Breast Cancer Awareness Month

cbd for breast cancer

As we enter the second half of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Plants Not Pills CBD looks at a complex illness diagnosed in over 260,000 American women and 2,800 men each year.

What are Breasts?

Breasts are comprised of tissue and fat that reside over the human pectoral muscles. In females, breasts are made up of an intricate system of lobules, ducts and connective tissue. Each of these components has a very specific anatomical function as part of the reproductive system. The lobules are responsible for producing milk for breastfeeding. The ducts are responsible for delivering the milk to the nipple. The connective tissue supports the breast and attaches the breast to the pectoral muscle. Breasts also contain a large number of lymph vessels whose biological function is to drain the breasts of lymph fluid and deposit it into the lymph nodes around the breast. 

Female breasts are particularly susceptible to hormonal changes during menstruation, pregnancy and lactation and menopause. Increases and decreases in estrogen levels influence many of these hormonal changes. 

What is Breast Cancer? 

After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most diagnosed cancer in the USA. 

Breast cancer forms in either the ducts or lobules of the breast. In these “branches” of the breast, abnormal cells can proliferate and gather into lumps residing in the breast tissue. These lumps or tumors may be classified as benign, meaning that there is no presence of cancerous cells, or malignant, meaning that cancerous cells are present. 

The term “breast cancer” refers specifically to malignant tumor that has developed from cells in the breast. In this case cancerous cells are at risk of spreading beyond the breast tissue to other parts of the body through lymphatic vessels and into the lymph nodes surrounding the breasts. 

Early detection is crucial as breast cancer is much easier to treat if it has not metastasized to other parts of the body. This is why it recommended that women between the ages of 40 and 55 undergo a yearly mammogram whereby low energy x-rays are performed on the breasts to detect any growths or masses characteristic of the disease. After the age of 55, it is recommended that women undergo a mammogram every 2 years. 

In addition to regular check ups, self checks for lumps or masses are also recommended. The National Breast Cancer Foundation provides invaluable information on how to perform these self checks correctly

Risk factors for breast cancer include genetics, environment and lifestyle. Excessive drinking and smoking raises the risk of the disease as does being overweight and extreme fluctuations in estrogen production. A healthy diet and regular exercise have shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer as has effective stress management. 

Cannabis and Cancer

Breast, lung, prostate and colon cancers are amongst the cancers that CBD has demonstrated the highest inhibiting potential of cancers cells in animal models (Orellana-Serradell, et al., 2015).  Further studies have shown that the activation of the CB2 receptors on natural killer cells suggests that it could also be effective at mediating cancer cell death in human subjects (McAllister, Soroceanu & Desprez, 2015) and (Ligresti, et al., 2006). CBD also inhibits human breast cancer cell proliferation with clinically significant decreased surrounding tissue invasion.  Moreover, CBD also modulates cell signaling and decreases the gene expression in breast cancer cells (McAllister, Soroceanu & Desprez, 2015). The tumor cell signal modulation from CBD lowers the tumor aggressiveness and clinically significant tumor size reduction has been reported (McAllister, et al., 2007). Through its immunomodulating effects, CBD has been identified as a good potential adjunct therapy in helping in the decrease of complications post stem cell or bone marrow transplant in Leukemia (Yeshurun, et al., 2015). In addition, it has been found to help cancer patients manage their nausea, vomiting and stimulate appetite (Guzman, 2003). 

The acidic form of CBD (CBDA) is now recognized to have a down-regulating effect on cancer cells in invasive human brain cancer (Takeda, et al., 2014) and (Velasco, et al., 2016). Previous clinical trials and animal studies had established that THC had anti-neoplastic properties as well (Limbeer & Parker, 1999).   THC has been shown to induce apoptosis, or death, in leukemia cancerous cells (Powles, et al., 2005).  In addition, evidence suggests that combining THC with other established cytotoxic agents could have a synergistical effect and further enhance leukemia cancer cell death (Liu, et al., 2008). The THC antiemetic properties has also proven to be effective at reducing chemotherapy-induced nausea, allowing for chemotherapy patients to undergo treatments regiments with decrease side-effects, allowing higher compliance rates (Limbeer & Parker, 1999). In addition, when combined with CBD, THC has shown to significantly reduce pain levels in cancer patients with intractable pain (Johnson, et al., 2016). Well described in literature, THC has also shown to significantly stimulate appetite in patients that have cachexia related to cancer (Nelson, Walsh, Deeter & Sheehan, 1994) (Jatoi, et al., 2002) (Nauck & Klaschik, 2004).  

Anandamide is one of the two main human-produced “endocannabinoids”, it is known to play a role in homeostasis and having anti-neoplastic effects.  The cannabinoid CBC has shown to help inhibit the uptake of Anandamide by competing with the reuptake mechanisms, thus helping in modulating the cancerous cells and stimulating apoptosis of these cells.  Strong evidence from animal studies shows that CBC, decreases the prevalence of cancerous tumor development in mice, suggesting potential use as a cancer prevention therapy (Nakajima, Nakae & Yasukawa, 2013).   

CBD for Breast Cancer

Plants Not Pills CBD products are used by both those who have been affected by breast cancer and those who are seeking to lower risk factors associated with the disease. Our organicically-grown, non GMO THC Free Rise oil is used regularly by women and men seeking to manage stress, anxiety and chronic pain. Many of our clients undergoing chemotherapy choose our organically-grown, non GMO Revive Full Spectrum tinctures (less than 0.3% THC) to aid with pain management as well as sleep issues and appetite stimulation. 

For more information on Plants Not Pills CBD and why it might be a consideration for you to use CBD for breast cancer, please visit, email or call us 888.247.3420 to speak to a friendly and knowledgeable Plants Not Pills representative (Mon-Friday, 9 am EST-5 pm EST)