Are More Breast Cancer Patients and Survivors Turning to CBD?
Did you know that each year, almost 300,000 women and several thousand men are diagnosed with breast cancer? In fact, breast cancer claims the lives of over 40,000 Americans each year, making it one of the deadliest forms of cancer in existence. [Source]
One positive is that over the years, we’ve developed a wide range of cutting-edge treatments that greatly increase a person’s chance of survival following a diagnosis. We know more about breast cancer than ever before, and thanks to technology, we can treat it more effectively.
Still, that doesn’t change the fact that fighting breast cancer is incredibly hard on the body, and the disease comes with all kinds of pleasant symptoms that can become chronic. CBD, or cannabidiol, is a highly unique plant compound with studies that show promising results on the human body.
Symptoms of Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is a disease that can rapidly cause a person’s health to decline, while producing various symptoms that can be anywhere from mild to debilitating. One of the first symptoms of breast cancer is pain in the breast area, which may be made worse by physical exertion. As the cancerous tumor begins to grow, the pain can become more severe, and radiate to several areas of the body.
Besides that, breast cancer is a condition that requires a lot of effort from the body to fight. The immune system is responsible for trying to prevent cancer from rapidly spreading throughout the body, and when the immune system has to work this hard, it can’t give as much attention to other needs throughout the various bodily systems. This can leave a person more prone to illness, and beyond that, it can make a person feel absolutely depleted, as the immune system is simply overworked. Chronic fatigue is a quite common symptom among those dealing with breast cancer for this reason.
There are also mental health effects that can become crippling. It’s far from uncommon for a person who is fighting breast cancer to develop symptoms of anxiety and depression, and those who already have a history of mental health struggles may find that the reality of a cancer diagnosis can exacerbate their issues. Cancer is a disease that frightens many, and so the stress associated with it can lead to feelings of irritability and hopelessness, while interfering with both sleep and work.
Finally, it’s worth mentioning that many of the most commonly used cancer treatments can cause unpleasant side effects. Chemotherapy in particular is known for causing a person to experience nausea, while interfering with their appetite and making them feel generally unwell.
CBD for the Symptoms of Breast Cancer
CBD is short for cannabidiol, and it’s the dominant compound found in the flowers of the female hemp plant. CBD is a cannabinoid, which is a class of compounds associated with the body’s endocannabinoid system. This system consists of cannabinoid receptors found everywhere throughout the body, with each receptor corresponding with a bodily process. When a cannabinoid receptor receives cannabinoids like CBD, a binding process takes place which helps the endocannabinoid system regulate these bodily processes to promote homeostasis.
That being said, CBD may offer unique effects to the body by way of regulation. Some of these effects relate to the symptoms of breast cancer that are commonly reported.
#1: CBD for Pain
We know that CBD has been widely studied for its effects on pain, and we said that breast cancer can cause pain in the body, especially where the cancerous tumors exist. CBD has anti-inflammatory properties which may bring down inflammation in the surrounding tissue that is causing both pain and swelling. Meanwhile, the analgesic properties of cannabidiol may potentially lower pain levels by decreasing the sensitivity of pain receptors in the brain.
#2: CBD for Fatigue
Cannabidiol could potentially be used to counteract the fatigue we discussed earlier, which results from the body’s effort in fighting the illness combined with the enormous stress that cancer patients may experience as a result of their illness. Studies show that CBD may offer a regulatory effect on energy levels.
#3: CBD for Nausea and Loss of Appetite
Many cancer patients have read studies on CBD’s effects on both nausea and low appetite, which again come from the unique regulatory nature of cannabinoids as they relate to the endocannabinoid system.
#4: CBD for Mood
Many people take CBD for mood-related issues, as various studies have found that cannabinoids may offer regulatory effects to neurotransmitters in the brain that deal with anxiety, depression and other mental health symptoms.
#5: CBD for Immune Support
A healthy immune system is essential if a person is fighting cancer, and as we said, it’s easy for the immune system to become depleted, leaving the body more prone to getting sick. Research has uncovered that there are cannabinoid receptors throughout the immune system that may play a role in managing the immune system’s functionality through cannabinoid administration.
How Breast Cancer Patients and Survivors Can Take CBD
If you’re going to use CBD for symptoms related to breast cancer, it’s essential that you talk to your doctor, and tell them any medications that you are presently taking. Your doctor may be able to help you incorporate CBD into your treatment plan in a way that is the most advantageous.
It’s crucial that you choose CBD products from trusted companies that do thorough third-party lab-testing to verify the quality of their formulas. Select a milligram strength based on the severity of your condition – because CBD is nontoxic, higher doses and milligram strengths may be suitable for you.
Also, it is absolutely ideal to take cannabidiol on a daily basis, as the endocannabinoid system seems to operate best if the CBD accumulates in the system for a period of time. Choose a delivery method that appeals to you and know that you may take multiple delivery methods per day if you find that each one serves a unique purpose.
Finally, we do not recommend that you stop your other forms of treatment when starting a CBD regimen. Only a doctor can give you medical advice regarding CBD and your other treatments for cancer.
Breast cancer is an all-too-common disease that affects many women as well as men in our country. As we continue to explore new treatment options, consider bringing up CBD with your doctor.