CBD and the symptoms of Chemotherapy
Unfortunately, all of us know someone who is or has suffered from some form of cancer. Those who have experienced it or watched someone close to them experience it know that is a long and hard battle. While more research is needed to prove the effectiveness of CBD at shrinking tumors and reducing risk of cancer, we do know that it is effective in treating many of the unfortunate side effects that accompany cancer treatment. Today we will look at how CBD helps with these common symptoms.
- Hair Loss
Hair loss is one of the most stereotypical symptoms of chemotherapy, affecting 65% of patients. In mice given a course of chemotherapy, researchers found that without any aid, the mice lost hair for 10 days at the start of chemotherapy, then slowly started to regrow their hair after 21 days had elapsed from the last dose. A subset of these mice were given a compound containing CBD and thyroid hormones two days after a round of chemotherapy. The CBD-treated mice still lost their hair as a result of chemotherapy, but hair regrowth started immediately after chemotherapy ceased rather than experiencing a delay. The net result was that the mice given the compound containing CBD reached normal levels of hair nearly a month faster than the other mice. This means while CBD cannot prevent hair loss from occurring during treatment, it will speed up the growing back process after treatment is complete.
According to a history of anecdotal reports, CBD has proven very effective in reducing the nausea and vomiting that afflicts patients under chemotherapy taking their complex pharmaceutical cocktail. Still, university research on the anti-emetic effects of CBD has multiplied.
Here are just a few:
- In 2002, Neuroreport followed a study that concluded. “cannabidiol, a major non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in marijuana and its synthetic dimethylheptyl homolog interfere with nausea elicited by lithium chloride and with conditioned nausea elicited by a flavor paired with lithium chloride. These results suggest that cannabinoids without psychoactive side-effects may have therapeutic value in the treatment of chemotherapy-induced nausea.”
- A 2011 study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology points out that “the neural mechanisms of nausea are still not well understood.” But, the study did study the effects of CBD on lab animals extensively to confirm “The anti-emetic effect of cannabinoids has been shown across a wide variety of animals that are capable of vomiting in response to a toxic challenge.”
- A 2014 article in the European Journal of Pharmacology confirmed, “Cannabis has long been known to limit or prevent nausea and vomiting from a variety of causes.”
Chemotherapy often causes changes to a patient’s skin, weather this be dry or oily skin depends on the person, but CBD can help you out either way! CBD has strong anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce redness and reduce inflammation. This makes it an effective, yet a natural option for those who suffer from acne or other inflammatory skin conditions. CBD has also been shown to reduce oil production, relieve itching, and provide moisture to prevent dry skin. CBD also has strong antioxidant effects that are used to stabilize free radicals., which are harmful to the skin. Free radicals are the by-product of a cell when energy is created within the cell.
- Anxiety and Depression
A spike in one’s anxiety or depression can be expected when going through something as stressful and trying as cancer treatment. CBD is widely known to be a great way to treat anxiety. Beyond the glowing testimonials of individuals who successfully treat their anxiety with CBD oil, there is also a growing body of scientific evidence that CBD works. Most research has been done in rodents. A recent review discusses 32 different studies done on rodents — and only one didn’t see useful results. When it comes to treating depression, CBD does appear to have some benefits over antidepressant medications. Most antidepressant medications take weeks to start working and are sometimes not a viable option during cancer treatment. However, a 2019 animal study found that CBD has a fast and sustained antidepressant-like effect. CBD may also result in fewer side effects than antidepressant medication. Insomnia, sexual dysfunction, mood swings, and agitation are common side effects of antidepressants. CBD has not shown similar issues.
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