May 11, 2021 5 min read
Cancer is a broad name covering a collection of related diseases. In every kind of cancer, some of the body's cells malfunction and begin to divide without stopping. The usual, healthy process of creating new cells and discarding old cells breaks down, resulting in uncontrolled cell division, tumors, and disease.
Cancer is not a new problem, nor is it specific to humans. Animals can get cancer. Evidence of this disease has been found in an Egyptian mummy, and even some dinosaur remains. However, the incidence of cancer has risen with the modern age, suggesting that environmental toxins and lifestyle factors can contribute to the disease. People in industrialized nations like the U.S. are about ten times more likely (5.5%) to have cancer than people in less developed countries (.4%).
While cancer treatments continue to improve and evolve, the best line of defense is prevention. One crucial way to help your cells stay healthy is to avoid chronic inflammation.
Studies show that chronic inflammation increases the risk of several types of cancer, including lung, liver, and stomach cancers. The functional relationship between inflammation and cancer is not a new idea. It was first documented by a German scientist named Rudolf Virchow in 1863.
How does this association work? Before cells malfunction and become cancerous, there are at least two changes to the genetic coding. This tendency for DNA mutations can be inherited at birth or caused by external factors, which we will look at more below. Scientists have discovered that chronic inflammation predisposes cells to the genetic changes that cause them to divide uncontrollably.
Researchers have long established a relationship between wound healing and cancer. Many cancers arise from areas of infection, chronic irritation, and inflammation. The immune responses that regulate wound healing and cause inflammation are the same that promote the transformation and growth of malignant cells. Because of this, anti-inflammatories like CBD may be crucial to improving cancer treatment.
The relationship between cancer, the immune response, and inflammation is complex. Not all inflammation or even chronic inflammation leads to cancer since there are many types of cancer and inflammation. Short-term inflammation is necessary and healthy. Some types of cancer may not be associated with chronic inflammation at all. However, inflammation in cancer patients increases the likelihood of it spreading to other parts of the body.
The symptoms of chronic inflammation can be subtle and easy to overlook. They range from mild to severe and may last for months or years. Common symptoms of chronic inflammation include:
Chronic inflammation doesn't always have a clear underlying cause. Factors like sleep disorders, lack of exercise, smoking, obesity, alcohol use, and chronic stress may contribute.
Cannabinoids like CBD help the body fight inflammation and cancer through their unique ability to interact with two receptors in the human endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS acts like a supercomputer that monitors your body's systems and helps them maintain balance and homeostasis.
CBD has potent interactions with two ECS receptors: CB1 and CB2. Both CB1 and CB2 are found on immune cells throughout the body (of both humans and animals). CB1 is primarily found in the brain, and CB2 is most prevalent in the cells of the immune system.
While there have been extensive studies showing CBD's effectiveness as an anti-inflammatory and in fighting cancer and reducing tumors, the studies up to this point have been done on animals (pre-clinical). However, the growing body of evidence points to therapeutic benefits.
Studies show that CBD inhibits the growth of cancer cells in mice with lung cancer or colon cancer. A 2019 study showed that CBD helped the body eliminate malfunctioning cancer cells and increased the effectiveness of radiation treatment.
A 2020 study with dogs showed the CBD slowed cancer growth in an aggressive form of brain cancer.
While research into CBD as cancer treatment is still underway, there is strong evidence that it can also help with the symptoms associated with cancer treatment, like pain, insomnia, anxiety, or nausea.
A 2017 review compiled studies showing CBD's anti-inflammatory properties worked on the following conditions:
Unlike many medications, The World Health Organization says that CBD has a good safety profile. It states that there's no evidence of public health-related problems from the use of pure CBD. However, like many medications, CBD is processed by the liver. If you have a compromised liver or are taking medications (especially if they have a grapefruit warning), it is recommended to use CBD only under the supervision of your doctor.
CBD is only one of the entourage of anti-inflammatory and cancer-fighting molecules in Jampha's terpene-enhanced formulas. Derived from plants, these specialized molecules activate the endocannabinoid system and strengthen the body to fight invaders and find balance.
Plant medicine is powerful. Forty percent of pharmaceuticals are derived from plants, including the top 20 products on the market today. As the evidence of harm caused by chronic inflammation mounts, CBD is a potent item in your toolkit to maintain health naturally.
This article is part two of our series on inflammation and your health. Stay tuned for part three, which examines how inflammation relates to anxiety and depression.
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