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CBD Oil for Cancer & Treatment Side Effects

Unlike THC, CBD does not make a person feel “high.” Read on to learn more about CBD, its potential uses for cancer patients, and tips on finding the right product.

CBD Oil for Cancer & Treatment Side Effects

Cannabidiol (CBD) is becoming more popular in the discussion of treating cancer treatment side effects. So what is it?

CBD is a naturally occurring substance found in cannabis (marijuana). CBD is closely related to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound that causes the psychoactive effects that cannabis is famous for.

Unlike THC, CBD does not make a person feel “high.” Read on to learn more about CBD and its potential uses for cancer patients.

Read below for more basics about CBD and cancer treatment.

Always ask your medical team when considering any alternative treatment.


How does CBD help alleviate side effects from treatment?

Dr. Rahul Khare says, “CBD is a natural anti-inflammatory that can help reduce pain and anxiety. Cannabis products can also reduce nausea and vomiting and support digestive health.

I’ve also recommended cannabis to patients who are struggling to maintain proper nutrition or experiencing a significant amount of weight loss during cancer treatment. Certain cannabis strains will spark an appetite and help in those circumstances.

CBD Researcher, Dr. Nikola Djordjevic, MD explains more of the science behind how CDB works in our bodies:

“The main side effect alleviated by cannabis and CBD is lack of appetite due to nausea. Our natural cannabinoid receptors are then manipulated by the substance to create homeostasis in our bodies, resulting in feelings of well-being.

By making the patient feel more relaxed and at ease, hunger will naturally manifest itself and nausea should subside once they have a bite to eat,” Djordjevic says.

If you’re struggling with side effects from treatment and are looking something other than prescription medications to alleviate them, CBD might help. Be sure you know your local laws and what’s allowed in your state.

Also, it’s always recommended to consult with your doctor before starting any new medication–naturopathic or otherwise.

Symptoms a patient might consider using CBD for include, but are not limited to:

  • Pain
  • Nausea & vomitting
  • Lack of appetite, or
  • Anxiety
Picking the right CBD product

CBD comes in several different forms. Do your research and speak with your doctor about what might be the best option for you.

For example, if you’re having pain, perhaps a lotion or bath soak is a good option. Many people choose to take CBD oil under their tongue.

“To find quality CBD and cannabis products I would recommend buying them for a legal and trustworthy source, such as a cannabis dispensary. However, I would suggest CBD instead of cannabis for cancer patients, since it can be more precisely dosed.

You can find full-spectrum CBD online through retailers such as Amazon, and administer a few drops sublingually every day to see how your body reacts,“ Djordjevic suggests.

“If you are considering CBD for symptom relief, be sure to purchase products from a reputable company that conducts third-party lab testing and makes those reports available to consumers. CBD is not currently regulated by the FDA, so product quality can vary dramatically.

Purchasing CBD from your doctor or a cannabis dispensary is the best way to ensure you are purchasing a quality product,” Khare says.

If you’re looking for a quality CBD product:

  • Ask your doctor if there is a source they might recommend
  • Go to a cannabis dispensary
  • Check packaging for third-party label testing
What are the risks of taking CBD for cancer treatment side effects?

It can be scary to try any new form of medicine or treatment. If you’re feeling nervous about trying CBD, that’s okay. You never have to force yourself to do something you don’t really want to do. If you’re interested in trying CBD, ask your doctor. They can give you great information in general and specifically for you and your health concerns.

“There is little risk associated with the use of CBD or cannabis for side-effects of cancer treatment. However, if too much is consumed, one could become anxious, paranoid or drowsy,” Khare says.

“Most people, including cancer patients, respond positively to CBD and there are no risks associated with using it, in my opinion. Provided the labeling instructions are followed, especially in regards to bodyweight and dosing, it’s perfectly safe to use,” Djordjevic says.

What are other cancer patients saying about CBD?

Carlos Colarte is a multiple myeloma survivor and proponent of holistic medicine in tandem with conventional treatment.

“Ginger tea and CBD helped a lot with my intestinal issues and the nausea. Whatever your thoughts are about CBD, ignore them and take it. It helps. My uncle was diagnosed with colon cancer last year. He was brought up to believe that marijuana is the most evil thing in the world, so he was against taking CBD. 

He had some intense nausea, and after taking medications the hospital gave him, we suggested CBD. He would take a couple of hits, the nausea would go away, and he was able to eat,” Colarte says.

Stephanie Johnson, a breast cancer survivor, says, “I’m a big proponent of cannabis and CBD if you’re in a legal state. I don’t want to recommend that you break the law, but I will say I can’t imagine going through chemo without it.”

She also advocates CBD use to her friends for pain management. “I had a friend who was sick, and she couldn’t take pain meds very well. I brought her some CBD ointments and things so she could at least try to rest. 

Being able to take my knowledge and skill set to help other people maybe find a product to help them get through cancer is amazing. To this day, it helps with my chemo-induced IBS, hot flashes, and neuropathy.”

Maui Bigelow was diagnosed with smoldering myeloma, a pre-cancerous condition that can shift to multiple myeloma. She turned to CBD as a supplement.

“I stopped taking a lot of crappy medicine. I started incorporating CBD oil into my regimen. I take turmeric and blackseed oil. I take some supplements. I take some Advil for the inflammation in my eyes, but that’s about it.” 

Cheyann Shaw credited CBD and THC with helping her avoid a feeding tube. She was losing weight rapidly during treatment and found relief.

“In Seattle, marijuana is medical and recreational. My doctor prescribed me my medical card. She said it would help with my appetite. When I got down to 97 pounds, it was really hard to put on any weight. I started taking THC and CBD, and I think that’s what was making me able to eat.”


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