What are the benefits of taking cannabis oil in conjunction with my other cancer treatments?
3 years ago
Going through chemo and have heard cannabis oil may help too. I plan to stay on my doctor's plan. How is cannabis oil beneficial?
Answer - Founder and CEO, Constance Therapeutics
Thank you for this question and please know that I am wishing you all the best in your recovery. This is a concern very near and dear to my heart – many of our patient-members are suffering from a form of cancer and are currently undergoing chemotherapy.
Due to the current classification of cannabis as a Schedule I drug by the DEA, research on the efficacy of cannabis oil as an integrative treatment option for cancer or other serious conditions has been limited, particularly when it comes to clinical trials. That being said, there is sufficient anecdotal evidence to conclude that the combination of the two can indeed be beneficial for some, if not many. Cannabis oil has qualities that can assist in combating the symptoms and side effects that may come from cancer and cancer treatments, including chemotherapy, and there is significant research indicating that certain cannabinoids within cannabis may also have the ability to greatly reduce existing tumors.
The two primary cannabinoids in whole-plant cannabis oil are Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD). Both THC and CBD have unique characteristics that can assist in lessening the side effects of allopathic treatments. According to the American Cancer Society, chemotherapy’s long list of side effects includes loss of appetite, nausea, and chronic pain. Dr. Gil Bar-Sela, Director of the Integrated Oncology and Palliative Care Unit at the Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa, Israel documented in his work and published his findings in his article entitled “Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine.” Bar-Sela states that THC is a powerful appetite stimulant, and reduces severe nausea and stomach pain. Beyond providing general relief, The National Cannabis Institute and several studies indicate that CBD may prevent nerve problems including numbness, tingling, swelling, and muscle weakness that caused by some types of chemotherapy. During our first several years, all of our patients were referred from oncologists and were stage four patients, experiencing cancer for the second time. Many times we heard that their chemo and radiation were significantly easier to undergo while using cannabis oil. In fact, in a 2014 study conducted by Dr. Katherine Scott and her team, found that the effectiveness of glioblastoma radiation treatments increased as much as 17% when pretreated with a combination of both THC and CBD.
It has also been noted that the combination of THC and CBD may also shrink the size of a pre-existing tumor or cancer cells. Dr. McAllister and his colleague Dr. Garret Yount, with the SETH Group, have conducted thorough research on how CBD specifically can decrease the amount of brain cancer cells and the results are fascinating. We have featured their findings on our website, including a live video of CBD actually combating the cancer cells. But the maximum benefit comes from CBD and THC working together. A 2006 study, conducted by Dr. María M. Caffarel and her team of researchers, focused on THC and its effect of breast cancer cells and found similar results: The THC was actually combating the cancer. The study, “Tetrahydrocannabinol Inhibits Cell Cycle Progression in Human Breast Cancer Cells through Cdc2 Regulation,” was later accepted by the American Association for Cancer Research. Our cannabis oils include both cannabinoids and have had several patient members report significant success with our oils. Please bear in mind that the efficacy of cannabis oil may differ between types of cancers, but regardless of the type of cancer, our experience has taught us that the sooner a patient begins taking cannabis oil, the better.
That being said, it is incredibly important to only purchase oil from a credible source. This means a company that only uses flower from the highest quality raw materials that have no toxins or pesticides. To avoid any variation of cannabinoid profile, only use companies that offer whole-plant oils in standardized formulations and have an extraction method that uses a pharmaceutical-grade solvent. Standardized formulations are incredibly important, regardless of your condition, but even more so when it comes to cancer. Just think, if you were taking a pharmaceutical drug for your blood pressure, you would expect that each pill was exactly the same, right? Well you should expect the same of the cannabis oil that you are taking for insomnia, Lyme disease and especially cancer.
If you have more questions or would like more information, please feel free to contact us at email@example.com.
Answer - Dr Sherellen Gerhart
Cannabis in various product formats can:
- reduce nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy
- protect against peripheral neuropathy associated with certain chemotherapies
- reduce anxiety associated with treatment
- induce sleep
- relieve some types of pain
- improve bowel motility
- reduce or relieve muscle spasms
- lower vascular resistance and lower blood pressure
- slow or treat some forms of cancer - studies are still on-going
Find the right products and determining dosing is key to success. Find a dispensary that has been around for some time and has a good variety of tested products so you can explore your options. I encourage you to do some more personal research on using cannabis in cancer treatment.
Place to start for the basics of medical cannabis use: "Cannabis Pharmacy"by Michael Backes