Is It Safe To Take CBD With Chemotherapy?
For many people with cancer, oftentimes chemotherapy is the only solution left.
Chemotherapy, also called chemo, is a form of cancer treatment that uses strong drugs to kill cancer cells. Surgery or radiation targets certain areas in the body, but chemotherapy is stronger and affects the entire body. While it can work in some cases, successfully preventing cancer from coming back, it will always still kill healthy cells which is what causes the side effects of chemotherapy.
Sometimes, people turn to cannabis to prevent any form of invasive treatment for cancer including chemotherapy. There are cases wherein it’s worked, but we still need more research for doctors to safely recommend that patients omit conventional methods of treatment altogether to use cannabis as a substitute.
However, cannabis can be used complementary with chemotherapy to improve the success of treatment, aid in the killing of cancer cells, and provide relief from side effects. But many cancer patients still worry about the psychoactive effects of cannabis, and this is also another reason why many doctors are hesitant to prescribe whole-plant medicine or cannabis.
But using cannabidiol (CBD) products together with chemotherapy is another option. CBD products contain little to no traces of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the compound in cannabis that gets you high. CBD products offer a multitude of healing properties without the buzz.
So if you’re wondering if it’s safe to use CBD with chemotherapy treatments, the answer is YES. CBD is completely safe, it won’t give you any side effects, and it won’t get you high.
Here’s exactly how CBD products can help chemotherapy:
- Neuropathic pain: Cancer-related neuropathic pain is caused by either the disease itself or cancer treatment. It is extremely common; statistics say that around 90% of patients receiving chemotherapy treatments suffer from neuropathic pain due to damage to the nervous system.
CBD consumption can alleviate chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain. Studies show that CBD treats neuropathic pain as well as thermal sensitivity without affecting the function of the nervous system or compromising efficacy of chemotherapy. Another clinical trial revealed that cancer patients experienced significant reductions in pain after taking CBD and THC for 2 weeks.
- Nausea and vomiting: Nausea and vomiting are common side effects of chemotherapy, albeit extremely unpleasant. CBD has potent anti-emetic and anti-nausea properties that can help make chemotherapy more bearable and increasing the chances of treatment success. A study concluded: “Preclinical research indicates that cannabinoids, including CBD, may be effective clinically for treating both nausea and vomiting produced by chemotherapy or other therapeutic treatments.”
- Swelling: Certain kinds of chemotherapy medications cause bloating because they retain fluid in the body. This in turn leads to chemotherapy-induced swelling, which is usually noticeable in the face, hands, feet, and ankles. In rare cases, swelling may be caused by an allergic reaction to chemotherapy medications – then it is evident in swelling in the eyelids, lips, or tongue.
CBD’s potent anti-inflammatory properties make it a natural treatment of choice to reduce swelling anywhere in the body. It works with the CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system to reduce inflammatory responses in numerous mechanisms.
- Support emotional wellbeing: Receiving a cancer diagnosis will always feel like a life sentence, even when it isn’t. Many cancer patients develop severe cases of anxiety and depression as a result of a cancer diagnosis, which doesn’t get better when you have to go through chemotherapy treatments.
CBD can provide support for emotional wellbeing; it is renowned for its ability to treat several forms of mental illnesses including depression and anxiety. In fact, depression has been linked to a dysfunction within the body’s endocannabinoid system, which also plays an important role in regulating mood. CBD influences specific receptors in the body to manage depression and anxiety.
- Stimulate appetite: Even if THC is more popular for stimulating the appetite, this doesn’t mean that CBD doesn’t have this effect, too. Aside from the ability to make you hungry, it also stops nausea and vomiting in its tracks, which in itself can cause a loss of appetite.
Patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment can choose from a wide range of CBD products on the market. From capsules to edibles, tinctures and oils, and even transdermal patches, you never have to go through conventional therapy alone with CBD by your side.