Chemotherapy, on the one hand, cures cancer, but on the other, it has many side effects. Therefore, patients very often turn to alternative ways of dealing with the effects of its use. Many specialists recommend including cannabis in therapy. This is because ongoing research suggests the positive effects of either medical cannabis or cannabidiol (CBD) on some of the ailments that occur during chemotherapy.
Chemotherapy and its side effects
Chemotherapy is the most effective method of fighting cancer cells. Unfortunately, the drugs that are used during chemotherapy are not selective and therefore also destroy healthy cells. The effects of chemotherapy vary greatly from one organism to another, depending on the strength of the drugs used, and can be mild or very severe.
Among the most severe side effects of chemotherapy are:
- decrease in blood cell production
- nausea and/or vomiting,
- oral ulceration,
- difficulty swallowing,
- hair loss,
- changing flavours,
Most side effects fortunately disappear after treatment. Nevertheless, they are very troublesome during the course of treatment. This is why support is needed to reduce unpleasant discomforts as far as possible during chemotherapy. The cannabidiol contained in CBD oils is such a panacea for some of them.
CBD oil and nausea and/or vomiting
Nausea and/or vomiting accompany cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy basically from the beginning of chemotherapy. Patients are therefore given medication to alleviate these problems. Unfortunately, these effects of chemotherapy cannot always be completely eliminated.
And this is where nature can come to the rescue. The antiemetic and nausea-relieving properties of hemp have been known for hundreds of years. The effect of CBD in this regard has also been empirically proven for a long time. And there are research results to prove it. And research says CBD is surprisingly effective in relieving nausea and vomiting. They are said to be as effective as conventional methods of combating chemotherapy-induced discomfort.
It should be added, however, that some studies have pointed out that, although the majority of patients experienced positive effects from taking CBD oil for the side effects of chemotherapy, there were also some patients for whom taking cannabidiol had the opposite effect. Therefore, it is important to bear in mind that, although most people are helped by CBD oil, there will be those who do not feel any improvement and whose complaints may even get worse. It all depends on the body.
CBD oil versus other effects of chemotherapy
There is no denying that hearing from a doctor that you are diagnosed with cancer can knock anyone off their feet. It is a huge amount of stress. When it comes to chemotherapy, many people's psyches cannot cope with the strain, anxiety, lowered moods and often depression sets in.
Therefore, parallel to the treatment of cancer with chemotherapy, there must be a therapy that supports patients already during treatment as, but also after, treatment. This is because it is known that a patient who, in addition to struggling with cancer, will become depressed has a much worse prognosis.
And this is where CBD oil with its beneficial effects on symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression. Indeed, animal studies have confirmed that cannabidiol has great potential in this regard. Therefore, it was decided to carry out clinical studies, which allowed a great deal of enthusiasm to be repaired. However, further research is still needed to test the extent of the positive effects of CBD oils on a patient undergoing chemotherapy.
A very important property of CBD oils is their ability to relieve pain and treat inflammation. This is particularly true of the pain caused by the chemotherapy drug Paclitaxel. On the one hand, it treats breast and ovarian cancer, while on the other hand, it causes side effects such as neuropathy or nerve damage that results in pain, tingling or numbness. Researchers at Temple University School of Pharmacy in Philadelphia claim that CBD, thanks to its analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects, is able to alleviate the pain that patients experience after taking Paclitaxel.
When the strengths of cancer-fighting drugs and CBD oils are combined, the positive effects on the body can be invaluable. It is certainly worth a try, as cannabidiol has no significant side effects. However, it is necessary to do so under the supervision of a specialist, as CBD oil can alter the metabolism of anticancer drugs.
- "Can Cannabidiol Affect the Efficacy of Chemotherapy and Epigenetic Treatments in Cancer?"; authors Courtney Griffiths, James Aikins, David Warshal, Olga Ostrovsky; 2021; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8160970/
- "Marijuana extract helps prevent chemo pain"; https://www.upi.com/Health_News/2011/09/27/Marijuana-extract-helps-prevent-chemo-pain/64641317159672/
- "Cannabis, CBD oil and cancer"; https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/cancer-in-general/treatment/complementary-alternative-therapies/individual-therapies/cannabis