The idea that CBD oil can shrink lung cancer tumors is not new. However, it’s still a hotly debated topic in the medical field. This article explores the evidence behind the claim and what this means for patients who are considering using CBD oil to treat their cancer.
Hemp and CBD are two different types of cannabis. The difference between the two is that hemp has a lower THC content than CBD, but it also contains other cannabinoids like cannabidiol (CBD). Read more in detail here: is hemp and cbd the same.
Cannabinoids are chemical substances found in the Cannabis sativa (C. sativa) plantTrusted Source. Cannabis is used to treat seizures, pain, inflammation, spasms, and anxiety in certain individuals.
The two main cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant are CBD and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBD, on the other hand, does not create the euphoric “high” that many people associate with cannabis usage.
CBD oil is a concentrated extract made from cannabis leaves or flowers that is dissolved in a food-grade oil like olive, hemp, or sunflower. CBD oil comes in a variety of forms, each having varying levels of cannabinoids.
CBD isolates are CBD-only products. With less than 0.3 percent THC, full-spectrum CBD products include chemicals from all sections of the Cannabis sativa plant.
Broad-spectrum CBD products include the majority of the same components as full-spectrum CBD products, but they only contain trace levels of THC.
Due to the entourage effect, the combination of cannabinoids has a more pronounced influence than individual cannabinoids, full- and broad-spectrum products may generate higher therapeutic benefits than CBD isolates.
Cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid system, which is the body’s own cannabinoid system. This system controls:
- nerve activity
- reaction of the immune system
Cannabinoids are now being used to alleviate pain and chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting in certain cancer patients.
Tumor Reduction Over Time
In the journal BMJ Case Reports, doctors in the United Kingdom recently published an article. A lady in her 80s with lung cancer had tumor regression while using CBD oil, according to the case report.
She also had chronic obstructive lung disease, high blood pressure, and osteoarthritis, for which she was treated with medicines.
Before and after diagnosis, the lady smoked slightly over a pack of cigarettes per week, or 68 packs per year. Doctors performed a CT scan, a PET scan, an MRI scan, and a biopsy on the lady in June and July 2018 to stage and confirm the diagnosis.
Non-small cell lung cancer, stage IIBTrusted Source, was diagnosed by the physicians (NSCLC). The first CT scan revealed a 41-millimeter (mm), or 1.6-inch (in), nodule in the woman’s right lung’s middle lobeTrusted Source.
There were no lymph node involvement or metastases, which is when cancer spreads to other areas of the body, according to the results of the tests. As a result, the physicians suggested curative therapy.
Surgery, radiofrequency ablation, chemotherapy, targeted treatment, and immunotherapy are all options for treating NSCLC.
In September 2018, the physicians repeated the chest CT scan, which revealed a decrease of the malignancy in the right middle lobe to 33 mm (1.3 in) and two new nodules in the left apex and right upper lobe.
Due to the dangers of surgery, the lady rejected surgical excision of the lobe. She also rejected radiofrequency ablation treatment due to the adverse effects that her late spouse had suffered from radiation therapy.
The physicians decided to keep a close eye on the patient and ordered CT scans every 3–6 months. CT scans revealed that the original right middle lobe nodule shrank from 41 mm (1.6 in) in June 2018 to 10 mm (0.4 in) in February 2021 over the 2.5-year follow-up period.
The lady stated that soon following her diagnosis, she began taking 0.5 milliliters of CBD oil orally three times day, and sometimes twice daily.
THC (19.5%), CBD (20.5%), and tetrahydrocannabinolic acid were the active components listed by the supplier (23.8 percent ).
The lady followed the supplier’s instructions and avoided taking the CBD oil with hot meals or beverages in order to prevent “feeling stoned.” While using CBD oil, she noticed a reduction in her appetite.
During this period, the lady did not alter her food, lifestyle, or prescription medicines. During the monitoring period, she continued to consume one pack of cigarettes each week.
Important Points to Remember
The main author, Dr. Kah Ling Liew of the Respiratory Department of Princess Alexandra Hospital in the United Kingdom, said in an interview with Medical News Today:
“With no traditional cancer therapies and no other health or lifestyle modifications, we were not expecting to observe such a dramatic tumor reduction.” […] Multiple animal studies have shown contradictory findings, with some showing a reduction in cancer cell development and others showing an increase in cancer cell growth.”
Dr. Jack Jacoub, a medical oncologist and the medical director of the MemorialCare Cancer Institute at Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, CA, was also interviewed by MNT.
“It’s certainly thought provoking,” said Dr. Jacoub, who was not involved in the study. “More research is required before it can become a suggested [therapy] choice for cancer patients.” A case report is about the weakest strength in terms of scientific evidence, so you have to think about what you’re reading in that context.”
He highlighted the need of conducting randomized controlled studies to establish the safety and effectiveness of CBD oil in the treatment of cancer. “You enroll patients [who match predefined criteria] and monitor what happens to their disease, progression-free survival, and all the other endpoints that are usual in oncology studies,” Dr. Jacoub said. That is […] the only way [CBD oil] might become a mainstream [treatment].”
“The optimum dose, form, route of administration, and combination of CBD/THC for each particular kind of cancer — brain, lung, liver, prostate, and so on — for each specific type of cancer — brain, lung, liver, prostate, and so on — has to be further studied and determined,” Dr. Liew said. There will not be a single therapy that is effective against all types of cancer.”
“Future research need to be aware of possible ingredient discrepancies across CBD oils, and guarantee […] that same components are utilized when duplicating trials,” Dr. Liew told MNT.
“Clinicians must be aware that their patients may be receiving nonconventional and unregulated therapies without their knowledge,” Dr. Liew added. When discussing therapy alternatives, it’s always essential to consider a patient’s preferences, which means being upfront and honest about possible advantages and negative effects of treatments.”
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