How to use CBD for Prostate Cancer | Benefits and Uses
Prostate cancer is one of the leading causes of mortality in men all over the world and the second most prevalent cancer in about 46 countries, behind only lung cancer. Scientific data shows that 2.6% of the men who suffer from advanced prostate cancer die, while the survival rate of the men suffering from local or regional prostate cancer is quite high.
Bearing in mind the seriousness of the disease, it becomes important to find an effective and an appropriate treatment to deal with it. Off all the traditional treatments like chemotherapy, surgery and the hormone therapy, and all the advanced treatments like radiation therapy and immunotherapy, many of them work for most patients while some cause serious side effects.
However, apart from all these known treatments, the rapidly developing research on CBD, proposes that CBD to be a rich source of benefits both in treating patients with cancer and in subsiding the symptoms that stem from the cancer. It is also known to kill cancer cells. Though the clinical trials do not give much confirmation about this, this research field surely encourages a lot of scientists.
So get along with us, as in this article we will discuss about the ailment and know how the CBD can actually cure prostate cancer and also give you insights about all the intriguing research that revolves around it.
Understanding the Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is a type of cancer that occurs in the men’s small walnut-sized reproductive gland called the Prostate that produces seminal fluid. The seminal fluid, also known as the semen deals with providing nourishment, transportation and capacitation to the sperms.
Men that are over the age of 50 and are of African/American descent are more prone to prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is generally treatable once it is diagnosed in its early stage or when it is confined to the prostate gland, but once it starts spreading it can create havoc and the patient faces less favourable prognosis.
Going by the recent research data, the patients who had local prostate cancer, over 98% of them are still alive.back to menu ↑
The cause of the prostate cancer is not yet known by the medical professionals, but many agree that the major risk factors that increase the likelihood to develop the cancer are as follows:-
- High level of testosterone
- Family history and genetic basis
- Old age
- Chemical exposure
- African/American origin
- Improper and poor diet
- Lack of exercise
How it effects the Biochemistry of the Body
The cancer begins with the abnormal cell division, proliferation or mutation of the cells and this mainly results from the changes that occur in their DNA. The continuous acceleration of these abnormal cells forms a tumor that either remains localized or after a period of time or it invades the surrounding nearby cells and even spreads to the other body parts, this is what is called as the advanced prostate cancer.back to menu ↑
Types of Prostate Cancer
The types of cancers usually suggest in which cell the tumor formation first began. Knowing about the types of cancer can assist us in deciding which treatments we should go for. The common types of prostate cancers are as follows
- Acinar adenocarcinoma – this is the most common of all types of prostate cancer. The cells are columnar and cuboidal malignant cells.
- Small cell prostate cancer – the cells here are small and round mainly confined to the prostate gland.
- Ductal adenocarcinoma – it is mostly confined to the ducts of the prostate gland and it spreads faster than the acinar adenocarcinoma.
- Transitional cell (or urothelial) cancer-in this the malignant cells infect the renal pelvis and the ureter that connects kidneys and urethra.
- Squamous cell cancer – it starts in the cells that line urethra in the penis. This makes up to 0.5-1 % of all prostate cancer which can be treated with the palliative radiation therapy.
None of the above mentioned types of prostate cancers show any kind of early signs or symptoms but as the cancer manifest and metastasis to the higher stages, the body starts showing some evident symptoms like
- Weak urine flow
- Blood in urine
- Persistent back pain
- Painful and frequent urination
- Blood in the semen which is usually seen in the advance stage of adenocarcinoma.
- Erectile dysfunction
How is the prostae Cancer Diagnosed?
Men that are more prone to the risk factors should regularly undergo tests and procedures under their doctor’s recommendations. There are different levels of testing, the early tests or the introductory such as PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen Blood test), DRE (Digital Rectal Exam), Biomaker tests.
These tests according to some medical organisations are controversial as these do not provide the accurate and the desired results. If any abnormality is detected you should go for the higher and the confirmatory tests which include:-
- Biopsy- which estimates the spread of the tumor.
- MRI Fusion Biopsy with TRUS.
These tests generally include the removal of a small amount of tissue and then examining it. They accurately tell you how big the tumor is.
Tests to find out the spread of the cancer
These are generally the imaging tests that give you the exact location of the cancer spread. However the imaging is not always needed, when the symptoms become significant then they can come to the rescue. These include:
- Whole-Body Bone Scan
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
- Position Emission Tomography (PET) PET-CT Scan
- Computed Tomography (CT or CAT Scan)
Treatments for Prostate Cancer
Before the doctor decides upon giving you the cancer treatment he considers the following factors like:- what type of cancer is it? How far has it spread? What stage is the disease is in?
The low-grade cancer that does not show any symptoms and does not require a cancer treatment right a-way but it first needs an active surveillance. The possible treatments for the localized cancer are:-
- Radiation Therapy- this includes either External Beam Therapy or Brachytherapy.
Side effects of radiation therapy
- Increased urination urge
- Problems with bowel functions
- Rectal discomfort
But when the cancer has manifested, it show more evident symptoms which then requires more advanced treatments mainly the Systemic treatments that focus on destroying the cancer cells. These include:-
- Hormone Therapy
- Targeted Therapy
- Bone-Modifying drugs
Side effects of these treatments
- Erectile dysfunction
- Loss of sexual desire
- Weight gain
- Heart problems
All these treatments work well for many. However, considering the side effects and the advancements in medical science people have started looking for alternative medicines for cancer.back to menu ↑
Can CBD be used as a Treatment for Prostate Cancer?
The rapid progress of the research on CBD and all the great hype about CBD have made many people turn towards CBD as a potential natural remedy for cancer. In fact many researchers have demonstrated that CBD possesses anti-proliferative, anti- angiogenic and pro-apoptotic properties and it is also an excellent auto-suppressor of cancer cells.
Many other researchers have found out that CBD is a rich source of treating symptoms that stems from the cancer treatments like nausea, vomiting, anxiety etc.
However, there is only modest data and limited clinical research available and also the studies regarding the CBD treatment are only in their preliminary stages and are highly controversial, so it is too early to make any claims about CBD as a potential treatment for cancer. But the rapid interest in this research will lead to continuous expansion of knowledge and may bring out many more novel treatments in the near future.back to menu ↑
CBD and and How it effects the Prostate Cancer
CBD is a phytocannabinoid that is derived from the Cannabis sativa plant. CBD is one of the phtocannabinoids, the other being THC. The CBD is non-psychoactive and does not make you high and it has many pharmacological properties that can be used in curing different diseases.
The endocannabinoid system of the body is the area where the cannabinoids receptors are found. The endocannabinoid signalling is considered as a potential therapeutic target that deals with the various physiological and pathological conditions like inflammation, analgesics, etc. it has two receptors CB1 and CB2.
The active ingredient of cannabis i.e. THC binds with these receptors to show its effects. The number of the CB1 receptors in ECS is known to increase in prostate cancer, thereby showing there may be correlation between cancer cell proliferation and the presence of endocannabinoids.
The endocannabinoid signalling system has recently been shown to produce anti-cancer effects like apoptosis, inhibition of tumor production and cell proliferation of the cancer cells through CB1 receptor mechanism.back to menu ↑
CBD Role in Prostate Cancer Cure (Research & Studies)
Ever since the medicinal properties of CBD came to be known, CBD was advocated as a way to mitigate the side effects of many cancer treatments, especially chemotherapy, radiation therapy. Nevertheless, the latest research shows that CBD might be an ardent tool to stop the progression of the cancerous cells in the body.
A 2019 study in the Journal Oncotarget, shows that CBD initiates cell death and might also weaken them to the extent that they are killed by the radiation itself.
Another 2016 study found out that THC which was injected in the nine patients suffering with glioblastoma multiforma, inhibited the proliferation of the tumor cells in vitro.
Although these studies have shown positive outcomes for CBD but more advanced clinical research is required as of now.
Anti- Tumoral action of CBD
According to one study conducted on animals, the CBD could halt the growth of tumor cells and even might help to slow down the growth and invasion of tumors.
A 2012 study from Indian Journal of Urology found out that CBD as a medium for the management of prostate cancer should be considered.
Role of CBD in Managing the Pain and Side-Effects of Cancer Treatments
Treating the pain and the side-effects that stems from the cancer treatments may provide great relief to the patients.
A study conducted in 2005, has drawn attention to CBD’s anti-analgesic and antinociceptic properties. The Delta-9 THC and CBD when injected in the patients with an advanced prostate cancer, caused reduced pain, treated nausea and even provided therapeutic effects by supressing the activity of the CB1 receptors of endocannabinoid system in CNS.
Though CBD is very effective in treating the side-effects of cancer, a conclusion should not be drawn that it is equally effective in treating the physiology of the cancer. But this is a fascinating area of research for the near future.back to menu ↑
CBD having Anti-Androgenic Properties
Androgens are the male sex hormone and the principle androgen is testosterone, which is involved in the maintenance and the progression of the prostate cancer cells that is why the ADT (androgen deprivation therapy) forms a major part of the hormone therapy in treating the cancer.
One study from 1974, done on rats, suggests that CBD has anti-androgenic effects. In this study, the male rats when given CBD showed reduced spermatogenesis and decrease in the testosterone levels.
However, further clinical studies are still needed to verify their efficacy and safety on humans.
Role of THC in inducing Prostate Carcino Cell (PCC) Apoptosis
Two independent studies conducted in 1999 and 2001, demonstrated that Delta-9 THC induced apoptosis in human prostate PC-3 cells via receptor-independent mechanism under a particular dose and for a particular time period.back to menu ↑
Benefits of using CBD
CBD is known to cause a number of benefits in treating cancer.
- It is highly effective against the extreme side effects resulting from the cancer treatment like nausea, vomiting, slow bowel and urine discharge.
- Much evidence shows that a combination of CBD and THC therapies may help cancer patients by stimulating the appetite, relieving cancer pain, and sometimes providing therapeutic effects to calm their minds.
- According to the NIH PubChem database CBD possesses anti-proliferative, anti-angiogenic and pro=apoptotic activities.
- CBD is entirely a non-psychotic drug that does not get you high.
- One study conducted in 2020 showed that CBD might enhance the effectiveness of the other cancer treating drugs.
Side Effects of Using CBD
CBD is known to cause least serious side-effects when consumed in mild to moderate doses. Though, the initial in vivo studies on cancer cells have given positive results. It is still too early to consider CBD for a cancer treatment as it may cause some serious side-effects.
- CBD inhibits the BCRP (Breast Cancer Resistance Protein) efflux in the cancer cell.
- The CBD used in the lab testing for cancer cells are laboratory made, so they may vary in their chemical composition from the market bought CBD. The market bought CBD may contain chemicals that can make you to hallucinate and their long term use can cause harmful effects on the brain.
- Since there is no mention of the effective dose for CBD in curing the prostate cancer, a slight indistinct dose can cause symptoms like:-
- Changes in the appetite
- There is a high chance that you can get high because many CBD anti-cancer treatments make use of the combination dose of both the CBD and THC and if the THC amounts get higher then it causes serious effects to your brain.
Ways to use CBD
As per now you might have got familiar with the fact that there is no clinical evidence that completely supports that using CBD oil can successfully cure or prevent cancer. However, the tipping point is that CBD is very effective in successfully treating the side effects of cancer treatments
So many people have turned to it to alleviate the symptoms such as anxiety, pain, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, etc. that arise from the cancer treatments. So you can use CBD in the following forms:-
- As a single dose supplements or a combination therapies
- As oils and mouth sprays
- As CBD edibles such as CBD tincture, CBD gummies, CBD gelcaps.
- CBD oils even allow you to take it sublingually by putting it under your tongue.
Dosage of CBD
Dosage basically tells us the way in which the CBD drug should be administered. A healthy dose is the one that is provided by your doctor, but as per now, there is a lack of guidance among the physician and other medical professionals about how to use, when to use and in how much amount to use the CBD as a cure to treat cancer.
Since for cancer treatment an effective dose is the one which involves a combination of both THC and CBD and dose can cause serious effects when taken in the wrong way, so it is advisable to always start low or slowly titrate the dose to avoid any side effects. As the FDA does not approve the safety and the quality of any of the CBD supplements, so always seek the help of your health experts and make your own safe discretion.
As we know that CBD has been championed as a means of treating many diseases, there is a need of an hour for reliable and effective research that unfolds many benefits of CBD as the potential remedy for cancer.
A tremendous amount of education, research and a high level of well conducted clinical trials are required in testing the effectiveness of CBD as a single drug or a combination of drugs which would eventually lead us in finding an effective dose of CBD for cancer treatment.back to menu ↑