The Effects of CBD on Leukemia

cbd effects on leukemia: cbd oil and leaf

Posted on September 14th, 2020

Cannabidiol, popularly known as CBD, is a compound obtained from the hemp or marijuana plant through distillation. Although a product of the marijuana plant, CBD doesn’t have the psychoactive properties that THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) has, which is why it is generally safe to use. 

Although discovered many decades ago, CBD oil has been gaining popularity in the health and wellness sector over the recent past. This is due to the compound’s rich properties that may come in handy in promoting good health. CBD may be used to ease the symptoms of depression, anxiety, insomnia, anorexia, and vomiting, but what are its effects on leukemia?

Understanding Leukemia

Leukemia is a type of blood cancer characterized by the development of abnormal white blood cells. Cancer starts in the bone marrow where these cancerous cells mutate and start multiplying in number. White blood cells are responsible for fighting disease-causing microbes, hence vital for a person’s immunity. 

The leukemia cells can also be defined as under-developed white blood cells that serve no purpose in the body. The abnormal product of these cells inhibits the production of other vital blood cells, including red blood cells, platelets, etc. This thus can lead to a lower RBC (red blood cell) count, among other complications. 

Red blood cells are responsible for transporting food nutrients, oxygen, and other vital components to various parts of the body. Therefore, a low RBC count can put an individual’s health at risk. 

Although the cause of leukemia is still unknown, several factors, including genetic, environmental, and lifestyle, may contribute to the condition. According to research, young children contribute to more than 75% of reported leukemia cases. 

The most common signs and symptoms of leukemia include increased risk of infections, fever, tiredness, easy bruising and bleeding, bone pain, excessive sweating, and tiny red spots on the skin, among others. 

woman with leukemia speaking to doctorThe Effects of CBD on Leukemia

CBD oil has a rich nutritional profile that may come in handy in alleviating the symptoms of leukemia among other health conditions. It is particularly high in antioxidants, vitamins, proteins, essential fatty acids, flavonoids, terpenes, terpenoids, and minerals, all of which are essential for promoting good health. 

CBD might also pack anti-cancerous properties that have the potential to help fight the development of cancerous cells. However, it’s important to remember that studies are still in their infancy and there’s much more to learn about how the effects of CBD might impact leukemia.

Outlined below are some of the ways in which CBD might affect leukemia. 

CBD Oil May Help in Apoptosis

Apoptosis is the process by which the body naturally destroys cells (harmful ones in this case) to help maintain a healthy balance. As mentioned earlier, leukemia is a product of abnormal production of immature white blood cells that crowd the lymphatic system and the blood, making it hard for other types of essential blood cells to be developed. 

CBD oil, however, might pack potent anti-cancerous properties that may help fight/reduce the rate at which the abnormal cells are produced. In addition to this, CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system enabling it to restore a state of homeostasis. Through this, it may eliminate the cancerous cells through apoptosis. 

Cannabidiols might also work with the CB2 receptors in a way that helps the body determine if a cell is useful or detrimental. This again may trigger ceramide and sphingolipid synthesis, promoting the destruction of unhealthy cells. 

The interaction of cannabinoids with CB2 receptors may also help trigger an antitumorigenic warning that impairs the development of cancerous cells through metastasis, reproduction, and tumor angiogenesis. This, in turn, may control the number of leukemia-causing cells and provides room for the development of healthy white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. 

CBD May Provide Nourishment for Healthy Cell Development

CBD may be a good source of essential nutrients/compounds required for healthy cell development. These include B-complex vitamins, flavonoids, essential fatty acids, and proteins. Consuming CBD oil may supplement your intake of many of these nutrients, and in their full-spectrum. 

Nutrients, especially vitamins and amino acids in their full-spectrum, may play an important role in the manufacturing of healthy blood cells. According to various researchers and health experts, making these high-quality nutrients available in the body may lower the risk of cell mutation, and might even promote healthy cells. 

Therefore, CBD oil may be able to create the right environment and nourishment for healthy white cell production.

full spectrum hemp cbd on bathroom counter topHow Might CBD Help the Side Effects of  Leukemia Treatments?

The most common treatment methods for leukemia include bone marrow transplant, targeted therapy, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Most of these treatment options involve the use of toxic compounds that aim at killing the cancerous cells. However, the toxic compounds can also take a toll on other healthy cells, which again can be painful for the patient. 

CBD oil, however, has antioxidative and phytonutrients that may help reduce and alleviate the side effects of chemotherapy and leukemia. Here are some of the potential benefits of using CBD oil for the side effects associated with the treatments of leukemia: 

Pain Relief

CBD oil has long been used to help alleviate pain. Cannabinoids might work by reducing inflammation that may be caused by chemo drugs and inhibiting CB2 receptors throughout the body and the brain. 

This may provide the patient with inflammation and pain relief from both leukemia itself and the cancer treatment. CBD oil may be similarly as effective for pain relief as opioids, which can unfortunately be addictive. 

Stimulate Appetite

Most patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy reportedly have a low appetite. Most of these treatments cause nausea and vomiting; another aspect that may force a patient not to want to eat. 

Taking CBD supplements may, however, help restore your appetite. This is one reason it may be recommended for those suffering from leukemia. A healthy appetite is important as the essential nutrients from food are needed for strength and for healthy cell function. 

CBD May Have an Anti-Nausea Effect

As previously mentioned, most patients may experience nausea and even vomiting after undergoing chemotherapy. CBD may, however, be potent enough to help reduce nausea. When using CBD for nausea, you might want to consider the best CBD delivery method for fast action. 

CBD May Be a Powerful Antioxidant

As aforementioned, CBD is a good source of Vitamins A, B, C, and E, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. These vitamins and other antioxidants might help to expunge and eliminate toxic compounds from body cells and the body in general. This could reduce pressure on your liver as it tries to breakdown the toxic chemicals used in chemotherapy. 

Helps to Reduce Stress

Leukemia, like most other cancers, can take a toll on a person’s psychological health. Stress, however, may exacerbate symptoms. Therefore, it’s important to help keep your stress levels in check. 

The increased stress levels may also be responsible for inflammation and could worsen the pain. CBD in your daily routine may, however, help keep your stress levels down. CBD helps by inducing increased production of anandamide, the compound responsible for elevating your moods. Anandamide is also known to trigger a sense of mental relaxation and tranquility. 

Methods of Consuming CBD Oil

CBD is a popular product in the health and wellness industry. With CBD’s potential to help the symptoms of various health conditions, users may be confused as to which delivery method is right for them. Outlined below are some of the most common, and preferred, methods of consuming CBD for the symptoms of leukemia.  


This is the most popular method of consuming CBD today. Although a popular option, the oral delivery method isn’t fast-acting. Mixing CBD into a carrier, however, improves the absorption rate. CBD can be taken orally through gummies, oils, edibles, and capsules 


This method involves putting the CBD extract under the tongue and allowing it to be absorbed directly into the bloodstream. It is considered to be the most effective and efficient way of delivering CBD into the system. CBD tinctures and CBD sprays are most preferred for this application method. 


As the name suggests, this method involves inhaling CBD in a vaporized form. This delivers CBD directly to the bloodstream through the respiratory system. This increases absorption significantly, making it the quickest delivery method when looking to alleviate pain and other symptoms. All you need for this delivery method is a CBD cartridge (refillable), CBD oil extract, and a good quality vape pen. The vape pen needs to be set at a precise temperature to reduce the risk of changing the CBD structure. However, it is important to note that several lung-related illnesses have been linked back to vaping. 

Topical Application

CBD oil is applied directly onto the skin and allowed to be absorbed into the bloodstream.  While CBD will have a similar effect as with inhaling, it isn’t the most efficient of all. This is because the oil takes time before it can reach the capillaries. That said, topical application is preferred when looking to improve your skin health as well as targeting a localized pain. 


CBD may be an effective remedy for symptoms associated with leukemia and many other types of cancer. Although effective in alleviating and fighting the symptoms of leukemia, it shouldn’t be used as a replacement for leukemia therapy. 

When searching for CBD products, it’s advised to look for a high-quality CBD oil. Be sure to talk to your physician to advise you on the best way to consume CBD, dosage, and if it is safe for you, in particular, if with an underlying condition or using other medications.

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