Many mesothelioma patients feel hopeless. Mesothelioma is an aggressive and usually fatal cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Because symptoms do not appear at first, it often is diagnosed at stage III or IV after cancer has spread (See stage 4 mesothelioma symptoms). Because of the poor prognosis, some patients opt for alternative therapies in the hope of finding more effective treatment options. (mesothelioma.net)
One of the options that patients consider is CBD oil. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, this page has key information to know about using CBD oil to treat this cancer.
CBD Oil for Treating Cancer
Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is a product derived from marijuana, but it is non-psychoactive. CBD is one of many cannabinoid compounds that are found in cannabis naturally. But unlike delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, using CBD oil does not make you high. That is why CBD oil is a possible candidate for several medical applications. CBD can be taken by mouth and is used for several diseases, but there is no evidence that it is effective to cure anything.
No clinical studies have been performed on CBD oil just for pleural mesothelioma patients. But there is some evidence there could be anti-tumor properties lurking in the oil. In several animal studies, CBD has curbed the growth of glioblastoma, lung cancer, colon cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer.
A clinical study in the UK suggested life expectancies could be longer. CBD extracts were given to mice that had pancreatic cancer. This sort of study is good news for patients with hard-to-treat-cancers like mesothelioma. While the evidence comes from lab animal studies, there is optimism the results could be useful for humans, too. If that is the case, CBD oil could be helpful in boosting life expectancy for mesothelioma and other aggressive cancers.
CBD oil has a reputation for offering relief from cancer symptoms, as well as cancer treatment symptoms. Several severe symptoms can be managed with CBD. In one clinical study, clinical researchers compared the results of THC and CBD on patients. The researchers found that patients that received CBD had more pain relief. Other symptoms that CBD can help with include nausea and vomiting caused by stress, chemotherapy, insomnia, and anxiety.
Recent Clinical Studies on CBD Oil and Cancer
There is growing evidence that supports the concept that CBD oil can slow tumor growth in animals. CBD oil also can increase the effectiveness of some drugs used to treat mesothelioma. (Healthline.com)
Some of the promising studies include:
- A 2019 review of in vivo and in vitro studies on pancreatic cancer found that cannabinoids can slow the growth of some tumors, lower tumor invasion, and induce the death of tumor cells.
- A 2019 study showed that CBD oil could cause the death of cells and make glioblastoma cells sensitive to radiation. There was no effect on healthy cells.
- A long term study of men in the California Men’s Health Study cohort found that using cannabis may reduce the chances of getting bladder cancer.
- A 2014 study in models of colon cancer in vivo found that CBD oil may slow the spread of colorectal cells.
- A review of 30 in vitro and in vivo studies found that cannabinoids can help to treat gliomas.
- Other clinical research showed that CBD could be effective in specific preclinical models of metastatic breast cancer. The clinical study found that CBD slows breast cancer cell growth.
Medical Marijuana Often Prescribed to Treat Mesothelioma
It is not just CBD oil that is used today to treat mesothelioma and its symptoms. A new survey indicates that medical marijuana is getting more acceptance from physicians who treat mesothelioma. (Survivingmesothelioma.com) This development could open the door for more cancer patients to look at the plant’s potential to help with their disease.
The survey by the American Society of Clinical Oncology asked the opinions of 400 oncologists about the potential of medical marijuana to treat mesothelioma. As many as 80% of the 237 doctors who responded said they have talked about medical marijuana with their patients. The survey noted that doctors talked about it because patients asked about it.
However, the survey also showed that only one in three doctors felt they knew enough about medical marijuana to offer a recommendation.
The study author, Ilana Braun from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, stated the gap needs to be bridged here, so oncologists have unbiased data they need to help with decisions associated with using medical marijuana.
Findings from Medical Marijuana Survey
There is good news revealed from the survey for those with a mesothelioma diagnosis: If they want to try CBD oil and/or medical marijuana in their treatment, they may be able to find a doctor who favors the idea. Doctors living in the western US are most open to the concept because medical marijuana is legal in several western states.
Almost 50% of respondents to the survey stated they recommended medical marijuana to cancer patients within the last year.
Additional results from the survey:
- ⅔ of the oncologists surveyed thought that medical marijuana helps to relieve pain.
- Most physicians see medical marijuana to have less risk than opioids.
- Almost 65% of doctors saw medical marijuana as good as or better than regular treatments for weight loss and poor appetite.
- Oncologists in hospitals were not as likely to recommend medical marijuana compared to those in private practice.
How CBD Oil and Marijuana Can Affect Cancer Symptoms
The American Cancer Society (ACS) states that while there are no clinical studies in people on the effects of CBD oil on cancer, there have been studies that show people who took extracts of marijuana needed fewer pain drugs. (Cancer.org)
The ACS also reports that scientists have found that THC and other cannabinoids such as CBD can slow cancer growth and cause the death of cancer cells grown in the lab. Some animal studies also show that some cannabinoids can slow cancer growth and slow the spread of some cancers.
More Clinical Studies Needed on CBD Oil and Medical Marijuana
While the American Cancer Society has stated that some cannabinoids can slow the growth of cancer, the DEA still states that marijuana and cannabinoids are Schedule I controlled substances. There should be more studies performed on the effectiveness of CBD and other cannabinoids in treating cancer. Some promising areas for future research include:
- CBD effects on cancer with and without the presence of THC
- What constitutes safe and effective dosing of CBD oil for cancer
- How difference administrations of CBD oil can affect outcomes
- How CBD works on various types of cancer
- How CBD works with chemotherapy and other treatments
If you have mesothelioma and are interested in trying medical marijuana or CBD oil for your cancer, talk to your healthcare professional today.
- Medical Marijuana to Treat Mesothelioma. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://mesothelioma.net/medical-marijuana-mesothelioma/
- Medical Marijuana No Longer Taboo Among Mesothelioma Doctors. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://survivingmesothelioma.com/medical-marijuana-no-longer-tabu-among-mesothelioma-doctors/
- Marijuana and Cancer. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatments-and-side-effects/complementary-and-alternative-medicine/marijuana-and-cancer.html
- CBD for Cancer Treatment. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/cancer/cbd-for-cancer