Let's Talk CBN
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Many cancer patients are cannabinoid users, whether for recreation or as a therapeutic supplement/addition to their regular cancer treatment. Hemp has many uses for cancer patients, and in fact, two of the only three FDA-approved hemp-based medications (Marinol and Syndros) are prescribed to patients who have nausea and vomiting related to chemotherapy.
However, there is much more to cannabinoid use for cancer than those two medications. Several of the minor cannabinoids show great promise for relieving cancer symptoms. One of these cannabinoids is cannabinol or CBN.
What Is CBN?
CBN is a minor cannabinoid that is found in hemp plants. It is formed from the degradation of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), so it will be found in higher concentrations in aged cannabis plants. CBN is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid, so it will not get you high, and it is of great interest to the hemp research community for its potential therapeutic properties. If you would like to know more about CBN, we have a full guide to it here; today we are going to be looking specifically at its relationship to cancer.
Using CBN for Cancer
Generally speaking, CBN can have numerous benefits for patients with varying types of cancer. One of its main benefits is the effect it can have on pain. Studies have shown that CBN has a painkilling effect for both short-term and chronic pain. Pain management is an important part of cancer recovery, and many patients want to avoid the negative side effects of synthetic painkillers. CBN and other cannabinoids with an analgesic effect may be of great benefit to these patients.
Another major benefit of CBN to cancer patients is its role as an appetite stimulant. Many cancers and cancer medications cause increased nausea and a decreased appetite, which makes it hard to get good nutrition and enough calories to support recovery. But a 2012 study found that CBN increased both appetite-related behaviors and eating-related behaviors, including increases in meal sizes and meal durations.
CBN may also be a broadly anti-cancer treatment due to its ability to induce apoptosis, or cell death, in certain types of cancer cells. There are two ways that this can occur. One way is related to the reaction of IL-2, a signaling molecule in the immune system when exposed to CBN.
When this signaling molecule is exposed to CBN, the cell replication process experiences disruption and there is a modulation of the immune response that causes delayed cell replication and apoptosis in some cancer cells.
The other way that CBN induces apoptosis involves cell signaling pathways, specifically the AKT and ERK pathways. These pathways play an important role in regulating various cellular processes, including cell growth, replication, survival, and metabolism.
There is evidence that when the AKT pathway activates incorrectly, there are strong implications for the development and progression of cancer. This has led cancer researchers to look for ways to target the AKT pathway specifically when developing new therapies for cancer.
Because CBN can inhibit the AKT pathway and induce apoptosis and autophagy (a condition where the cell “eats” itself, depleting itself of nutrients and restricting growth and development), it is a promising therapy for many types of cancers.
CBN for Brain Cancer
The first type of cancer cells that the AKT researchers looked at were glioma cells. Glioma is a type of brain cancer that arises from the cells that support and protect neurons (nerve cells) in the brain and spinal cord. Research has shown that CBN has multiple avenues of neuroprotection, which can help keep these cells healthy, to begin with.
CBN for Liver Cancer
The pathway study also included liver cancer cells. Much like with the glioma cells, the liver cancer cells were effectively inhibited by the presence of CBN. However, while the brain cancer cells had their AKT pathways activated, the mechanism for fighting liver cancer was slightly different and used the ERK pathways instead.
This is not the only time that CBN has been shown to be effective against liver cancer. Another study found that CBN can activate the ERK pathways in liver cells, inhibit cellular communication, and block cellular proliferation. This means that it can help stop cancer cells from replicating and spreading, which can directly impact tumor growth.
CBN for Breast Cancer
Breast cancer was the third cancer type included in the pathway study. However, this is not the only study to find ways that CBN has potential as a treatment method for breast cancer. A mixture of cannabinoids, including CBN, has been found to be effective against breast cancer cells while leaving healthy breast tissue cells alone.
CBN has another important link to breast cancer treatment, and that is its ability to reduce the concentration of Breast Cancer Resistance Protein (BCRP, also known as ABCG2) that a cancer patient produces. While normally you want good concentrations of BCRP, as it protects against harmful compounds, BCRP is a drug efflux pump– and that’s a problem if you are receiving chemotherapy.
A drug efflux pump is a protein that pumps foreign substances (like medication) out of cells. This type of protein is one of the mechanisms that allow cancer cells to resist chemotherapy. It prevents the chemotherapy drugs from accumulating in the cancer cells, making them less effective. Research has shown that CBN is an effective inhibitor of this protein. When resistant cells were exposed to CBN, they were resensitized to the chemotherapy drugs that they had begun to resist. This suggests that CBN may help chemotherapy for breast cancer be more effective.
How To Use CBN
If you or a loved one is struggling with brain cancer, liver cancer, or breast cancer, and you want to see if CBN is right for you and can help manage your symptoms, the easiest way to get an effective dose is by using a tincture. Our CBN tincture products available at Myriam’s Hemp are made using premium hemp extracts and are administered under the tongue using a standard dropper syringe.
As always, we strongly recommend consulting with a cannabis medical professional for proper product guidance and dosing regimen. If you would like a referral to a reputable Cannabis Doctor, please contact us at (800) 683-4807 ext 0 or email us at email@example.com.
At Myriam’s Hemp, we believe that everybody should have access to the information they need to make choices about their health. A cancer diagnosis is often overwhelming, and we want to help you explore your options for relief. Contact us today if you have any questions about our premium CBN and other cannabinoid products.