There is currently 1 CBD treatment approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) called Epidiolex, which is used to treat a rare and severe form of epilepsy in children. There are not currently any FDA-approved CBD medications for treating cancer or side effects of cancer treatments.
CBD is 1 of the hundreds of chemicals found in the flowering cannabis plant. CBD does not have the psychoactive, or mind-altering, effects of another chemical found in cannabis called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the chemical that causes people to experience a “high.” CBD, on the other hand, is being used by some to help ease pain, anxiety, and sleep issues.
What is CBD?
Yet there’s very little research around CBD and its use in treating people with cancer. Here’s what to know about what CBD is and what science currently shows about whether it’s safe and effective for people with cancer to use.
There are 2 synthetic cannabis medications, nabilone (Cesamet) and dronabinol (Marinol or Syndros), that are FDA-approved to treat nausea and vomiting related to chemotherapy. These medications are made in a laboratory.
Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is one of many chemicals found in the cannabis plant. It has been touted in some online forums as an alternative treatment, and even a cure, for many illnesses, including cancer. And, some people with cancer say that CBD has helped them as a complementary therapy in managing their symptoms and side effects from standard cancer treatment.
Several factors determine your physical health when you have stomach cancer, including its stage, your general health and the dose and length of treatment. Physical side effects can sometimes last after you’ve finished treatment.
You can also use cannabis topically. It’s an easy way to get your marijuana and gastric cancer treatment without having to consume it orally. Physicians often suggest this method for children and older people who are not comfortable with consuming marijuana orally.
If your surgeon finds cancer cells, they may remove a portion of your stomach and/or nearby tissues. Surgery eliminates the tumor and attempts to keep cancer from spreading into other areas of your body. If you have a more advanced stage of gastric cancer, your surgeon may have to remove your entire stomach.
Tinctures are another method patients use when they wish to avoid medical weed’s psychoactive effects. Tinctures are concentrated forms of cannabis mixed with a type of alcohol solution.
When it comes to medical cannabis for patients with cancer, the benefits are clear — reduced pain, increased appetite, helping with depression and fighting nausea and vomiting. Patients using medical marijuana for gastric cancer can realize all these benefits. Even though its anticarcinogenic effects are still being studied, ongoing research continues to point out patients claiming medical weed a miracle herb.
According to National Cancer Institute (NCI) estimates, in 2017, there’ll be around 28,000 new gastric cancer cases. NCI also reports 1.7 percent of new cancer cases in the U.S. are stomach cancer.
Because many individuals receiving treatment may have an increased risk of experiencing long-term effects, evaluation and treatment of late effects is an integral part of your cancer and survivorship care.