Can CBD Help with Mesothelioma Cancer Treatment?
Many mesothelioma patients feel hopeless. Mesothelioma is an aggressive and usually fatal cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Because symptoms do not appear at first (early mesothelioma symptoms), it often is diagnosed at stage III or IV after cancer has spread (late stage mesothelioma symptoms). Because of the poor prognosis, some patients opt for alternative therapies in the hope of finding more effective mesothelioma 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 cancer 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
Get Legal Help for Your Mesothelioma
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or asbestosis, you are able to file a personal injury claim against the source of your exposure. With over $30 billion available for victims through the Asbestos Trust Funds, you could be entitled to financial compensations without ever filing a lawsuit. Mesothelioma & Lung Cancer victims qualify immediately. Complete the form or call us toll-free (800) 352-0871
'I used cannabis oil to cure my cancer'
“I started using cannabis oil as soon as I found out about the malignant lump in my breast,” says Kelly McQue, a mother and businesswoman from Balito in KwaZulu-Natal. She also did a 40-day water fast, made major changes to her diet and exercise regime, and managed to beat the disease.
South African ‘underground’
“I can’t say that it was just the cannabis oil that cured the cancer, but I do feel that the speed with which I recovered was due to taking it. It also definitely helped me to heal my post-natal depression [she had recently given birth to her daughter], which was extremely debilitating, and this in turn meant I was mentally strong enough to implement the necessary dietary and exercise changes required.”
McQue is one of a rapidly growing underground of South Africans who are resorting to oil extracted from marijuana plants. Perhaps the most well-known examples of this informal movement are the late IFP MP Mario Oriani-Ambrosini, who, as a stage 4 lung cancer patient publically admitted to using cannabis oil and proposed a bill to legalise the use of medical marijuana in South Africa in parliament last year; and advocate Robin Stansham-Ford, another cannabis oil user who succumbed to cancer on the day the High Court approved his application for assisted suicide earlier this month. Both men believed that the oil had extended their lives beyond expectation.
Taking a swipe at conventional medicine
“My grandfather was diagnosed with cancer when he was in his 70s,” explains McQue. “Up until then he had been extremely fit and led an active life. Once he started treatment for the cancer I watched him turn into a shell of his former self. I believe that ‘conventional’ medicine caused him more harm than good. This was a large reason for my decision to forego the ‘modern’ options available.”
She ended up making her own cannabis oil at a cost of around R2,000 per 50ml and has published a do-it-yourself cannabis oil recipe on her blog. “It’s very simple to make – no chemistry involved” – and advises potential users via phone or email.
She says that the feedback from individuals from around the world and increasingly from South Africans has been overwhelmingly positive. “The best responses are from people who have also successfully cured their illness using alternative, natural treatments – that always makes my day!”
Helpful for multiple sclerosis
Gerd Bader is another user and proponent of medical cannabis. As a long-time multiple sclerosis sufferer, he sought respite from years of pain, operations and disability in smoking dagga.
“It was like a miracle: a few drags of a joint and I felt a sense of relief and a clear mind. After seeing how these cannabinoids were helping me, I decided to do extensive research and came across cannabis oil.” He believes that using the oil ended the worst of his multiple sclerosis episodes and initiated overall healing. “From being a paraplegic, I am now walking stronger by the day.”
Bader has since assisted a number of people with epilepsy, cancer, diabetes and other medical complaints who he believes have benefitted greatly from using cannabis oil. He promotes his own cannabis oil product via his website Oil2Health.
Faith in cannabis oil and anecdotal evidence of its efficacy as a medicine are ubiquitous, but is there scientific proof that it really works?
The cannabis (marijuana or dagga) plant contains a wide variety of chemicals called cannabinoids (many of which can also be made synthetically in a laboratory). Among these compounds is one called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is responsible for the mind-altering, psychotropic effect of getting “high” when a person smokes dagga. Many of the other cannabinoids are not psychoactive and do not produce such effects.
Cannabinoid molecules are known to lock onto cannabinoid receptors on the surface of brain cells which are involved in helping to regulate a range of bodily processes, such as heart functioning, mood, memory, appetite, pain sensation and the operation of the immune system.
While humans have used various preparations of cannabis for medicinal purposes for thousands of years, the jury of modern scientific research is still out as to its proven benefits.
Artificial cannabinoid compounds have been prescribed to Aids patients to treat vomiting and poor appetite, while research suggests that one particular member of the group, called cannabidiol, has potential in the treatment of Crohn’s disease and multiple sclerosis, and can significantly reduce the frequency of seizures in epilepsy patients.
When it comes to the cancer-fighting ability of the cannabinoids, many scientific papers have been published since the 1970s, but conclusions are mixed. Some laboratory tests conducted on cell tissue and animals suggest that they may function to bolster the immune system’s defences against cancer, lower the rate at which cancerous cells spread through the body and may even kill them altogether. In other instances, however, cannabinoids have been implicated in detrimental, carcinogenic effects.
Unfortunately there have been rather few controlled human clinical trials and many questions remain. While there are many claims to the effectiveness of the cannabinoids in arresting a variety of cancers, including brain, breast and skin cancer, there is as yet no conclusive scientific proof of this.
When it comes to alleviating the symptoms of cancer and the side-effects of conventional cancer treatments, however, there is substantial documented evidence of the merit of the cannabinoids. They have been used successfully to reduce cancer-related pain, as well as nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy.
But is it legal?
“It’s still illegal in South Africa – both the plant and the oil,” warns McQue. “Personally I believe the law against cannabis is invalid as you can’t outlaw nature. Unfortunately our legal system is outdated and oppressive in this regard. One has to be very, very careful when getting the plant material and who you talk to about it.”
South Africa’s Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act makes the possession of cannabis and its derivatives illegal, with punishments for its contravention typically ranging from fines to imprisonment.
According to McQue, a side-effect of the illegality of cannabis and the social taboo associated with it, is that users often find it hard to share their experiences and tend to follow quite a lonely path. “I don’t think it’s illegal to share knowledge about cannabis oil and know that it’s helping ordinary South Africans from all walks of life who are interested in trying it as an alternative to surgery, radiation or chemotherapy. That makes it worth the risk.”