With the legalization of hemp as an agricultural crop in the 2018 Farm Bill, interest in CBD’s medicinal benefits is rising. Cannabidiol is a chemical compound that comes from hemp or cannabis plants. The difference between these two types of plants is that hemp contains less than the 0.3% legal limit of the psychoactive compound THC, while cannabis contains higher amounts.
Knowledge of the effects of cannabis on alleviating pain goes back thousands of years. Traditional medicine has long incorporated the use of cannabinoids for a variety of health issues. Current studies are leading the way in gaining a scientific understanding of just how useful CBD and cannabis are. One interesting area of research is on the impact of CBD oil on blood cancers, leukemia in particular.
What Is Blood Cancer?
Blood cancer is a general name for any type of cancer that originates in the bone marrow, where blood cells are formed. There are three primary types of blood cancer: leukemia, lymphoma and multiple myeloma. Lymphoma is further categorized into Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Individuals who have slow-growing blood cancer types frequently do not experience symptoms. However, those with fast-growing types experience symptoms such as:
- Weight loss
- Easy bleeding or bruising
- Frequent infections
Treatments for leukemia and other blood cancers is highly variable and depend upon the patient’s age, cancer stage and whether and how fast it is spreading. Common approaches include stem cell transplants, chemotherapy and radiation.
How CBD Can Help
The type of blood cancer that has thus far demonstrated the greatest response to CBD is leukemia. In one case study, a 14-yr old patient with acute lymphoblastic leukemia did not respond to a bone marrow transplant with aggressive chemotherapy and radiation, but saw improvements after undergoing a CBD oil regimen. In a second case study, the patient went into remission and stayed cancer-free after treatment using CBD.
Other research indicates that CBD is particularly effective in causing cell death when used as a follow-up to chemotherapy. This research was conducted in a lab setting. Scientists found a synergistic relationship between cannabinoids and certain drugs used to combat leukemia, leading to a significant increase in apoptosis. CBD confers an additional benefit by easing the nausea, vomiting and pain caused by chemotherapy. Current studies on the effectiveness of CBD for cancer treatment are promising. This is especially true for leukemia, where case studies and lab experiments both indicate positive results. For those who have acute forms of leukemia, these findings offer hope for a treatment approach that can bring about long-term positive results.