Can CBD Be the Next Big Thing?
Short answer: yes.
When it comes to the c-word, society has long searched for answers. No, we’re not referencing the derogatory obscenity, but rather, the deadly disease that plagues millions of unsuspecting victims across the world. In 2018, an estimated 1,735,350 new cancer cases will be diagnosed in the United States alone, with over 600,000 of these cases resulting in death.1 Cancer is one of the most widespread and common diseases, killing more than 8 million people across the globe in 2012. And even as we continue to make strides towards a cure, there are plenty of questions that remain.
Before the naysayers do a quick Wikipedia fact-check and get up in arms against hemp, when we say CBD could be the next big thing, we mean just that; it could. Sources can neither completely confirm nor deny its applicability when it comes to cancer research, but it has begun to gain some popularity in recent years. Several studies have taken a scientific look at how cannabidiol (CBD) combats cancer cells through small clinical trials; and the studies have shown some very promising results. While the studies are currently preliminary and lack national funding, the fact remains that it is very possible to improve the overall chances of remission or even survival by adding a dose of CBD to daily cancer treatments. More studies will be necessary to prove its medicinal legitimacy, but for now, hemp is planting its roots deep in the medical field.
Breast Cancer is one form of the deadly disease that responds specifically well to CBD supplements. This is the most common form of cancer in the U.S., with 1 in 8 woman being diagnosed and nearly 81% of all cases occurring in women over the age of 50. One study made waves among the medical community by showing how CBD can help inhibit proliferation of breast cancer cells. Scientist Sean D. McAllister reported “CBD appears to be interacting through a cellular system that regulates the expression of key transcriptional factors (e.g., Id-1) that control breast cancer cell proliferation, migration, and invasion.”2 For those of us who didn’t graduate with a PhD, proliferation means the rapid reproduction of a cell, which is a notoriously nasty characteristic of the deadly disease. Insert a healthy dose of CBD into the body and those same cells fail to increase in size and number while inducing the death of other breast cancer cells. Naturally occurring CBD is able to stunt the growth of deadly cells while also diminishing the presence of more cancer cells. These studies have been limited due to Big Pharmas lack of cash-in capability, but the fact remains that CBD has the efficacy power to halt breast cancer growth at the preclinical trial level. There are not many, if any, man-made lab pharmaceuticals on the market that have the same healthy properties, but naturally-grown and organic hemp plants have the capabilities of improving the lives of countless cancer patients.
The hemp plant isn’t just trying here to save the ta-tas either. CBD has proven beneficial in colon cancer studies by inhibiting endocannabinoid enzymatic degradation and acting as an antioxidant and intestinal anti inflammatory.3 That may sound like some confusing doctor talk, but it really just boils down to the fact that CBD helps with the good and gets rid of the bad. CBD is able to work with the body’s endocannabinoid system to increase healthy function levels, reduce unhealthy cell reproduction, and protect DNA from erosive oxidation damage. According to the National Cancer Institute, CBD has also been introduced to fight against lung cancer metastasis.4 Studies have show that CBD can decrease lung cancer cell invasiveness while increasing the production of cancer-fighting molecules. When combined with THC, CBD can also exhibit powerful antitumor properties on a range of different cancer types. And yet, there are surprisingly few headlines concerning CBD’s powerful medicinal properties. There are, however, a flood of Facebook click-bait links that highlight stories about falsely accused stores selling illegal and contaminated CBD products. Quite the coincidence, don’t you think?
And as if its cancer-combating benefits weren’t enough, CBD can be combined with other drugs to enhance the body’s overall ability to fight cancer. Combining CBD with chemotherapy could stop the body from rejecting treatment and lead to a increased acceptance of cytotoxic drugs. Meaning that many of the drugs introduced into the body during cancer treatment are so harsh that the body rejects them. Simply adding a dose of CBD to a daily diet can help increase the chances of the the body accepting these medications while also helping to improve the overall quality of life for many patients. And yet for some unknown reason, the FDA fails to recognize any of these properties and the federal government maintains their stance that it should remain a Schedule 1 narcotic; which states that CBD shows absolutely no medical properties and has a high probability of dependency. Not only can CBD actually help fight cancer, but it also has anti-inflammatory properties and can help manage the pain patients feel from toxic cancer treatments. And as if this laundry list of benefits wasn’t enough, CBD also has antiemetic properties and is an effective treatment for nausea, which is a common side-effect of harsh cancer treatments. It can also be introduced to increase appetite in patients who have a hard time eating due to their body’s reaction to their treatments.
All these healthy benefits and skeptics across the medical field, and across the world, are still wary of certifying that CBD can actually help fight the cancer prognosis. Studies are still relatively new and lack the necessary funding to improve its medical status, but CBD has come a long way from previous years. In the not-so-distant past CBD was taboo to even speak about in medical terms and the thought of it becoming legal in any state was a far-fetched idea. Now new legistaure is being passed every year and the conversation surrounding CBD is continuing to grow at a rapid pace. Many experts expect the industry to exceed nearly $2 billion by the year 2020.5 While it may not be a cure-all just yet, it is a step in the right direction and a step away from the crippling addiction of Big Pharma opioid propaganda.