Improving Quality of Life in Cancer Patients

Within the last decade or so there has been some exciting research related to cannabidiol (CBD) and its use as an adjunct therapy for cancer patients.  There are a variety of areas in which CBD Hemp Oil may be beneficial to cancer patients; anywhere from symptom relief to the actual death of cancer cells.  Below you will find a summary of some of the exciting new research related to the topic of CBD and cancer.


Many common cancer treatments, including chemotherapy and radiation, have uncomfortable side effects that may affect the patient’s quality of life and ability to recover from treatment.  Some of the more common side effects include vomiting and decreased appetite, though this can vary depending on the type of cancer and the medical intervention. Nonetheless, vomiting and depressed appetite influence a person’s recovery significantly as they impact nutrition status.  What we put in our bodies is essential to how our bodies function, so if a cancer patient is not consuming and absorbing the nutrients that he or she needs, this could possibly further exacerbate issues related to overall health and recovery, such as immune function and healing. This is one area where CBD oil may come into play in oncology patients: improving nutrient status and recovery by increasing appetite and/or reducing emesis (vomiting) without the unwanted psychotropic side effects of marijuana.  There is a good body of research surrounding the application of CBD oil in improving appetite and reducing vomiting episodes.

CBD as an Appetite Stimulant

Synthetic THC has been used for several decades in pharmaceutical medications to address suppressed appetite.  Stimulating appetite among cancer patients is of critical importance, as cancer-related anorexia and/or cachexia (wasting) are relatively common side effects related to cancer diagnosis and/or treatment. Given this fact, it is not surprising the research has begun to look at THC/CBD itself to stimulate appetite.

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology in 2006 looked to compare cannabis extract, THC, and a placebo based on their effects on the appetite and overall quality of life among cancer patients who were experiencing cancer-related anorexia-cachexia.  The cannabis extract contained a 2.5:1 ratio of THC:cannabidiol. The final sample size of the study was 164 patients. The study did not find any significant difference between the groups receiving cannabis extract, THC, or the placebo and the trial was terminated for that reason.  It should be noted that all three study groups did experience increased appetite.


CBD as an Agent to Address Nausea and Vomiting

Many studies have documented that anti-nausea and anti-emetic effects of CBD.  One pilot study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology in 2010 looked at using cannabis-based medicine (CBM) to treat vomiting in patient’s (n=16) with chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. This study as a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trial in which the intervention group was given either a CBM treatment containing THC and CBD in the form of a spray (given orally) or a placebo.  It should be noted that this particular study is the first study to look at THC and CBD together as a part of the treatment of CINV. While it was a relatively small sample size, the study did find that the intervention group, compared to the placebo group, did experience more relief in CINV.

Researchers have been able to pinpoint the exact mechanisms behind which THC/CBD effectively reduces nausea and vomiting and have pointed out through multiple clinical trials how this is accomplished without any of the psychotropic effects that are often attributed to THC/marijuana.  It should be noted that much of the research related to CBD and reduction of nausea and vomiting look at oral use of cannabinoids (in the pill form) versus sublingual or inhaled versions. It is actually speculated that sublingual or inhaled CBD may be more effective than oral CBD.


In addition to the use of CBD Hemp oil as an appetite stimulant and antiemetic, there is another exciting way in which CBD Hemp oil may benefit cancer patients: pain management.  Read below for some of the research related to the use of CBD Hemp oil in pain management for cancer patients.

CBD Hemp Oil and Pain Management

Often the first line of defense for pain management is the use of opioids, but not all cancer patients will respond positively to this or experience complete pain relief as a result of taking opioids.  A study published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management in 2010 reviewed how safe and effective TCH:CBD extract was an adjunct therapy to address cancer-related pain.  This study was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study that included 60 cancer patients who received the TCH:CBD extract intervention and found significant improvements in pain management among those who were given the extract, as compared to patients who received another intervention (THC alone).

Another study published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management in 2013 was similar to the above study in that it looked at cancer patients who did not experience complete pain relief as a result of opioid dosing.  In this study, participants (n=43) were given an intervention of either THC/CBD spray, THC spray, or a placebo for two weeks. Data were collected at baseline (prior to intervention) and again after 2 weeks.  Researchers compared pain scores at baseline and 2 weeks and found that the THC/CBD spray experienced continual decreased pain scores over the course of treatment and this pain relief appeared to be sustained (so it was not fleeting) as long as the participants continued to use the THC/CBD spray.  Furthermore, participants were able to avoid increasing dosages of other pain medications.

A third study, this time a pilot study, published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management in 2014, looked at 16 patients with chemotherapy-induced pain.  The study design was a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study.  The patients in the intervention, or treatment, group were given an oral spray containing CBDs.  While the results were not statistically significant, the pilot study did demonstrate that further research is needed in this area as some of the intervention group participants (n=5) did experience pain reduction as a result of the intervention.


Possibly some of the most exciting research is related to the effects of CBD (cannabidiol) on cancer cells.   Some research has suggested that CBD increases cell death (apoptosis) of cancer cells because of the mechanism by which it works.

A study published in Molecular Cancer Therapeutics in 2007 looked at the effects that cannabidiol has on the invasiveness and proliferation of cancer cells.  This is a study that was conducted in mice. The study was looking at, specifically, the mechanism behind how CBD may impact gene expression of the Id-1 gene, which is expressed in invasive breast cancer cells.  What this study found is that CBD did appear to have an effect on the Id-1 gene, in that it decreased its expression in metastatic breast cancer cells. Why this is exciting is because it may lead to a reduction in the aggressiveness of the tumor in certain types of breast cancer cells.  

Other research, also done in mice, has found that CBD may have a positive effect (i.e. decrease cancer cell growth) for other forms of cancer such as certain types of lung cancer and brain cancer, among many other types of cancer.


Overall, there is promising research on the use of CBD oil as an adjunct therapy for cancer treatment from a variety of different angles, including symptom relief (reduction in nausea, vomiting, and pain, as well as improvement in appetite and overall quality of life) and a possible effect on the aggressiveness of the cancer itself.  More research is needed to better understand if CBD oil itself would have the same effects, as most of the studies looked a cannabis extract that contained both THC and CBD, but the research is promising in this area.

How To Use CBD?

The most common way to consume CBD is by oil form. The most effective way to consume CBD hemp oil is by simply putting a few drops under your tongue.

Clinical herbalist and formulator, Elizabeth Moriarty has found that CBD hemp oil offers optimized delivery via mucosal membrane, i.e. oral membranes. When the CBD can be transported directly into the bloodstream, the phytonutrients are absorbed quicker without the liver taking any nutrients away.

What To Look For When Buying CBD Hemp Oil

It’s very important to be aware of how your CBD oil is made. Some companies use fillers to cover the taste or use neurotoxic materials during the extraction process. Because CBD Hemp Oil from CBD Bio Naturals is derived from organic, non-GMO industrial hemp and contains no THC, CBD Bio Naturals products are made without any extra fillers, binders or junk and are legal in all 50 states! That’s why we call ourselves Clean By Design.

*Although we cannot make health claims regarding CBD and the FDA has not evaluated any of these claims, we must inform you that these products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


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