Does CBD Reduce The Risk Of Cancer Or Inflammation?
Cannabidiol, or CBD as it is known to practitioners of complementary and alternative medicine, is a phytochemical compound found in chocolate, sesame, and peanut oils. It is also one of the many identified naturally occurring substances in hemp plants, and constitutes up to 40% of this plant’s crude extract. Ingestion of CBD can produce a number of health benefits including the ability to reduce seizures, decrease inflammation, and increase blood flow to the brain. However, despite its impressive clinical profile, little is known about the pharmacological activity of CBD and whether it is suitable for medical use.
Cannabidiol has been shown to be useful in a number of medical conditions, including inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, depression, neuropathy, nausea, cancer, sleep disorders and persistent muscle spasms, as well as reducing the chronic pain produced by fibromyalgia and RLS (Rheumatoid Arthritis). In addition, CBD is effective in reducing the nausea associated with chemotherapy in cancer patients. It has been found to be particularly useful when treating children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) since it seems to alleviate symptoms in this group of patients. Additionally, CBD may be beneficial for treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in autistic children, as well as other symptoms of autism. Recent studies have also suggested that CBD may be effective in treating depression, epilepsy, migraine headaches, and nausea.
In a recent study published in 2021, a large group of researchers from the University of California-Davis, University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign, University of New Mexico and Harvard Medical School conducted a comprehensive review of the medical literature. The review focused on published studies of CBD, focusing on three specific areas of interest: the impact of CBD on inflammation, the effect of CBD on neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia, and CBD’s potential as an anti-cancer agent. The researchers did not discover any data pertaining to CBD use and cancer, but they did find that CBD may be beneficial in reducing the progression of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). In looking at the neurodegenerative diseases area, the researchers did discover that CBD is effective in regulating the inflammation in the brain that can precede dementia.
As for the effect of CBD on brain function, preliminary data from one clinical trial suggest that CBD may play a role in improving memory and cognitive function while reducing daytime drowsiness and improving alertness during the day. Animal studies have indicated that CBD may also increase blood flow to the brain, which could improve the ability to focus and remember things better. One of the most interesting areas of research comes from the use of CBD for treating RLS. Animal research has suggested that CBD may relieve muscle spasms associated with RLS, possibly due to the fact that CBD is a muscle relaxant in mice and therefore may have the same benefits in humans as in animals.
Since CBD has some of the same physical side effects as some prescription sleep aids such as Ambien and Lunesta, it is important to note that drowsiness and other symptoms related to CBD should be discussed with a doctor or pharmacist if you are considering taking CBD for any reason. In addition, some side effects such as confusion, dry mouth, dizziness, upset stomach, weakness, and increased appetite may be experienced if you combine CBD with alcohol or another intoxicating drug. If you are pregnant or lactating, you should avoid CBD altogether.
In summary, the use of CBD seems promising in alleviating pain, especially for conditions such as arthritis and chronic pain. More work needs to be done to determine whether CBD can be used to treat other ailments such as cancer or inflammation. Currently there is a lack of quality evidence that CBD can reduce the risk of cancers and inflammation. However, CBD may alleviate the pain symptoms of some forms of arthritis and chronic pain by regulating the inflammatory pathway.