Glioblastoma (GBM) is one of the deadliest cancers that exist and is one of the most malignant brain tumors. Even with highly aggressive therapies, such as surgical resections and radio-chemotherapy, over 95% of patients die within five years of being diagnosed. There may be no cure, but CBD oil can help relieve the symptoms that accompany the disease, the side effects of the harsh treatments, such as pain, nausea, and inflammation, and possible reduce tumor size. Those who have decided to forego treatment may also find the comfort that they need with the administration of CBD oil.
What is a glioblastoma?
There is no joy in being diagnosed with glioblastoma. They are the most commonly seen tumor of the central nervous system (CNS) and are generally diagnosed in patients of 62 years as a primary tumor and at age 45 for a secondary. It isn’t uncommon in children but occurs more often in older adults. The initial symptoms can replicate those of the signs of aging, causing some people to put off visits to the doctor. At onset, they cause worsening headaches, nausea, and vomiting. Once seizures are experienced, people tend to take notice of the seriousness. With its aggressive nature, a glioblastoma’s symptoms can multiply quickly. This tumor grows aggressively, causing the surrounding brain tissue to die.
What are the typical treatments for glioblastoma?
Diagnosing a glioblastoma involves:
- Neurological exams with a discussion about the symptoms being experienced. The doctor may check vision, reflexes, balance, coordination, and strength, which can provide clues to which part of the brain in which the tumor resides.
- Imaging tests will also determine the size and location of the brain tumor. Doctors usually prescribe an MRI. They may also have the patient get a CT and a PET scan.
- Biopsy with a needle or during surgery to remove the tumor may be suggested. Pathological analyzation of the tumor will expose what types of cells and how aggressive they are.
Treatments must be aggressive when dealing with a glioblastoma due to its aggressive nature. These treatments may be necessary to provide as much a quality of life as possible while attempting to put the tumor into remission. One or all of these treatments may be necessary:
- Surgical removal of the glioblastoma
- The goal is to remove as much of it as possible, but it grows into the healthy tissue so complete removal isn’t always realistic. Other treatments usually accompany this to treat the leftover cells.
- Radiation therapy
- This treatment uses high-energy beams to kill the cancer cells. Radiation is typically used in addition to surgical removal or when surgery is not an option.
- These are a class of drugs that kill cancer cells. They are typically ingested but can be a wafer-type implant put into the brain during surgery to slowly dissipate and kill the cancerous cells.
- Targeted drug therapy
- This focuses on precise abnormalities in the cancer cells that cause them to grow. Some drugs target the new blood vessels formed by the cancer cells to find nutrients.
- Clinical trials
- Patients sign up for studies of treatments with the possibility of trying new and experimental options.
- Palliative care
- This supportive care works with patients to provide relief from pain and all the side effects of medications.
What is the ECS?
Present in all vertebrates, the endocannabinoid system (ECS) performs one of the most vital functions in the human body by maintaining homeostasis. It keeps the body balanced as it responds to external influences. The ECS contains receptors that are concentrated in the brain, spinal cord, and nerves; however, they are also found throughout the entire body, from skin and fat tissue to the heart and gastrointestinal system. It balances the immune system, mood, pain, sleep, stress, and other important processes in the body.
Cannabinoids are extracted from the cannabis plant, the two most prevalent being THC and CBD. CBD oil is deemed legal in the United States as long as it contains less than 0.3% THC, which is the cannabinoid that causes the psychoactive effects that some people don’t appreciate. CBD reacts to the receptors in the same way that the naturally occurring endocannabinoids do to assist them in trying to reinstate balance in the area that has been injured.
How does CBD oil help treat glioblastoma?
All the harsh side effects that accompany the extremely aggressive treatments, such as chemotherapy, can make life almost unbearable. Adding medications on top of other ones to assuage their side effects causes their own set of issues. Some individuals strive to find all-natural alternatives that may alleviate the issues caused during a necessary therapy. Side effects vary from person to person and range from non-existent to severe:
- Hair loss
- Easy bruising and bleeding
- Nausea and vomiting
- Appetite changes
- Heart damage
- Nerve damage
- Fertility problems
- Sores in the mouth
- Kidney problems
- Libido changes
- Mood changes, like anger and anxiety
The drastic changes that occur in the body — not only due to the growth of lethal cancer cells but also from the side effects of the medications used to treat them — can be helped in varying degrees by the use of CBD oil. It binds to the receptors in the affected area for the desired results.
The cannabinoid receptors change how they react to stimuli when the brain is invaded by cancerous cells. This leads to the idea that that receptors might be used as anti-cancer agents. Scientific evidence proves that cannabinoids exhibit anti-tumor activity. They can significantly reduce the volume of tumors with cell death-inducing mechanisms, while stopping their rapid growth.
Many research studies have been focused on the effects of organic CBD oil on cancers, in general and specific ones. Much of the evidence points to the fact that cannabinoids exhibit dramatic anti-tumor properties and may be highly effective in the treatment of GBM. They have both in-vitro and clinical studies that show successful reduction of the growth of the tumor in a variety of ways. There has been hope given to those who feel that they have received a death sentence since many patients have presented with positive results in their survival rate with cannabinoid treatment.