Cannabidiol Slows Growth of Breast Cancer
Besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States. Encouragingly, many researchers have found evidence that CBD may be able to slow the progression of invasive breast cancer, which will affect approximately 1 in 8 U.S. women at some point in their lives.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in the stalks, seeds, and flowers of cannabis plants like hemp. As part of our continued educational content series throughout October for Breast Cancer Awareness month, today we take a look at the growing body of evidence suggesting CBD could potentially play an instrumental role in breast cancer treatment efforts.
After breast cancer is identified and diagnosed, efforts are made to inhibit the spread of the cancerous tumor. If the cancer spreads beyond the breast and nearby lymph nodes, it’s considered advanced, or metastatic. According to WebMD, the most common places breast cancer can spread to are the lymph nodes, liver, lungs, bones, and brain.
Studies in recent years suggest that CBD may help inhibit metastasis in breast cancer cells. In 2014, researchers from the California Pacific Medical Research Center found that CBD appears to inhibit the Id-1 and Akt genes, which have been known to play a role in tumor growth.
“We have found [CBD] inhibits key genes involved in tumor progression and metastasis,” said the study’s lead author, Dr. Sean McAllister.
In 2012, researchers in Madrid found that CBD and its derivatives apply “anti-proliferative, pro- apoptotic, anti-migratory and anti-invasive actions.” This means that the compounds reduced tumor sizes, encouraged the cancerous cells to kill themselves, and stopped the spread of the tumors without harming healthy cells.
Israeli researchers also found evidence of CBD’s antineoplastic properties in 2011. In their study, CBD showed it could inhibit, prevent, and even halt the development of breast tumors by supporting the body’s processes for breaking down and eliminating unhealthy cells.
While researchers still need to learn more about CBD and it’s potential anti-cancer properties, so far the evidence is promising. By helping to inhibit the spread of breast cancer, CBD may be able to play an instrumental role in the treatment of the disease.