Cancer patients going through chemotherapy or radiation
often find themselves facing a great deal of pain during the treatment process.
Many are finding relief through the use of cannabidiol, better known as CBD.
Patients often have
questions about CBD use and may also have misconceptions about this
It’s important to understand what cannabidiol is and how it
works to provide pain relief.
What is Cannabidiol?
Cannabis plants produce more than 480 compounds,
and many of these compounds are cannabinoids. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a type of
cannabinoid and one of the main active ingredients in marijuana.
THC usually gets all of the attention when we talk about
marijuana, but CBD is gaining more recognition for its therapeutic properties.
Unlike THC, which is responsible for the psychoactive
effects (or the “high”) experienced when using marijuana, CBD calms the body
and helps alleviate pain.
CBD, as well as other cannabinoids, are believed to affect
the body by attaching to receptors in the endocannabinoid system, a complex
system that maintains certain aspects of health. Research shows that
endocannabinoids can play a role in regulating sleep, memory, mood and even
alleviates pain, reduces inflammation, promotes better sleep, fights
oxidative stress and improves heart health. CBD is non-addictive. In fact, it
is often used to help treat
addiction. One recent study
found that daily CBD for just seven days prevented subjects from relapsing for
Most cancer patients are interested in the pain-relieving
and sleep-promoting benefits of CBD.
How Does CBD Provide Pain Relief?
Cancer Institute (NCI) has cited CBD as a potential option for
alleviating symptoms caused by chemotherapy. One study led by the NCI tested
the effects of CBD oil extracts sprayed into the mouth. The oil was used along
with opioids. The study found that patients experienced better overall pain
relief with the help of CBD oil.
But how does CBD actually provide pain relief?
The endocannabinoid system affects the brain directly, so it
enhances the effects of other brain chemicals, including serotonin and
anandamide. These enhanced effects reduce pain perception, reducing intensity
CBD also contains powerful antioxidants, which alleviate
inflammation and further reduce pain.
Along with pain, CBD has also been shown to reduce nausea –
another side effect of chemotherapy. It can also calm nerves, making it easier
to get through the day.
Shopping with Care
It’s easy to find CBD oil online, and you may even have some
local shops that are selling CBD products. But it’s important to do your
research and find a quality product. Otherwise, you have no idea what you’re
putting into your body.
Look for CBD oils that are 100% natural and extracted from
the entire hemp plant. Work with a supplier that provides CBD/THC batch testing
certificates to confirm the levels of CBD in the product and to ensure that it
only contains trace amounts of THC.
Check the level of CBD in the product to ensure that you are
getting the best value for the money.