Can cannabidiol oil help prevent colon cancer? An exciting new study suggests that it can. The results of this groundbreaking study, published in August 2020, indicates that cannabidiol (CBD) could help prevent the onset of colon cancer in people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). This new study led by Dr. Prakash Nagarkatti, Ph.D., and Dr. Mitzi Nagarkatt, Ph.D., shines a spotlight on current medical cannabis research. Their research offers a great deal of hope by suggesting that CBD may stop the effects of inflammation on the colon, which often causes colon cancer. These results are very welcome news since the number of Americans with IBD, estimated at 3 million as of 2015, is on the rise. And of those people, the number who are being diagnosed with colon cancer under age 55 is also rising.
News of this study is timely as awareness about the importance of colonoscopy screening is increasing. The jolting news of actor Chadwick Boseman’s death from colon cancer is sparking renewed interest in preventative colon care. Screening is essential for early diagnosis. But even when treated early, colon cancer can add to the risk of developing other cancers down the road. This was ultimately the case for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, reverently referred to as “RBG,” who passed away from metastatic pancreatic cancer complications. Even though her original colon cancer diagnosis was successfully treated, it was, unfortunately, the precursor of several cancer recurrences throughout her body.
These prominent Americans’ deaths serve to help remind people how early detection increases the survival rate of those at high risk for colon cancer. The Nagarkatti study suggests there may even be a simple but effective way to both prevent and halt colon cancer in its tracks.
Who Is Likely To Get Colon Cancer?
Although the cause of colon cancer is unknown, there are risk factors that make it more likely. Certain behaviors, such as an unhealthy diet, tobacco smoking, and heavy alcohol use, put people at a higher risk for colon cancer. People with a strong family history of cancer or inflammatory bowel disease are also more prone to developing colon cancer.
IBD is a condition in which the lining of the colon is in a constant state of inflammation. The reasons for inflammatory bowel disease depend on many factors, although 5-10 percent of cases are hereditary.
IBD is an autoimmune disease, meaning the immune system attacks normal cells instead of unhealthy ones. Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are two subsets of IBD. In Crohn’s disease (CD), the lining of the entire digestive tract is inflamed. With ulcerative colitis (UC), constant inflammation causes ulcers to form in the colon and rectum. When the immune system of someone with IBD is triggered, it malfunctions, causing symptoms of inflammation like:
- Abdominal pain
- Diarrhea (possibly bloody)
- Weight loss
In addition to IBD’s physical discomfort, inflammation caused by these diseases damages the gut wall. Both damage to the gut wall and disruption of the healthy bacteria in the gut can contribute to colon or rectal tumors forming.
How Can CBD Oil Help Prevent Or Slow The Growth Of Colon Cancer?
As more uses for this potent ingredient are being discovered, an explosion in the number of health and wellness products containing natural CBD oil is underway. Oils work well since CBD doesn’t dissolve well in water during digestion. Mixing it into an oil allows it to be absorbed by the body at a better rate.
CBD oil’s therapeutic benefits are widely known in the medical world, and its use is becoming more mainstream as dispensaries open around the country. Many people with IBD use CBD to relieve their symptoms and improve their quality of life. It’s also used by cancer patients to lessen the side effects of chemotherapy.
The surge of interest in cannabinoids is inspiring a great deal of interest and research in the scientific and medical community. The Nagarkatti team is a leader in this critical research. Their study points specifically to the powerful anti-inflammatory effects of cannabinoids on the colons of mice.
Here’s a quick overview of how CBD works and its use in this particular study:
Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC takes effect when it activates receptors in the body known as CB1 and CB2.
- When the CB1 receptors, which are mainly expressed in the brain and spinal cord, are activated, THC’s mind-altering effects occur.
- Most CB2 receptors are found on immune cells, and no psychoactive THC effects are felt when it is expressed there.
- The research team injected mice with either a substance known to cause colon cancer or that same substance blended with THC.
This study’s remarkable findings showed THC compounds acting via the CB2 receptors reduced inflammation in the mice’s colons. By suppressing inflammation, cannabinoids kept the colon wall healthy, preventing tumor formation. Clinical trials and additional research will be needed to determine if the same results occur in humans.
Greenfield Groves Research For Life Foundation – Support for Colon Cancer Research With A Human Touch
Studies producing results like those found in the Nagarkatti study reinforce the extraordinary significance of cannabidiol research. At Greenfield Groves, supporting this research is something we take personally.
Mr. Timothy “Eric” Logan was recruited to be our executive team lead responsible for distributing our consumer branded product lines. Eric had been diagnosed with colon cancer and had managed it with a combination of traditional medicine, chemotherapy, legal THC, and supervised CBD dosing. Sadly, his cancer returned during his time with us, and he passed away in May 2019.
Inspired by Eric, our founder, Lindsay Giguiere, started the Research For Life Foundation (RLF), a non-profit founded to support medical and scientific colon cancer research and treatments based on cannabinoids. A unique facet of RLF is that it invites Greenfield Groves’ consumers to be a part of its community by providing vital feedback about our CBD products as they use them during their personal struggles with cancer.
Research For Life also provides the opportunity for consumers to be a part of the Foundation’s culture and direction. Our intention is to inspire a better understanding and management of cancer in the lives of the families it touches. In honor of our friend and colleague Eric, Greenfield Groves donates a portion of RLF’s proceeds to his wife, Tatiana, and his children. We are hopeful that a cure for colon cancer is on the horizon and are humbled to support this mission that means so much to us.