Other sorts of substances have been found in CBD products, too, such as dextromethorphan, which is an ingredient in cough medicines. Heavy metals like lead and arsenic, pesticides and mold have also been found in CBD products.
Third, the plant itself may have higher levels of THC than expected. This could be due to its environment, prolonged flowering periods or cross-contamination and pollination between male and female plants, resulting in offspring with higher THC content. This especially affects hemp plants, which should have less than 0.3% THC levels.
There have been reports that cannabinoids like THC and CBD may be helpful for nausea and vomiting and anorexia, as well as neuropathy, anxiety, depression and insomnia. Synthetic cannabinoids like dronabinol have been approved for use with chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, but have not been shown to be superior to conventional anti-nausea medications.
CBD oil (cannabidiol) is everywhere these days. Once available only at novelty or vitamin shops, it’s now also at your local grocery store, pharmacy or even yoga studio.
Is CBD oil even legal?
Does CBD oil have any side effects?
All drugs and dietary supplements are regulated by the FDA. But as long as CBD oil is not marketed as a medicine or a dietary supplement, producers can get around that policy. So right now, CBD oil is very unregulated. That means it’s hard to know how much CBD or THC is really in any given product. Certain hemp CBD products have been found to contain significantly less CBD or more THC than advertised.
Some people think that cannabinoids like CBD may have health benefits.
Everyone copes with worries about recurrence in their own way, and there are no easy answers. But keeping quiet about them is probably not the best approach.
What are cannabinoids?
Medical cannabis and cannabis oils have been in the news a lot recently. While these stories haven’t been about cancer, it’s clear some people believe cannabis could have anti-cancer properties.
According to the NHS website: ‘Many cannabis-based products are available to buy online, but their quality and content is not known. They may be illegal and potentially dangerous.’
In order to properly assess the effects of cannabinoids on cancer, large clinical trials are necessary.
First, we have to get our definitions straight. The cannabis plant (Cannabis sativa) produces at least 545 chemical compounds of different biogenetic classes. Many of these phytochemicals have been shown to have medicinal and physiological activity. The most prominent and most studied metabolites are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC is the metabolite that causes the high you get from smoking marijuana. CBD is more likely to provide relief from short-term side effects or the long-term collateral damage of cancer treatments. Some products contain THC and CBD, while some contain only THC or CBD. The proportion of THC to CBD in a product that contains both will determine the effect of these cannabinoids. There are also non-cannabinoid metabolites that have therapeutic potential.
A 2020 study published in the journal Pharmaceuticals assessed the short-term outcomes of medical cannabis treatment prescribed by oncologists to treat cancer-related side effects. The study found THC was better for sleep than CBD. However, CBD oils appeared to help more with the collateral damage of cancer treatments. The American Pain Society guidelines on cannabis use for pain recommend cannabis oils that have low levels of THC and high levels of CBD.
As a child of the 1960s, when I settled down to write a blog about cannabis and breast cancer, I thought, “This will be easy.” That was weeks ago! It turns out that there is now a lot of research to consider on the benefits and risks of cannabis use, and I have a lot of catching up to do.
So, to begin: Is cannabis safe? One review of 25 English-language pooled studies found that marijuana use was indeed basically safe, though some research suggests it may increase the risk of testicular cancer.
The most surprising thing I learned while researching these blogs: our bodies have cannabidiol receptors that are similar to the estrogen receptors that are the targets of the hormonal therapies we use to treat hormone-sensitive breast cancer.