Can you imagine the anxiety of depending on others for your survival? Not just a small group of people you should rely on like doctors or the police, but every single person on this planet. Going into public and hoping everyone took their flu shot or vaccines, hoping that today isn’t the day you take a trip to the hospital because someone can stop sneezing.
When cancer attacks the immune system, it’s almost as if you are helpless in your own body. Studies have expressed extreme interest in CBD for treating cancer because of chemotherapy’s side effects and THC’s psychoactive effects that may not be desirable to some. There have been testimonies of people pleading that the public listens to their story so that people can be more open to finding what will work best with their body.
What is Lymphoma?
Most cancers are identifiable through their names like testicular cancer or skin cancer, but lymphoma’s target isn’t in the title. Lymphoma attacks parts of the immune system called the lymphatic system, making the body weak and open to all kinds of diseases. The lymphatic system is also what kills off cancer cells in your body, so this infiltration seems almost personal.
What Is The Lymphatic System?
The lymphatic system is made up of tissues and organs that help fight toxins that may intrude the body. What this system does is send lymph throughout the body, which is a liquid filled with immune cells called lymphocytes. Each organ or area covered in lymphatic tissue has its own part to play to keep you from getting sick.
The thymus is where the immature lymphocytes start the process to become T-cells. These T-cells fight off infections and cancer in your body. Your body is continuously producing new cells, and that includes cancer cells. It is vital that your body continues to attack them.
The spleen filters through the blood, finding damaged red blood cells or pathogens. The spleen also produces white blood cells that make antibodies that fight off infections and create antibodies.
Tonsils are made up of B cells, another type of lymphocyte. They protect the body from raspatory and gastrointestinal infections. While blocking pathogens, the tonsils also create antibodies that fight many different types of disease like influenza and pneumonia.
It is still unknown what the exact function of the appendix is. Studies have suggested that it plays a role in the immune function against infection. It sends out “good bacteria” after your stomach goes through something like food poisoning to help your body get back to normal.
Treatment Options For Lymphoma
Chemotherapy is the primary treatment for Lymphoma with a 40% success rate. This is the most suggested treatment because there have been studies and testimonials of people surviving their cancer and chemo coming out the other side a stronger and better person.
Unfortunately, this treatment option is also hazardous. Along with hair loss, vomiting, and extreme fatigue it makes the patient weak. People diagnosed with cancer need all the strength they can get in their bodies, and taking away their ability to hold down food has proven to be a huge hurdle.
Cancer spreads so quickly because it causes its cells to multiply, so chemotherapy halts the cell division process. The problem patients face is that other parts of their body that need cells to reproduce also get suspended. This is why they often lose their hair and have digestive issues.
These days chemotherapy isn’t the only treatment option. Many people are using medical marijuana instead of or in addition to chemotherapy. The particular chemical scientists are becoming more interested in is CBD.
What Is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical that we find in the marijuana plant. Though it comes from the same plant as THC, it doesn’t act the same. Yes, it does have healing properties that are incredibly similar, but it doesn’t interact with the brain the same way.
THC binds directly to the cannabinoid receptors that are on the outside of neurons that are usually binding with endocannabinoids. This direct interaction is what gives the psychoactive euphoric feeling so commonly known as being stoned or high. CBD, on the other hand, doesn’t directly bind to these receptors. Instead, cannabidiol opens pathways, elevates chemicals, and stimulates non-cannabinoid receptors to create its effects.
The Endocannabinoid System
The reason that CBD is so interactive with the immune system is that medical marijuana interacts with our endocannabinoid system. This system’s function is to regulate the body, also known as homeostasis. If you have a fever, that is the endocannabinoid system sending out attackers to take out the pathogen. If you can finally relax after you were angry, it’s because your endocannabinoid system regulated the chemistry in your brain. Your endocannabinoid is made up of three different parts that need to all work together for your body to work right.
Metabolic enzymes produce the endocannabinoids that interact with neurons. Once the endocannabinoids are no longer in use, these proteins deteriorate them. Metabolic enzymes are supposed to make sure there isn’t any debris floating around that could cause communication throughout the brain to be more difficult.
The metabolic enzymes also work to repair cells they may have been damaged by trauma or old age. For the cells that are alive, these proteins make sure they stay that way for as long as they can by promoting a healthy life cycle.
Endocannabinoids are chemicals that your brain organically synthesizes that are similar to the chemicals we find in marijuana. It’s almost as if this plant was made for our bodies! These substances help regulate your neurological system and your immune system. They work as a mediator through the synapsis between cells, making sure that activity is normal. If your brain is overactive, they will calm it down and vice versa.
Cannabinoid receptors stay on the outside of the neuron and bind to endocannabinoids and cannabinoids like THC. These receptors are all over the body, but the CB1 receptors are more densely populated in the brain. The CB1 receptor binds to the endocannabinoid anandamide controlling your mood, pain sensitivity, metabolism, and sleep schedule. The CB2 receptors are more spread out and bind to the endocannabinoids 2-AG and regulates your immune system.
Does CBD Help Treat Lymphoma?
Scientists have recognized that many people may not want the psychoactive effects that come along with THC, so they have been studying CBD in areas that help with cancer treatment. They have found that in microorganisms and in rat models that CBD does affect cancer cells. CBD has shown that is can stop cancer from spreading, and encourage those cancer cells to die. While doing this, the cells that need to divide like in your hair and bone marrow and continue to work as usual. Further studies of healthy human cells have shown that they aren’t encouraged to die off, revealing it only targets the unhealthy cells.
These studies are only in labs, however. We have yet to see technical resources that explain the benefits in human models released to the public yet, even though the anecdotal evidence is overwhelming. Medical marijuana has been under scrutiny for a long time, and the momentum on research has just begun a few decades ago. We were so sure that marijuana killed brain cells not too long ago, and now we know otherwise. If you are unsure about using CBD alone because you are at an advanced stage and want aggressive treatment, many patients choose to use cannabidiol along with their chemotherapy to enhance its effects or lessen the side-effects.
CBD And Nausea
Many patients who receive chemotherapy experience bouts of nausea. It can get so extreme that they can’t hold anything down making their body weak while an epic battle is happening in their body. CBD reduces nausea, making it easier to keep fluids and solid foods down.
CBD And Pain
Chemotherapy is painful; the drugs are altering you in extreme ways. CBD elevates the endocannabinoid anandamide, which regulates your sensitivity to pain. Your neurons are excited with transmitters that make you feel pain, and anandamide calms them down to reduce the effects through its retrograde signaling process.
CBD And Appetite
Chemotherapy can make you not want to eat, which is one reason many choose to use THC while undergoing therapy. However, not everyone is comfortable with the psychoactive effects or the serious munchies that might make them overeat. Cannabidiol can help regulate your appetite to an average level, without giving you any psychoactive effects.
CBD And Depression
Many people who find out they have cancer and have to go through an invasive and painful treatment to get rid of it might find themselves depressed. Life’s rainbows turn gray, and you don’t enjoy doing anything you used to love doing. CBD helps regulate your brain chemistry which helps reduce symptoms of depression. Anandamide elevation also elevates your mood similar to runners high, so you’ll even get the benefit of a clean, fresh boost of energy.
CBD And Energy
Besides raising anandamide levels to give you a slight boost of energy, CBD also regulates the metabolism to make it use the food you eat more efficiently. It turns your food into burnable fat instead of storing it, making you use the fuel you’ve consumed.
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with lymphoma, talk to your doctor about all of the options available. When it comes to your life, never be scared to ask for a second opinion, either. It is a big decision to decide how to treat your cancer, make sure you have all the information you need before making that choice.