Receiving a cancer diagnosis is a difficult thing for anyone to go through. For some, the emotional trauma lasts for months after hearing the news. Yet soon after receiving a diagnosis, patients will need to make treatment decisions. This article explains how hemp is being used in cancer treatment and therapy.
Your doctor will present you with treatment options based on the type of cancer you have and what stage the cancer is at. Learning as much as possible about various treatments and therapies available can help you feel more comfortable about making decisions about your course of treatment.
As you may be aware, not everyone chooses to follow conventional forms of cancer treatment. You may have heard about famous or wealthy people seeking cancer treatment in other countries. For example, France and Germany offer different or experimental cancer treatments not available in the United States.
Many people choose to follow their doctor’s recommended treatment plan, but also want to explore complementary therapies. A complementary therapy is a form of therapy that is intended to be used along with traditional treatments like surgery or chemotherapy.
Hemp is being studied by scientists and medical researchers as a potential complementary therapy for cancer treatment-related symptoms. The main ingredient in hemp is CBD, a chemical compound known as a cannabinoid. According to the National Cancer Institute, cannabinoids “produce pharmacologic effects, particularly in the central nervous system and the immune system.”
Although there is a lot of scientific interest in CBD, it’s important to understand that most research is still in an early stage and that more randomized double-blind studies need to be conducted. Still, there is a great deal of promising research and 2017 provided some conclusive results.
For instance, in May 2017, the first stage 3 clinical trial on CBD for treatment of epilepsy in children was successfully conducted. Based on current research, there is excitement about CBD’s potential to be used as a treatment for autism, memory-related disorders such as Alzheimer’s, movement-related disorders such as Parkinson’s, and cancer-related symptoms.
The CBD in hemp has both anti-emetic and anti-inflammatory properties, which means it can be used to fight nausea and pain stemming from inflammation. Since nausea and pain are both common side effects of cancer treatment, further clinical research may show that hemp is a useful therapy for patients suffering from these symptoms.
It is important to understand that CBD has not yet been approved by the FDA for use in treating cancer treatment-related symptoms. As a result, no company can claim that products containing CBD will benefit those with cancer treatment-related symptoms.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recently released a report acknowledging that CBD is already being used as an unsanctioned therapeutic agent in many countries, including the United States.
The report also states that “CBD is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile.”
In reviewing the unsanctioned medical use of CBD, the WHO observes that the “range of conditions for which CBD has been assessed is diverse, consistent with its neuroprotective, antiepileptic, hypoxia-ischemia, anxiolytic, antipsychotic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-asthmatic, and antitumor properties.”
The positive tone of the WHO report will likely encourage more research into CBD, including potential uses as a complementary therapy for those suffering from cancer treatment-related symptoms like pain and nausea. Make sure you talk to your physician before trying complementary therapies.