Updated Research on CBD and Turkey Tail fungi for Cancer

 

CBD and turkey tail for cancer

 

Most good research starts with (or is driven by) an anecdote.

 

My father-in-law has prostate cancer.

 

We watched the documentary, Fantastic Fungi and noted the use of a particular type of mushroom, Turkey Tail, with cancer.

 

After his last visit, the tumor has actually shrunk and the only change has been the addition of turkey tail mushrooms.

 

He asked his urologist about it and the response: 

"I take it already.  My friend had 6 months to live and he's still here 3 years later with the turkey tail".

 

Yes, this is one person but the word is out with turkey tail.  The Japanese have been using it for 50+ years in treatment (yes...doctors and hospitals).

 

As with CBD, we always want to dig deep in the research to see if there's any basis for the buzz.

 

It turns out, there's really interesting research out these days on the pathways of cancer.

 

It's coming from multiple directions and we're going to investigate two of them.

 

CBD and turkey tail.

 

Granted, an odd couple but wait till you see the research.

 

So fascinating!

 

We'll dive deep into the immune system which is tasked with detecting and removing wayward cells including pre-cancerous and cancerous versions.

 

We even have some phase 1 trials to look at with turkey tail.

 

As for CBD, it's again a question of immune response but also oxidative stress and more.

 

Here are the topics we'll cover: 

  • A quick intro to cancer
  • The immune system and cancer
  • How does turkey tail interact with cancer
  • How does CBD interact with cancer
  • Can turkey tail and CBD be used preventatively for cancer
  • Turkey tail and CBD for longevity (It's the immune system, dummy)
  • How much turkey tail and CBD to use with cancer
  • Can turkey tail and CBD be used with cancer treatment
  • What's the best turkey tail and CBD for cancer 

 

Let's get started!

 

One note...work with your doctor and/or naturopath with any supplement especially in light of other treatment.

 

First, a lay of the land.

A quick intro to cancer 

We need to touch base on this as it will help everything that follows make much more sense.

 

What exactly is cancer?

 

Simply put, it's a breakdown in the cellular birth/death cycle.

 

We have complicated cells that govern cell birth, death, and replacement.

 

This is largely managed by our immune system of all things.

 

Cancer occurs when this system breaks down and cells don't die.

 

There are two technical terms you need to understand before looking at turkey tail or CBD.

 

  • Autopsies
  • Autophagy

 

Okay… that sounds technical but let's simplify.

 

What happens if a cell starts to malfunction (happens millions of times a day)?

 

  • First, there are sensors that detect that things are not alright
  • Next, the immune system is sent into trigger cell death.  Cell suicide essentially.

 

It's called apoptosis.

 

Or the immune system carries out the execution itself and literally "eats" the dysfunction cell.

 

This is called autophagy.  Phage from the Latin word "mouth".

 

Cancer occurs when this system breaks down.

 

A few chinks in the army or many: 

  • The cancerous cell can hide from the immune system (no detection)
  • The cancerous cell can turn of the suicide instructions
  • The cancerous cell can avoid immune attack

 

So...a breakdown in the orderly demise of cells that are past their prime or broken.

 

In a nutshell...that's cancer!

 

Just remember apoptosis as you're going to see it over and over again.

 

Let's meet the players that carry out the immune system's orders as they will also pop up.

The immune system and cancer 

Most people think of the immune system as just a way to fight infection.

 

It couldn't be further from the truth.

 

The immune system defends not only foreign interlopers but also enemies within.

 

We "get" cancer all the time.  This rarely amounts to much as our immune system is able to detect the wayward cells and destroy them.

 

In fact, the immune system is in charge of our cellular birth/death cycle.

 

Most of the cells in your body are new to you.  Technically, you are not the same person cellularly that you were 10 years ago.

 

There's a constant cycle of cell birth, death, and replacement that is carried out.

 

Along the way with trillions of transactions, you're going to have errors that can lead to cancer.  It's the price of doing cellular business in a hostile environment (more on that later).

 

When the immune system detects misfiring cells, it then destroys them. 

 

This assumes your immune system is strong and running efficiently.

 

Let's introduce some of the players since they will figure strongly with both CBD and turkey tail.

 

  • Toll-like receptors - little sensors scanning for bacteria, viruses, and yes...precancerous or cancerous cells.
  • NK - natural killer cells

 

You can look at the history of cancer treatment and see both of these in reverse.

 

Chemo and radiation are essentially massive amounts of inflammation (oxidative stress) that kill cells.

 

This becomes very important where CBD is concerned.

 

All the new advances (immunotherapy) actually focus on the first part...detection.

 

They boost or train the immune system to zero in on renegade cells.

 

If you dig deeper into turkey tail and CBD, you find a similar story.

 

Let's go there now.

How does turkey tail interact with cancer? 

Turkey tail has effects on both the detecting and removal of cancerous cells.

 

First, the detection piece: 

We demonstrate that PSK is a selective TLR2 agonist, and the activation of dendritic cells (DC) and T cells by PSK is dependent on TLR2. 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3017241/

 

What is PSK?  It's the substance in turkey tail mushrooms that has the potent effect called polysaccharide-K (krespin).

 

Simply put: 

Several randomized clinical trials have demonstrated that PSK has great potential as an adjuvant cancer therapy agent, with positive results seen in the adjuvant treatment of gastric, esophageal, colorectal, breast and lung cancers.  

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12168863/

 

To the point: 

In Japan, PSK is prescribed to cancer patients routinely, both during and after radiation and chemotherapy  

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3369477/

 

It is thought that mushrooms have substances like this to fight off bacteria and viruses with this effect being conserved across our bodies as well.

 

So...a substance naturally found in turkey tail called PSK boosts TL2 activity.

 

This is the detector piece.

 

Look at what happens when TL2 receptors are activated:

Polysaccharide Krestin is a novel TLR2 agonist that mediates inhibition of tumor growth via stimulation of CD8 T cells and NK cells

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3017241/

 

Ah-ha!  The second piece!

 

There's NK cells and CD8 T cells.  The assassins.

 

Look at the effect on the "spread" of cancer: 

Natural killer (NK) cells can swiftly kill multiple adjacent cells if these show surface markers associated with oncogenic transformation.  

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41573-019-0052-1 

 

Speaking of killers: 

Cytotoxic T cells expressing cell-surface CD8 are the most powerful effectors in the anticancer immune response and form the backbone of current successful cancer immunotherapies 

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41416-020-01048-4

 

You're looking at the heart of current immunotherapy treatment...boosting CD8 activity.

 

PSK from turkey tail boosts both!

 

Let's look at what this means.

Trials of turkey tail and cancer 

Let's look at some of the trials (all very recent)

 

Lung cancer and turkey tail: 

Fifteen of 17 preclinical studies supported anticancer effects for PSK through immunomodulation and potentiation of immune surveillance, as well as through direct tumor inhibiting actions in vivo that resulted in reduced tumor growth and antimetastatic effects. 

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1534735415572883

 

More importantly: 

Nonrandomized controlled trials showed improvement of various survival measures including median survival and 1-, 2-, and 5-year survival. 


Gastric cancer and turkey tail:

The results of this meta-analysis suggest that adjuvant immunochemotherapy with PSK improves the survival of patients after curative gastric cancer resection.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17106715/

 

And colon cancer: 

Our results showed that TV and GF extracts did inhibit human colon cell proliferation and induce cytotoxicity. Furthermore, both fungal extracts significantly inhibited oncogenic potential, cell migration and invasion in colon cancer cells. 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6367522/

 

  • Proliferation is spread (NK)
  • The cytotoxicity just means killing off cancerous cells (CD8)

 

Breast cancer: 

Immunological results indicated trends in (1) increased lymphocyte counts at 6 and 9 grams/day; (2) increased natural killer cell functional activity at 6 grams/day; (3) dose-related increases in CD8+ T cells and CD19+ B cells , but not CD4+ T cells or CD16+56+ NK cells.  

https://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn/2012/251632/

 

More of the same right?

 

NK cell activity.  CD8 activity.  Lymphocytes are key players in the immune system.

 

To sum it up…

 

It has been used as adjuvant therapy in thousands of cancer patients since the mid-1970s. PSK has been safely used in people for a long time in Japan and few side effects have been reported. 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK424937/

 

Let's turn to CBD now.

How does CBD interact with cancer? 

We'll touch on the similarities with turkey tail in the immune system but first, an introduction to another system.

 

The endocannabinoid system.

 

It's about 600 million years old evolutionarily speaking and we share it with all animals.

 

This is a fascinating system and it's tasked with balancing (technically called homeostasis) other key systems (maybe everyone): 

  • Nervous system - neurotransmitters
  • Endocrine system - hormones, both metabolic and steroidal
  • Immune system - inflammation and cellular birth/death cycle!

 

Catch that last one!

 

CBD directly works within this endocannabinoid system to support when low: 

Preclinical studies, particularly recent ones, including numerous animal models of tumors, unanimously suggest the therapeutic efficacy of CBD. In isolated combination studies, synergistic effects were generally observed. 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31897700/

 

The immune system is incredibly complicated and CBD's effects are much more nuanced and targeted.  We'll try to translate along the way.

 

First...the 50,000 view: 

The main focus is on the latest in vitro and in vivo studies that present data regarding the anti-proliferative, pro-apoptotic, cytotoxic, anti-invasive, anti-antiangiogenic, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory properties of CBD together with their mechanisms of action. 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6928757/

 

See just how involved the endocannabinoid is?

 

  • Anti-proliferation - reduced spread of cancer
  • Pro-apoptotic -cancerous or wayward cell suicide
  • Cytotoxic - killing off cancerous cells
  • Anti-invasive - ability of cancer to gain entry to cells
  • Anti-antiangiogenic - reduced ability of cancer to gain blood supply for growth
  • Anti-inflammation - systemic inflammation is tied to cancer growth/spread
  • Immunomodulatory - the same principles we looked at above for turkey tail!

 

Before we jump in, let's understand what makes CBD so special.

 

We don't want to just boost or reduce these key pathways in one direction.

 

First, the body tends to push back (tolerance) and second, there are always knock-on effects.

 

For example, NSAIDs (ibuprofen, Motrin, Advil, etc) reduce COX2 which is a pain signaller.

 

Mother nature likes to multi-task so COX2 also manages pathways in heart function and the gut.

 

That's why there can be gut barrier issues and heart attacks from long-term use (see CBD versus NSAIDs).

 

We could go on and on.  Even immunotherapies can have pretty significant side effects.

 

Here's CBD's special talent.

 

It works like a feedback mechanism!

 

Technically, it's called an allosteric modulator (not agonist, antagonist, or inhibitor).

 

Check out How Exactly does CBD work for more.

 

The repercussions of this "support" response are very important with cancer.

 

Check this out: 

  • Healthy cell with low inflammation - CBD has no effect
  • Healthy cell with high inflammation - CBD reduces inflammation
  • Cancerous or pre-cancerous cell - CBD INCREASES inflammation

 

Read that back over...three results depending on 3 different initial states.

 

The last one makes sense once you realize that radiation and chemo are massive doses of inflammation (in the form of oxidative stress).

 

This is the immune system's natural way to kill cancerous cells!  It jacks up oxidative stress within the cancer cell but not surrounding healthy cells.

 

CBD has this same effect as we'll see below.

 

So...let's jump into the pathways before looking at specific trials.

Immune function and CBD for cancer 

The receptors that CBD really impacts directly is called CB2 and it's a huge player in the immune system: 

The highest expression of CB2 receptors is located on B lymphocytes and natural killer cells, suggesting a possible role in immunity. 

https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/cam/hp/cannabis-pdq

 

Think of CB2 as a steering mechanism for NK cell activity.  Up or down as needed.

 

Remember that NK cells were key to blocking the spread of cancer from cell to cell.

 

CB2 happens to where CBD has its greatest impact.

 

As for CBD, there's an interesting new piece of the puzzle… its name is NIK.

 

Remember the CD8 cells above...which kill cancerous cells?

 

deficiency in NF-κB-inducing kinase (NIK) impairs glycolysis induction, rendering CD8+ effector T cells hypofunctional in the tumor microenvironment.  

https://www.biospace.com/article/elevating-nik-enhances-checkpoint-inhibitor-therapies-by-regulating-t-cell-metabolism/

 

This is 2021 research!

 

Look at CBD's effect there: 

CBD was able to decrease the viability of tumor cells and can have a protective role for CIK cells.  

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7312510/

 


There are downstream immune pathways that become incredibly complicated (our immune system is a maze after all) but we'll zero in on those by cancer type below.

 

Let's turn our attention to a specific type of inflammation...oxidative stress.

CBD and Oxidative stress for cancer 

Oxidative stress is the result of energy production (for the most part).

 

Essentially, different forms of oxygen that act like chemical scissors running around our cells.

 

If they happen to cut DNA, that's bad and potentially could lead to cancer.

 

Interestingly, it's also the primary weapon our immune system has to attack cancerous cells.

 

Remember how chemo and radiation kill cancer by jacking up oxidative stress?

 

Here's where it gets interesting with CBD and speaks to the beauty of the endocannabinoid system as one of balance.

 

Multiple papers reported an increased level of oxidative stress in CBD, but not Δ9-THC, treated GBM cell lines 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7693730/

 

GBM is short for Glioblastoma...a type of brain cancer.

 

So this occurred in the cancerous cells….but look at this: 

In contrast, there is no pronounced ROS increase in CBD-treated normal glial cells.

 

So, CBD selectively increased the oxidative stress in cancerous cells but not normal cells!

 

The net effect: 

Taken together, studies in GBM cell lines suggest that CBD induces cell death most likely by upregulating ROS. 

 

Taking antioxidants like Vitamin E, C, and NAC actually reduced CBD's killing effect.

 

So..CBD appears to increase the chemical death of cancer cells in the way our body naturally does it.   

 

But only to dysfunctional cells!  This also occurs with virally infected cells or any situation where "signals" show errors.

 

Remember, we have a whole system for detecting and fight cancer embedded in the immune system and the endocannabinoid system acts like a support when it's running low.

 

What's fascinating is that CBD actually boosts glutathione (our primary antioxidant) in healthy cells!  

 

See CBD and oxidative stress or CBD and glutathione.

 

When glutathione gets hammered due to chemo and radiation, you have all tell-tale symptoms.  Essentially, a type of poisoning and our antidote (glutathione) is exhausted.

 

CBD's ability to target cancer cells alone while supporting healthy tissue makes it an interesting adjunct with chemo and radiation (always work with your doctor or naturopath).

 

Let's dig deeper, shall we

CBD and Mitochondria function with cancer 

The little power plants of our cells (or cancer cells) are key players in this whole process.

 

After all, cancer cells have an unending supply of energy to grow and multiply which is part of the process.

 

Mitochondria not only may be suspect in the origins of cancer but also in its progression.

 

Just one more pathway with CBD: 

Cannabidiol directly targets mitochondria and disturbs calcium homeostasis in acute lymphoblastic leukemia

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41419-019-2024-0

 

Essentially, CBD interrupted the power supply but only for cancer cells.

 

In fact, check our CBD and mitochondria to see how they actually boost function in normal cells.

 

What's the result of all this.

 

Just good old-fashion cancer cell death.  Apoptosis.

CBD and cancer cell death (apoptosis) 

Where turkey tail was pretty straightforward (NK cells and CD8), CBD comes at it from so many different angles.  

 

Again, our immune system is like a labyrinth with 100's of not 1000's of players.

 

A quick look at cancer cell death is a perfect example.   The technical term for cell death is apoptosis.

 

First breast cancer: 

The results suggest that CBD treatment induces an interplay among PPARγ, mTOR, and cyclin D1 in favor of apoptosis induction in both ER-positive and triple-negative breast cancer cells, 

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0960977618301218

 

Okay...PPAR, mTOR, and cyclin D1.

 

  • PPAR is a powerful inflammation pathway directly impacted by CBD
  • mTOR is a fascinating pathway we cover with metformin due to its effect on longevity
  • Cyclin D1 manages cell proliferation

 

So that's all we have to know, right?

 

Nope.

 

Cannabidiol promotes apoptosis via regulation of XIAP/Smac in gastric cancer


https://www.nature.com/articles/s41419-019-2001-7

 

Okay...so two more players tied to cell death.

 

We could go on and on.

 

  • MAPK
  • GADD34


Or

 

Bax, Bak, Bim, Puma, and Noxa

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7693730/

 

You get the picture...CBD has effects on an entire system...the immune system.  This system is comprised of a range of different pathways that target awry cells.

 

It's not just one player (like oxidative stress) but a symphony!

 

Let's use the next section to revisit how inflammation plays into this.

Other key cancer pathways and CBD 

Inflammation is both the boogeyman (when systemic and chronic) as well as the fix with cancer.

 

Let's zero in on PPAR and TRPV, two of the key pathways that CBD affects.

 

First, PPAR a master regulator of turning genes on and off.

 

The quick into: 

PPARs play essential roles in the regulation of cellular differentiation, development, and metabolism (carbohydrate, lipid, protein),[2] and tumorigenesis[3] of higher organisms.[4][5] 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peroxisome_proliferator-activated_receptor

 

Okay...cell birth/death and tumors...right up our alley.

 

New research is really shedding light on PPARs effect on cancer and CBD specifically: 

In many cancer cell lines, there is much evidence now to show that cannabinoids induce apoptosis via PPARγ 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4882496/

 

From a study of lung cancer: 

cannabidiol-induced apoptosis was paralleled by upregulation of COX-2 and PPAR-γ mRNA and protein expression with a maximum induction of COX-2 mRNA after 8 hours

https://mct.aacrjournals.org/content/12/1/69

 

COX2 is the interesting player downregulated by NSAIDs for pain (see CBD versus NSAIDs or CBD versus Tylenol).

 

See why you can't just boost or reduce pathways in one direction?

 

And then there's TRPV

 

TRPV channels have been found to regulate cancer cell proliferation, apoptosis, angiogenesis, migration and invasion during tumor progression, and depending on the stage of the cancer, up-and down-regulation of TRPV mRNA and protein expression have been reported. 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21290335/

 

This is right in CBD's wheelhouse: 

CBD has little affinity for the CB1 and CB2 receptors, but is reported to be most potent at TRPV1 and TRPM8 channels  

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6340993/

 

From a study on breast carcinoma: 

CBD can induce apoptosis in breast carcinoma cells through either direct or indirect activation of CB2 and/or TRPV1. 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6340993/

 

Okay...let's look at some studies or trials with CBD by type of cancer.

CBD trials with cancer 

We'll look at the 5 most common types of cancer and CBD research.

 

First, breast cancer.

 

We'll start with brand new research: 

In conclusion, CBD represents the first nontoxic exogenous agent that can significantly decrease Id-1 expression in metastatic breast cancer cells leading to the down-regulation of tumor aggressiveness. 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18025276/

 

Id-1 is key to why some breast cancer is extremely aggressive and difficult to stop.

 

Again...the same story from above: 

Cannabidiol induces programmed cell death in breast cancer cells by coordinating the cross-talk between apoptosis and autophagy 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21566064/

 

  • Apoptosis - cell suicide
  • Autophagy - removal of bad cells

 

A trial on metastatic breast cancer: 

CBD significantly reduces primary tumor mass as well as the size and number of lung metastatic foci in two models of metastasis. 

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10549-010-1177-4

 


One note...early research showed that CBD may diminish the effects of tamoxifen and other SERN (estrogen receptor modulators).

 

Newer research (2020) shows an enhancing effect: 

Abstract P3-05-11: Cannabidiol increases potency of tamoxifen in inhibiting breast cancer cell viability


https://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/80/4_Supplement/P3-05-11

 

Also, make sure to study the power of the estrogen b receptor to protect against hormone-dependent cancer.  Estrogen is the pro-growth side.

 

Estrogen b actually has anti-tumor effects.  We did a big review of estradiol hereSiberian rhubarb is interesting there.

 

Next up...prostate cancer and CBD

 


Non-THC cannabinoids inhibit prostate carcinoma growth in vitro and in vivo:

pro-apoptotic effects and underlying mechanisms


https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3570006/

 

The non-THC they were referencing?

 

Cannabidiol (CBD) significantly inhibited cell viability.

 

When added alongside radiation: 

Inhibition of ATM kinase upregulates levels of cell death induced by cannabidiol and γ-irradiation in human glioblastoma cells

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6368233/

 

The more important piece…

 

but with no effect on healthy cells

 

And colon cancer: 

CBD BDS and CBD reduced cell proliferation in tumoral, but not in healthy, cells.  

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0944711313004728?via%3Dihub

 

One other side note...there's quite a bit of research on CBD to help with symptoms from cancer and treatment.

 

After all, the most common uses for CBD are pain, sleep, and anxiety.  Nausea is another use.

 

Check out CBD and sleep and CBD and anxiety.

 

It's tricky to use other substances like NAC which support glutathione since they might actually counter the effects of chemo/radiation.

 

Research on CBD shows this effect is selective depending on the state of the cell ( cancerous, virally infected, healthy, etc).

 

Work with your doctor.

 

There's lots of research on CBD and neuropathy from chemo such as: 

Cannabidiol inhibits paclitaxel-induced neuropathic pain through 5-HT1A receptors without diminishing nervous system function or chemotherapy efficacy 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3969077/

 

Serotonin (5HT) is the key there.

 

Let's ask another question...can it help before?

Can turkey tail and CBD be used preventatively for cancer 

The risks for cancer beyond genetics are pretty well-established.

 

  • Stress
  • Trauma
  • Chemical exposure
  • Pesticides
  • Drugs and alcohol
  • Obesity
  • Systemic inflammation
  • Some types of viral infection (HPV, etc)
  • Age
  • Low Vitamin D and other nutrients

 

The immune system is highly integrated into dealing with many of these.

 

In fact, inflammation is solely under the control of the immune system.

 

Here's the interesting piece...the endocannabinoid system acts as a backup when our normal systems are under duress.

 

Sound relevant?

 

  • Stress?  Anandamide is a backup stress responder to serotonin.
  • Chemicals and pesticides?  ECS governs histamine response to get bad things out (see CBD and histamine or CBD and asthma as an example)
  • Drugs and alcohol - CBD supports glutathione, our primary detox pathway (see CBD and addiction or CBD versus alcohol)
  • Obesity - check out black seed oil or berberine/metformin for this entire complex
  • Systemic inflammation - DING DING DING  Calming this response is key to turkey tail and CBD
  • Viral infection - targeting "compromised" virally infected cells is the same as we cancer from the immune system's point of view and we covered that search and destroy approach above

 

The last two are interrelated.  Vitamin D is such a powerful house player in the immune response and it goes down as we age.

 

We covered its tie to cancer in the detail.  #1 rule is to get your D tested now.

 

Here's what you need to understand...all the new research on longevity is really pointing to the immune system as the first critical piece to go.

 

That sounds weird but now that you see how it's involved in cellular birth/death cycles (literally the stuff of life), it makes more sense.

 

As our immune system ages (thymus actually starts to shrink), a whole cascade of aging comes with it and cancer is part of this baggage.

 

Supporting the immune system is critical for cancer but just about everything else in the body and brain.

 

A new study showed that the blood-brain barrier may be key to dementia as it deteriorates from...stress, trauma, chemicals, inflammation.  

 

Same culprits.  See CBD and dementia.

 

So turkey tail and CBD are both immune supportive (not in one direction) to this end of prevention.

 

Check out CBD and longevity or our reviews on Berberine or Metformin (powerful effects on this whole aging/cancer pathway).

 

Okay...some practical questions.

How much turkey tail and CBD to use with cancer 

My father called the company Stamets (the godfather of fungi featured in the Fantastic Fungi documentary) to ask how much his mother took.

 

The company said that his mother originally took 4 of the mycommunity blend and 4 of the turkey tail when dealing with a pretty dire stage 4 cancer.  These are available here.

 

There's a TedTalk here.

 

As for CBD, The peak level is 300 mg for neurogenesis (brain repair and replenishment).  This would be key to neuropathy (see CBD and neuropathy).

 

That's a good upper bound.  Sleep studies point to around 160 mg.  Pain is probably from 100-200 mg depending on the chemistry and nature of the pain.

 

As for the research listed above, those amounts were generally around 200 mg/daily (such as from a study on pancreatic cancer).

 

After 300 mg, other pathways are turned on so we think that's the benchmark until we have trials with CBD.

 

The studies on glioblastoma (aggressive brain cancer) also reflects this range: 

GBM, mean survival with the combination of surgery, radio- and chemo-therapy, and CBD (200–400 mg/day) was prolonged to 22.3 months, and two patients had no signs of disease progression for three or more years  

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7693730/

 

The animal models also show anti-tumor effects at about 5mg/1kg which for a 160-pound person is about 300 mg again.

 

Can we take turkey tail and CBD with cancer treatment?

Can turkey tail and CBD be used with cancer treatment 

First, always work with your doctor or naturopath with any supplement!

 

We don't to diminish the anti-cancer effects of the treatment.

 

A few considerations become apparent: 

  • We don't want to interfere with liver processing needed for medications to work
  • We don't want to undo the oxidative stress occurring in cancer cells

 

For turkey tail, the Japanese have used it as an adjunction (concurrent) treatment for quite some time now.

 

A sample: 

Our findings suggest that the clinical combination use of Lingzhi or Yunzhi with cytotoxic drugs could enhance the efficacy and ameliorate the adverse effects of cytotoxic drugs, leading to improved quality of life in cancer patients. 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7382813/

 

They looked at common cancer treatments.

 

As for CBD, it has a similar profile such as with breast cancer: 

Thus, CBD may be a viable adjunctive treatment for breast cancers as it can sensitize cells, allowing for potentially lower doses of such toxic chemicals to be prescribed. 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7693730/

 

Again, work with your doctor.

 

CBD has a powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative stress (more so than Vitamin E or C) effect but this appears to differ depending on the state of the cell.  

 

It may be one of the few anti-inflammatories we can use with chemo/radiation for this reason.

 

Again, work with your doctor or natural path.

 

Finally, the type of turkey tail and CBD is important.

What type of Turkey Tail and CBD for cancer 

First, for the turkey tail, our preference is for Stamet's line.

 

Watch the documentary Fantastic Fungi. This person has lived and breathed mushrooms (check our review on psilocybin for mental health) for decades now.  

 

The fact that he started a company-specific to mushrooms like turkey tail is (was) high on our wishlist.

 

Again, they have a turkey tail and a general mycommunity brand.  

 

The company recommended both and that's what we did.  You can also look at powders but again, we really trust Stamet's knowledge base.

 

As for CBD, there are basic requirements.

 

  • Sourced from organically grown hemp in the USA at an FDA registered farm
  • CO2 processed
  • 3rd party tested
  • No THC (we'll explain later)
  • No Pesticides (cancer risk!)
  • No Solvents (same)
  • No Heavy Metals (same)
  • No Mold
  • No Bacteria

 

Okay...first the THC piece.

 

THC is also a cannabinoid and it also can have anti-tumor effects.  Two things...it doesn't appear to be "selective" like CBD meaning that it applies the same effect to all cells.

 

For example with glioblastoma: 

Multiple papers reported an increased level of oxidative stress in CBD, but not Δ9-THC, treated GBM cell lines 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7693730/

 

Remember, oxidative stress is how the body kills off cancer cells but without hurting surrounding cells.

 

The issue for us is tolerance.  THC pushes in one direction...it's an agonist.

 

The problem with this is that the body generally pushes back by reducing the very thing that THC is pushing up.  

 

Long term, this isn't the right approach any more than THC is the right approach for mental health long term (see CBD versus THC).

 

It also interferes with mitochondria function which is at the heart of the cell and generally where things go wrong.

 

This is the tie between THC and stroke: 

Thus, THC increases oxidative stress and induces cerebral mitochondrial dysfunction.  

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4310259/

 

These are  HEALTHY brain cells.  We don't want more oxidative stress there as this is how you get damage to DNA and cellular machinery, to begin with.

 

Again, we're not anti-THC but long term, it's not the right direction.  It can help with appetite which is different from CBD.  That can be important with chemo-wasting symptoms.

 

Finally, CBD isolate versus full spectrum.

 

40-60% of the population has histamine issues (the chemical behind allergies) and this number goes up as we get older and for women (thanks for leaving, progesterone).

 

All the plant material in full spectrum can make this worse and we see it in our reviews or emails all the time.

 

CBD by itself (isolate) has actually been shown to calm histamine response (see CBD and histamine).

 

More importantly, all the research is on CBD by itself.  Everything else is just marketing till we see research (which hopefully obvious if you're read this far).

 

Finally, there's cost.

 

The true measure is cost per mg of CBD.

 

We price our 6000 mg bottles at 2-3 cents per mg before discounts up to 50% for a simple reason.

 

We found CBD as the result of a brutal perimenopause (that story is here).  If we can help reduce similar suffering then it's worth it.

 

Please reach out with any questions as that's our favorite daily activity.  We're happy to send over research.

 

Also, make sure to test your Vitamin D levels.  The research we've seen on this and cancer is truly remarkable.

 

Metformin and berberine alto tap into ancient pathways tied to cellular housekeeping which is basically the story of cancer (unkept house).   

 

Be well.  Take care of each other.  Take care of yourself.

 

Leave a comment

Name .
.
Message .

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

Back to Blog