, it greatly reduces the nausea of chemo treatments.
- Relief from anxiety. Perhaps one of the purposes for which CBD is most used is for stress relief. Most researchers agree that CBD changes the way your brain responds to serotonin. (Serotonin is the chemical in your brain responsible for helping you feel relaxed and at ease.) It has also been shown to help insomnia sufferers and those with PTSD.
- As an anti-seizure medication. As discussed previously, a growing body of research shows CBDs effectiveness in treating epilepsy.
An interesting survey was conducted by Bright field Group and HelloMD. They found that 42 percent of those who use CBD to treat anxiety, depression, or insomnia stop using traditional medications. It seems that users who begin to take CBD oil as a treatment are fully satisfied with its effectiveness. And cease taking Tylenol, Vicodin, or other prescription drugs.
Experts advise due diligence for any individuals exploring CBD as a pain relief. And if you are the cautious type, waiting and watching is not a bad strategy. If trends remain steady, all signs point to an increasingly well-rounded view of what cannabis is fully capable of.