What Is CBD & THC? How Can It Help Kill Cancer?
Cannabinoids from hemp and marijuana plants typically fall into two categories – CBD and THC. CBD does not have any psychoactive properties and is therefore legal to use everywhere but because of the mind/mood altering effects of THC, it is not legal in all states.
There are many other types of cannabinoids but for our discussion, we’ll concentrate on these two. They all interact with what is known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in our body consisting of the endocannabinoids, their receptors on our cell membranes, as well as specific enzymes they ‘turn-on’ and interact with to change function and help us heal.
A “receptor” is typically defined as an intracellular protein molecule that receives and responds to extracellular chemical signals, ultimately producing a cellular cascade of events. Cannabinoid receptors (CBs) are the primary targets of the ECS, bound by lipid signaling molecules called endocannabinoids (eCBs) that are produced on demand in response to elevated intracellular calcium levels in neurons. After eCBs bind a receptor to inhibit the release of neurotransmitters and exert a particular effect on the body, they are degraded via metabolic enzymes in a process called hydrolysis.
While eCBs are endogenous to the human body, there are two other types of cannabinoids that can bind CBs: phytocannabinoids (plant-based chemicals) and synthetic cannabinoids (designed specifically to interact with the ECS). Two of the most-studied eCBs include N-archidonylethanolamide (anandamide, AEA) and sn-z-archidonoylglycerol (2-AG).
There are two main types of CBs, which vary in their chemical structure and thus perform different functions in terms of diet, lifestyle, and nutrition:
Cannabinoid Receptor 1 (CB1) is associated with psychoactive, neuromodulatory, and analgesic effects due to its activation by a lipid called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CB1 is mostly expressed in the brain, adipocytes (fat cells), hepatocytes (liver cells), and musculoskeletal tissues.
Cannabinoid Receptor 2 (CB2) is associated with anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects but no psychoactive effects. CB2 is expressed in body cells controlling immune function and (potentially) the central nervous system (CNS). Additionally, research suggests that secondary metabolites from phytonutrients in plant-based foods enhance the activity of CB2 receptors and confer healthy inflammatory responses.
Hemp, also known as the fiber and seeds from the Cannabis sativa L. plant species, contains a negligible amount of THC. Instead, the phytocannabinoids found in hemp largely activate CB2, thus exerting positive, non-psychoactive effects on the human body. However, a balance of targets and specific receptor activators is more beneficial than non-selective activation.
How to Choose a good CBD Hemp Oil
For the best results, look for:
- Organically grown
- How is it extracted
- What delivery system is utilized
- Ensure there is 0.0% THC
- Enhanced absorption (bioavailability)
- Enhanced Entourage effect
- Symbiotic immune support
What are the Key Extraction Processes?
When extracting Hemp Oil from the Hemp Plant, there are 2 processes that are commonly used:
- Solvent – Most economical but can damage beneficial terpenes and can leave a chemical residue. Used primarily to extract CBD isolates
- Supercritical CO2 – A clean extraction process that protects the heat sensitive terpenes and flavonoids.
What are the Different Types of Hemp-Derived CBD Oils?
- CBD Isolates: 99.9% pure crystallized cannabinoids with no terpenes or flavonoids.
- Full Spectrum Hemp: Contains over 100 naturally occurring compounds including cannabinoids (THC at 0.3%), terpenes and other nutrients.
- Broad Spectrum Hemp: Same as full spectrum with 0.0% THC.
See more info on the endocannabinoid system here.
Research studies are showing that incorporating whole plant (full-spectrum) cannabinoids into a natural treatment regimen may improve anti-tumor effects in both hormone-sensitive and triple-negative breast cancers.
Hormone-sensitive breast cancers are classified using two biomarkers: hormonal receptors (estrogen receptor and progesterone receptor) and the HER2 oncogene. In a patient’s diagnosis this is denoted as ER+, PR+ and HER2+, with any combination of biomarkers possible.
In triple-negative breast cancer, which is a more aggressive malignancy, neither hormonal receptors nor the HER2 oncogene are expressed. This means that the cancer has no specific ties or drivers, so the patient is not a candidate for hormone or gene-specific treatments.
A study conducted on each of these cancer types found that THC-rich oil (whole plant cannabinoids) had more pronounced anti-tumor effects than single-molecule THC. The anti-tumor effect or “Entourage Effect” refers to the natural synergy between multiple cannabis compounds which, when combined, have a therapeutic impact much more powerful than the sum of cannabis’ individual components.
Specifically, in hormone-sensitive breast cancers, whole plant cannabinoid oils have an average 15-25% greater anti-proliferative effect than single THC extracts.
The research study focused on 1:1 THC:CBD ratios, along with measurable amounts of CBG, THCa, caryophyllene, humulene, nerolidol, linalool and pinene.
Although I prefer patients seek individualized testing to determine which forms, brands, and dosages of cannabis are the best for them, I am comfortable recommending that any breast cancer patient consider incorporating some form of full-spectrum cannabinoid into daily supplement regimens. As always, strive to find organic sources.
When we talk about using THC with cancer patients, we are usually referring to what is known as Rick Simpson’s Oil (RSO). RSO is a concentrated THC paste that we will discuss in more detail. Other use of THC would be the use of marijuana as an edible or smoking it to reduce pain, increase appetite, reduce anxiety, increase sleep, and reduce nausea. These are all great reasons to use THC products and, understanding that responsible use of this God-given herb is much better than using pharmaceutical drugs to alleviate the same symptoms.
We legally do not and cannot distribute any THC products but our freedom of speech allows us to discuss it and we’ll let you make up your own mind.
Rick Simpson Oil is another treatment altogether. As stated, it is highly concentrated and will make you feel extremely ‘loopy’ so we suggest you start at a VERY low dose. Rick Simpson, a Canadian engineer, whose name gives us “Rick Simpson Oil”, was working in the hospital boiler room covering the asbestos on the hospital’s pipes with potent aerosol glue. The boiler room was poorly ventilated and the toxic fumes caused a temporary nervous system shock, causing Simpson to collapse off his ladder and hit his head. He was knocked unconscious and when he awoke, he managed to contact his colleagues to take him to the emergency room.
He continued to suffer from dizzy spells and a ringing in his ears for years after the accident, but his prescribed medication had little effect, even making his symptoms worse. After seeing a documentary highlighting the positive benefits of using cannabis, Simpson inquired about medical marijuana but his doctor refused to consider it as a course of treatment. He ended up sourcing cannabis of his own accord and saw a significant improvement in his tinnitus and other symptoms.
As his story goes, in 2003, three suspicious bumps appeared on Simpson’s arm. The doctor agreed that the bumps appeared to be cancerous and took a sample for a biopsy. Sure enough, the bumps turned out to be basal cell carcinoma, a form of skin cancer.
Simpson had successfully treated his other symptoms with cannabis in the past, and he had heard about a study from the Journal of the National Cancer Institute in which THC was found to kill cancer cells in mice. He made the decision to treat his skin cancer topically, applying concentrated cannabis oil to a bandage and leaving the cancerous spots covered for several days.
After four days, he removed the bandages and the cancerous growths had disappeared. Although his physician refused to acknowledge cannabis as a treatment alternative, Simpson was now a true believer in the medicinal powers of cannabis. From then on out, he began cultivating his own cannabis and harvesting the plants to create his own specialized form of cannabis concentrate, now known as Rick Simpson Oil, or RSO.
I won’t spend anymore ink on RSO since it must be purchased through a THC-legal state our through channels that are, “undisclosed”. One need only search YouTube for detailed directions and instructions on how to make your own, but that chore is not for the faint of heart.
While more and more research is coming out on CBD/THC, most gets buried. The drug companies do NOT want it legalized as it would drastically cut into their profits as CBD/THC may be an excellent substitute for anxiety medication, pain medication, seizure meds, ADD/ADHD meds, and the list goes on.
Conners Clinic has several full-spectrum CBD products available on the web store:
- Evolv Entourage2 – CBD liquid with acemannon (this is what I take)
Note: At this time, recreational cannabis is not legalized in Minnesota, so all THC-dominant cannabinoids must be purchased through a licensed medical professional.
Buy Stop Fighting Cancer & Start Treating the Cause to learn more about the effects of cannabinoids on cancer patients.
Dr. Conners graduated with his doctorate from Northwestern Health Sciences University in 1986 and has been studying alternative cancer care for over 20 years. He holds AMA Fellowships in Regenerative & Functional Medicine and Integrative Cancer Therapy.
He is the author of numerous books including, Stop Fighting Cancer and Start Treating the Cause, Cancer Can’t Kill You if You’re Already Dead, Help, My Body is Killing Me, Chronic Lyme, 3 Phases of Lyme, 23 Steps to Freedom, and many more you can download for FREE on our books page.