Posted on

cbd oil lymphoma

Does Cannabis Help Patients With Lymphoma?

Cannabis can be a powerful therapeutic tool. It has helped many people with a number of conditions. Can it aid people with Hodgkin’s lymphoma and give them a better quality of life?

Lymphoma is a type of cancer that not only displays the trademark side effects of other cancers, but also compromises the immune system, making the patient vulnerable to other diseases. When combined with invasive and stressful treatments like chemo or radiation therapy, Hodgkin’s lymphoma has the potential to be a very debilitating disease.

Hodgkin’s lymphoma or Hodgkin’s disease is a disorder of the lymphatic system. There are lymph nodes all over the body, including in the brain, bone marrow, and spleen. You can feel them as little lumps in your groin, armpits, and along the underside of the jaw. If you can feel them in your bone marrow or brain, you are pressing too hard.

Lymphoma affects the way white blood cells called lymphocytes behave. Lymphocytes are critical for immunity and are antagonistic towards viruses and bacteria. Hodgkin’s lymphoma infects the cells responsible for making antibodies.

Antibodies are protein markers that the body uses to identify invading pathogens. When an invader is identified, the immune system goes to work to seek and destroy. The lymphatic system then drains the harmless waste away and the body continues along, oblivious and healthy.

Hodgkin’s lymphoma turns off the body’s seek and destroy system. Cells that would have been targeted and flushed are now able to multiply as they please. This manifests in the body as swollen lymph nodes, usually in the chest and armpits.

The types of symptoms can vary depending on where the lymphoma begins. Internal glands that swell can put pressure on the stomach and gut, inducing nausea. Masses that appear in the chest or armpits will metastasise to the nearest cluster of lymph glands and so on.

The compromised immune system also makes the patient vulnerable to infection, bacterial diseases, and viruses. When your body gets a cold or the flu, the symptoms you experience are your body’s battle with the pathogen flowing in your blood. All thanks to your immune system.

Without an active immune system, a dose of the flu can be devastating.

How Lymphoma Affects Cells

CANNABIS AND LYMPHOMA

Research into whether cannabis can fight lymphoma directly has yet to be conducted in any clinical sense. However, there are studies that have given good reason for clinical investigation into the direct effectiveness of cannabis on Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

In a 2013 study [1] published in the journal PLOS ONE, it was found that the surface of Hodgkin’s lymphoma cells were covered in cannabinoid receptors. These CB1 receptors imply the potential for cannabinoids to bind to or influence them.

There has been encouraging success in the laboratory using cannabis compounds on other forms of cancer. Four primary mechanisms are responsible for the effectiveness of cannabis on different types of cancer cells.

  1. As an antiproliferative [2] , cannabis has been found to reduce the growth of tumours.
  2. It also interrupts metastasis [3] , which is the process of cancer cells spreading throughout the body.
  3. As an antiangiogenic [4] , cannabis has been found to prevent the growth of blood vessels to feed tumours. Without a food supply, tumours are starved.
  4. Apoptosis [5] is cell suicide. Normal cells are made, perform their function, wear out or become diseased, and are disposed of by the immune system. This process is happening continuously, millions of times a day. Cancerous cells are those that have stopped responding to normal immune triggers that dispose of diseased cells. Compounds in the cannabis plant convince the cancer cells’ own healing system to self-destruct—ironically and eerily similar to what cancer does to normal cells.

AntiProliferative, Interrupts Metastasis, Apotosis Cannabis

CANNABIS AND QUALITY OF LIFE

Whether cannabis can be effective in the direct fight against Hodgkin’s lymphoma remains to be seen. However, it may be able to help the patient in a number [6] of other ways. Appropriate use of marijuana and its extracts can ease the symptoms of lymphoma and improve one’s overall quality of life.

PAIN PAIN GO AWAY

Pain is the most common side effect of chemotherapy and often proves to be the most difficult to manage. A number of chemotherapy drugs can cause long-term problems like neuropathy. Neuropathy is an autoimmune disorder where the immune system attacks the nervous system causing chronic, extensive pain.

In general, medical marijuana patients prefer the magical green herb to other pain control medications. Prescription pain medication can have its own debilitating side effects like intoxication and addiction. A significant amount of distress from pain is caused by anxiety about the pain. The classic high experienced when using cannabis can reduce anxiety and make the pain less psychologically agonising.

GOODBYE QUEASY

The nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy can be a torment. Cannabis is a proven antiemetic. An antiemetic is a substance that relieves vomiting. Medical marijuana patients benefit from the known antiemetics tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Being able to eat and digest is an important part of any recovery process.

Dating back to the seventies, studies [7] confirm the efficacy of cannabis compounds in reducing nausea and vomiting in chemo patients. In the following decades, preclinical trials and reviews backed up these preliminary studies. Medical marijuana has since gained acceptance and a legal status in many countries.

SANE IN THE BRAIN

Battling life-threatening diseases presents challenges in maintaining good mental health. Controlled doses of THC can have similar [8] effects to that of antidepressants. Cannabis, in its many forms, is renowned for bringing smiles to faces and euphoria to minds.

Rapidly absorbed CBD also has a positive [9] effect on mood. While many pharmaceutical antidepressants may take several weeks to balance out in the body, studies performed on rodents suggest a positive effect on mood with just a single dose of CBD.

ZZZZZZZ

Sleep is an indispensable part of anyone’s life, and is especially important when fighting disease or recuperating. The pain from lymphoma and chemotherapy can interfere with healthy sleep. Research has shown that cannabis helps patients fall asleep quicker, then sleep deeper and longer.

It is during deep sleep that the body and brain undergo regenerative [10] and restorative processes. Cannabis encourages deeper sleeps for longer periods. Getting good sleep is crucial to maintaining a healthy lymphatic and immune system. Decreased sleep is linked [11] to poor immune function, which must be avoided at all costs by lymphoma patients.

IT’S CANNABIS NOT CAN’TABIS

Studies will continue to unveil the efficacy of cannabis for treating different kinds of cancer, including Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Again, whether or not cannabis can directly fight this cancer remains to be proven. Nonetheless, cannabis really shines when it comes to easing the side effects of the cancer itself; equally so when used to relieve the side effects of treatments like radiation and chemotherapy.

Cannabis is a well-regarded therapy for a number of diseases and disorders. Can it help with Hodgkin’s lymphoma?

CBD oil and cancer: 9 things to know

BY Cynthia DeMarco

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.

It comes in many forms: oils that are dropped under the tongue, roll-ons that are applied to the skin and even solutions for vaping. Some producers extract CBD oil and add it into foods to create edible products.

But what is CBD oil exactly, and how does it affect cancer patients? Can it really treat — or even cure — cancer or relieve its symptoms? To separate fact from fiction, we spoke with our Kimberson Tanco, M.D. Here’s what he wants cancer patients to know.

What is CBD oil, and how does it differ from marijuana and hemp?

Marijuana and hemp are both varieties of the cannabis sativa plant. Both contain cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — the two most-common, known active ingredients.

The main difference is that hemp has far less THC than a typical marijuana plant. And unlike THC, CBD is not a psychoactive agent, so there’s less possibility that it will cause the same mental confusion, drowsiness or hallucinations that often come with THC.

Is there any truth to the claims that CBD oil can cure cancer?

Right now, no. There is no evidence that CBD oil can cure cancer.

What, if anything, can CBD oil do to alleviate the symptoms of cancer or the side effects of cancer treatment?

It’s hard to say if CBD oil can alleviate cancer symptoms or cancer treatment side effects, because the studies are pretty mixed and even fewer are standardized.

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.

Have any CBD-oil derived products been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat cancer, its symptoms, or the side effects caused by its treatment?

Have any products using CBD-oil been approved by the FDA to treat anything?

Yes. Epidiolex. It was originally approved in 2018 for the treatment of two conditions, both related to epilepsy: Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. But aside from Epidiolex, no CBD product has been approved by the FDA for any other medical purpose.

What are the dangers of using CBD oil?

Quality, cleanliness and regulation are the biggest concerns.

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.

In terms of purity, THC and CBD are both extracted from hemp and marijuana using essentially similar processes. But trace amounts of THC could still end up in CBD oil. And if the THC is at a high enough concentration, it could produce the psychoactive effects that THC is known for.

Second, if a lab produces both CBD and THC products, there can be cross-contamination — whether it’s through extraction, handling or packaging.

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.

Finally, there have been some reports of people getting infections after using CBD and cannabis products. This is especially concerning for immunocompromised patients, who are already susceptible to bacterial and fungal infections.

Studies on a certain CBD manufacturer showed its products were contaminated with a chemical known as 5F-ADB, which mimics THC. 5F-ADB is classified by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration as illegal, potentially addictive and with no accepted medical use.

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.

Does CBD oil have any side effects?

CBD oil can adversely affect liver function. In fact, this is on the warning label for Epidiolex.

And in lab studies, CBD has been shown to inhibit certain enzymes responsible for the metabolism of drugs, such as CYP2D6 and CYP3A4. This can affect how drugs work and affect our bodies, either by reducing their efficiency or making them more dangerous. This includes chemotherapy and other medications.

This is very important for cancer patients to understand, as many people think CBD oil is not a medicine. They think of it more as a vitamin or a supplement, so they might not let their doctors know they’re using it. Patients might not realize it can be potentially harmful. So, it’s very important to tell your doctor if you’re using CBD oil.

Is CBD oil even legal?

CBD has a very complex legal status right now.

At the national level, any product of marijuana — including CBD — is still technically illegal when used medically. Although the 2018 Farm Bill legalized the production of hemp nationally, that’s only permitted if it’s not marketed for medical use or as a dietary supplement. CBD products intended for medical use should undergo an FDA review process.

State laws vary. In Texas, the Compassionate Use Act allows for the use of medical marijuana for certain conditions. Originally only for intractable epilepsy, the law was expanded this year to include cancer and certain neurodegenerative conditions, such as Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis.

But the application of this law is pretty jumbled right now. So, while it may be legal to use CBD in a state like Colorado or Alaska, if an employer follows federal regulations, the standardization and quality of a CBD product matters. Because if there’s even a small percentage of THC in that product, then a drug test might come back positive. And this could result in legal issues for the user.

What’s the most important thing cancer patients should know about CBD oil?

There’s still a lot to learn. So always let your health care team know if you are using CBD oil. That way, we can make sure nothing interacts adversely with your cancer treatments or other medications.

Also, avoid products with health-related claims on their labels. The only product approved by the FDA for its medical value is Epidiolex.

Wondering whether you should use CBD oil to cope with cancer treatment and its side effects? We spoke with Kimberson Tanco, M.D., to separate fact from fiction.