Prostate cancer is the second most prevalent form of cancer amongst American men, behind skin cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, there will be over 164,000 new cases in 2018, and 29,430 men will die from the disease. Approximately 14% of men will be diagnosed with the disease during their lifetime.
Additionally, after lung cancer prostate cancer is the second most fatal cancer amongst American men; approximately 2.6% of men diagnosed with the condition will die from it.
Among men with local or regional prostate cancer, however, the outlook is much more positive: 98% are still alive after 10 years, while 96% are still alive after 15 years.
While there are many treatments for the condition, interesting new research suggests that CBD could potentially kill prostate cancer cells – though this is not yet verified through clinical trial, and is certainly not guaranteed to be the case for you and your specific condition.
In this article, we will discuss CBD for Prostate Cancer and all relevant scientific research. We’ll dive into available studies and publications, and find out whether or not CBD may be a potential option for prostate cancer sufferers.
What Is Prostate Cancer?
The prostate is a gland found in the reproductive system of men. It is about the size of a walnut and makes up the majority of semen that carries sperm. It is found below the bladder surrounding the urethra’s upper part. The urethra is the tube that carries urine from the bladder.
Men aged 50+ are at the greatest risk for prostate cancer, and it is notorious for being extremely slow growing. You will not spot many of the symptoms until the cancer’s late stages.
Although prostate cancer can be treated if it remains within the prostate, it is often deadly if allowed to spread through the body.
While doctors are not 100% sure what causes prostate cancer, most will agree that diet is a significant factor. Eating large amounts of fat from red meat is believed to contribute, while any meat cooked at high temperatures can produce cancer-causing substances that may impact the prostate.
Doctors also believe that high levels of testosterone increase the risk, while lack of exercise is also a risk factor.
Traditional Prostate Cancer Treatments & Their Side Effects
Treatment for prostate cancer varies according to the ‘stage’ the disease is in. For example, Stage I prostate cancer could involve radiation therapy. In stage III, you may require external radiation plus hormone therapy. Because the range of treatments varies, so does the range of side effects, which can include:
- Bowel dysfunction
- Urinary dysfunction
- Loss of fertility
- Erectile dysfunction
While the majority of treatments for localized prostate cancer are excellent, an increasing number of men are looking at CBD as a natural alternative, with the hopes of deviating away from the potential side effects of pharmaceutical medications.
Can CBD Help With Prostate Cancer?
Cannabis has been championed as a means of easing the effects of chemotherapy for some time, but exciting new research suggests that it could also be capable of slowing – or altogether decreasing – the progression of cancer cells.
In 2006, one of the first studies of its kind looked at the impact of THC on nine patients with a type of brain tumor called glioblastoma multiforme. The average life expectancy of these patients was 24 weeks, and in the study, it was determined that THC inhibited the proliferation of tumor cells in vitro, and also decreased the prevalence of tumor cells in two patients when observed with immunostaining techniques.
Regarding cannabis and prostate cancer, positive results in lab tests on animals have led to the publishing of a significant paper in 2012.
In it, researchers claim that pre-clinical evidence was sufficient to warrant clinical trials of cannabinoid medicines as anti-cancer treatments. The paper cited a 2005 study which suggested that prostate cancer cells have increased expression for cannabinoid receptors, or in other words, that they may be prone to the influence of active therapeutic cannabis compounds.
Once again, it all comes down to the impact of the endocannabinoid system (ECS), or more pertinently, the impact of weed on the ECS.
The excessive amount of receptors found on prostate cancer cells suggest that there may be a correlation between cancer cell proliferation and endocannabinoid deficiency, though this will remain speculation until more studies are carried out.
Marijuana’s Anti-Androgenic Effects
Androgens are male sex hormones (which include testosterone) that cause the growth of prostate cells. One notable treatment for this form of cancer is known as ‘androgen deprivation therapy.’ As the name suggests, it deprives the body of androgens in an effort to slow the growth of cancer.
Some studies have suggested that marijuana produces anti-androgenic effects. While it’s possible that it may impact your ability to grow muscle (and could negatively affect your strength and virility), some people believe this is a small price to pay in the battle against prostate cancer.
Perhaps the most exciting news of all relates to the potential use of CBD to fight prostate cancer.
The British Journal of Pharmacology published a study in 2012 which discovered that other cannabis compounds besides THC had anti-tumor effects when tackling prostate cancer cells, and in some tests, CBD actually resulted in the self-destruction of cancer cells.
Moreover, treatment with cannabinoids reduced the viability of prostate cancer cells, with CBD appearing to have a significant role in the overall process.
What CBD Oils Should You Choose For Prostate Cancer?
If you have Stage I prostate cancer and are considering cannabis – or CBD in particular – as a realistic treatment option and are wondering what the best CBD oil for prostate cancer is, then we invite you to visit our website to find out more about some of the best CBD sellers on the market.
We offer independent reviews and ensure that only the best companies are represented. If dubious firms are selling CBD (and believe us when we say that many are), we will let you know.
Final Thoughts on CBD & Prostate Cancer
Research on marijuana, CBD and prostate cancer faces the same problem as all weed-related research, which is an inherent lack of funding.
At the time of writing, there are still 17 states where it is illegal to consume marijuana for medicinal purposes. Since cannabis is still a controlled substance and a Schedule I drug, the level of research into its efficacy for prostate cancer – or any other condition for that matter – is limited.
However, the small amount of research that has filtered through has been positive and is indeed encouraging for those men currently suffering from prostate cancer.
Lastly, we should point out a couple of important things. First, while CBD could help slow the progression of prostate cancer cells or even aid in their programmed self-destruction, you should not rely on it at this point in place of your doctor-recommended medications. After all, there is a big difference between treating nausea and treating cancer.
Secondly, we don’t recommend trying to make CBD oil at home. Homemade oil is usually filled with toxins, and it is very unlikely that it will help combat your prostate cancer any more than a filtered, pure CBD oil would.