The plant produces a resin that contains a number of substances or chemicals. These are called cannabinoids. Cannabinoids can have medicinal effects on the body.
The main cannabinoids are:
There are different types of oil made from parts of the cannabis plant. Some are sold legally in health food stores as a food supplement. Other types of oil are illegal.
What are cannabis and cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids have helped with sickness and pain in some people.
There are also many cannabis based products available online without a prescription. The quality of these products can vary. It is impossible to know what substances they might contain. They could potentially be harmful to your health and may be illegal.
Different types of cannabis have differing amounts of these and other chemicals in them. This means they can have different effects on the body.
Yet there’s very little research around CBD and its use in treating people with cancer. Here’s what to know about what CBD is and what science currently shows about whether it’s safe and effective for people with cancer to use.
CBD comes from cannabis plants called hemp that are specifically grown with high levels of CBD and low levels of THC. Cannabis plants grown with high levels of THC are usually called marijuana. CBD comes from oil that is extracted from the cannabis plant. That oil can then be ingested as a liquid, a capsule, a gummy, or inhaled through vaping. It can also be added as an ingredient in such products as lotions and skin patches.
What is CBD?
Studies to answer this question are underway. Some scientists are studying whether CBD could relieve some of the side effects of cancer and its treatment, such as pain, insomnia, anxiety, or nausea. Other scientists are studying whether CBD could potentially slow or stop the growth of cancer.
There are 2 synthetic cannabis medications, nabilone (Cesamet) and dronabinol (Marinol or Syndros), that are FDA-approved to treat nausea and vomiting related to chemotherapy. These medications are made in a laboratory.
CBD is 1 of the hundreds of chemicals found in the flowering cannabis plant. CBD does not have the psychoactive, or mind-altering, effects of another chemical found in cannabis called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the chemical that causes people to experience a “high.” CBD, on the other hand, is being used by some to help ease pain, anxiety, and sleep issues.
There are two potential roles for cannabis in cancer management: as a primary treatment or as an adjuvant therapy aimed at ameliorating symptoms of cancer or the side effects of medical invention. Unfortunately, cannabis’ status as a Schedule I drug has severely limited scientific inquiry into the potential benefits (and side effects) of cannabis in regard to cancer, especially as a primary treatment.
“The back pain that initially caused her to postpone the first half of her concert tour, has turned out to be breast cancer that has metastasized to the sacrum. In addition to natural wellness therapies, Olivia will complete a short course of photon [sic] radiation therapy and is confident she will be back later in the year, better than ever, to celebrate her shows.”
— The singer and actress updates fans on her battle, but can marijuana help?
In addition to hormone suppression therapy (via estrogen receptor blockade), Newton-John has continued to use complementary treatments including herbs, marijuana, and mindfulness/meditation therapy.
Cannabis’ status as a Schedule I drug has limited studies on the potential benefits of cannabis for cancer patients as well as others with chronic illness. Even with the increasing number of states that have legalized medicinal or recreational marijuana, researchers may shy away from this research because of federal restrictions and inability to get federal grants to pay for such research.
The cannabis plant produces resin containing psychoactive compounds called cannabinoids, in addition to other compounds found in plants, such as terpenes and flavonoids. In the U.S., it is a controlled substance and is classified as a Schedule I agent (a drug with a high potential for abuse, and no currently accepted medical use).
The tumor in her sacrum caused a sacral fracture, leaving her in severe pain, described as “months and months of excruciating, sleep-depriving, crying out loud pain.” Unable to walk, she “willed herself” to walk, progressing from a wheelchair, to a walker, cane, and finally to be able to walk unassisted.