Breast cancer is a disease that will affect one out of eight women within their lifetime.
Aside from skin cancer, it is the second most prevalent cancer type diagnosed in women. Treatment options will vary depending on the specific diagnosis, but the good news is that according to recent breast cancer statistics, the number of deaths by breast cancer has been on the decline. This is likely due to advances in treatment options, early detection, and overall increased awareness.
Cannabinoids and Why They’re Important
To better understand how CBD can help treat breast cancer, it’s important to understand what cannabinoids like CBD are and how they work with our bodies.
Cannabinoids are natural chemical compounds produced by the cannabis plant, and there are well over 100 different types of them. Currently, studies are underway to learn more about their specific functions. The most common cannabinoids are THC and CBD, and we do know that both of these compounds show some very promising therapeutic benefits.
Cannabinoids imitate the compounds found naturally in our bodies called endocannabinoids. When there is a deficiency, symptoms can manifest themselves in various ways, and sometimes lead to negative health conditions. Taking cannabinoids like CBD and THC can help fill any voids we might have and return our bodies to its natural balanced state.
Everyone has an Endocannabinoid System (ECS) inside their bodies that works together with cannabinoids, sort of like a lock and key. The ECS is a complex network of receptors that forms a system that has many different physiological functions. It can regulate everything from pain, inflammation, mood, memory, anxiety, sleep, and more. But to put it into simpler terms, its overall function is to help our bodies maintain a state of homeostasis.
The ECS has also been shown to help positively treat specific conditions like autism (including non-verbal autism), Crohn’s disease, IBS, and other neurodegenerative, cardiovascular, and inflammatory disorders. But that’s only what we know so far. As the medicinal properties of cannabis continue gaining popularity, it’ll open up the ability to conduct more specialized clinical research.
Our Endocannabinoid System is responsible for maintaining homeostasis. CBD and other cannabinoids plug into this system to help make up for any deficiencies.
CBD for the Treatment of Breast Cancer
In 2019, there will be an estimated 331,530 new cases of breast cancer diagnosed in the US. The types of breast cancer included in that number are DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ), IDC (invasive ductal carcinoma), IBC (inflammatory breast cancer), and MBC (metastatic breast cancer.)
Each different type of cancer, along with other factors, like whether or not the breast cancer is hormone-driven, makes treatment options dependant on the patient’s diagnosis, risk factors, prognosis, and personal choices.
Traditional treatment options for breast cancer include surgery, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, biological therapy, and radiation therapy – with all of these options being very difficult on the body. We’ll touch more on how CBD can be used as a complementary treatment option for those currently undergoing cancer treatment further below.
In terms of CBD and the treatment of breast cancer, there is currently a lack of clinical trials to be able to definitively say that CBD treats or prevents breast cancer. However, there are a growing number of studies that have shown promising results in vitro and animal tests. A quick search on the internet will also yield anecdotal results where women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer saw improvements with their disease after incorporating CBD into their treatment plan. In other words, we cannot say that CBD is a cure for breast cancer. But cancer patients should be paying attention to the preliminary findings that suggest there’s potential for cannabinoids like CBD to positively impact many different types of cancer, including breast cancer.
Studies like this indicate that CBD has the potential to treat breast cancer in several different ways as noted below.
CBD for Breast Cancer Can Help By:
Blocking breast cancer cell progression and stopping it from spreading
Inhibiting tumor cell growth
Causing apoptosis (cell death) of cancer cells
There’s more good news for breast cancer patients. Current research suggests CBD can positively impact both ER+ and triple-negative breast cancer cells, which highly suggests that CBD can be a useful treatment for the most common breast cancer subtypes.
CBD has shown to inhibit the progression of breast cancer tumors and can cause breast cancer cell death.
And that’s only what the early stages of research has shown. The therapeutic implications of cannabinoids haven’t been studied enough to reveal their full potential for breast cancer treatment options. But with loosening laws, we can expect to see a rise in clinical applications of CBD for the treatment and hopefully the prevention, of breast cancer.
CBD vs Traditional Cancer Treatments
As we mentioned earlier, traditional cancer treatment options can be quite taxing on the body. Women undergoing cancer treatments are often subjected to many side effects associated with their treatment choices.
CBD oil can help women who are actively undergoing treatment and metastatic breast cancer patients by:
Reducing nausea and vomiting
Increasing overall appetite
Calming anxiety associated with treatment
Allowing restful sleep
Can Terpenes Help Treat Breast Cancer?
Terpenes are aromatic compounds found in nature. They’re what gives a plant its distinct aromatic features. For example, if you’ve ever ventured into a pine forest and breathed in the smell of pine, you’ve been inhaling the terpene called pinene.
Terpenes are starting to gain traction in the world of CBD because they work in harmony with cannabinoids. CBD oil with terpenes offer additional therapeutic benefits on top of traditional CBD oil.
The terpene limonene, in particular, has shown to have positive effects on breast cancer. Limonene is one of the most common plant terpenes. It’s primarily found in the peels of citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons but is also found in grapes, herbs, and conifers. Preliminary studies show that certain terpenes, like limonene, may positively act against several different types of tumors, including breast tumors by blocking cancer-forming chemicals and killing mammary cancer cells. Of course, more clinical trials are needed, but evidence suggests that CBD with terpenes (specifically limonene) may offer promising cancer-killing and anti-cancer properties. When you add terpenes like limonene to regular CBD oil, you have the potential to have a powerful treatment option to fight breast cancer.
The terpene limonene may kill active breast cancer cells and block cancer-forming chemicals making it a possible cancer preventative.
While CBD is showing promising potential with the treatment of breast cancer, scientific research is still lacking. What we do know is that CBD does have therapeutic benefits that can help cancer patients currently undergoing treatment. Even further, a CBD oil with added terpenes like Limonene can help make a stronger case for cancer management for metastatic breast cancer patients and prevention through the use of natural means.
Advocating for better health should never come at a premium. If you or your loved one is currently fighting any type of cancer, we offer permanent discounts for our CBD products. Just fill out our CBD discount form to get qualified.