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Cancer

Can CBD ease certain cancer symptoms? Extensive research, including over 250 peer-reviewed scientific reports, suggests its potential benefits.

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On This Page:

Research Summary
Articles from the Project CBD Archives
Project CBD Survey Results
Research on CBD for Cancer (General)
Research on Cannabinoids for Cancer (by Cancer Type)
Research on Cannabis, Cancer & the Endocannabinoid System
Cannabis for Side Effects from Chemotherapy & Radiation
Research Surveys of Cancer Patients

Research Summary:

CBD and other phytocannabinoids in cancer cells generally lead to:

  • Killing cancer cells (cytotoxicity).

  • Slowing down their growth (anti-proliferation).

  • Slowing their movement (anti-migration).

  • Inhibiting the formation of new blood vessels (slowed angiogenesis).

  • Inducing cellular suicide (apoptosis) and cellular degradation/recycling (autophagy).

  • Suppressing cancer stem cells and preventing metastasis (formation of secondary growth at a distance from the primary cancer site).

  • Reducing the cancer's resistance to chemical treatment (chemoresistance).

  • Decreasing the modification of newly made proteins (reduction of glycosylation).

  • Exhibiting novel functions such as "bubbling cell death."

Most research has focused on THC-rich medical cannabis, but recent studies suggest that CBD may have potential benefits for cancer, either on its own or in combination with conventional treatments. THC and CBD often complement each other, and they may affect cancer cells' mitochondria, which are essential for cell energy production. Additionally, some terpenes found in whole-plant extracts have shown anti-cancer properties. Cannabinoids may influence cancer progression through the microbiome. Epidemiological data on cannabis use and cancer risk is mixed, with some studies suggesting an increased risk for certain cancer types and others indicating a decreased risk.

Cannabis has several beneficial effects on standard cancer treatments. It helps alleviate pain, increase appetite, improve quality of life, maintain cognitive functioning, and provide comfort in palliative end-of-life care. Additionally, cannabinoids can reduce the reliance on opioid painkillers. In the context of chemotherapy, cannabinoids can protect brain cells from the toxic effects of treatment. Another compound, PEA, similar to endocannabinoids, can safeguard heart cells, and CBD can mitigate the ulcers caused by radiation therapy. Furthermore, cannabinoids may enhance other therapies such as photodynamic or ozone therapy. However, they can sometimes interfere with the effectiveness of certain cancer drugs while potentially overcoming drug resistance in other tumor types. In some instances, using CBD alone can lead to significant reductions in tumor size.

Research on CBD for Cancer (General):

Research on Cannabinoids for Cancer by (By Cancer Type)

Bladder
Bone
Brain
Breast
Colorectal
Eye
Head, Neck & Throat

Gynecological
Kidney
Leukemia (Blood)
Liver
Lung
Melanoma (Skin)
Neuroendocrine

Oral
Ovarian
Pancreatic
Pediatric
Pets
Prostate
Stomach/gastric

Bladder

Bone

Brain

Breast

Colorectal

Eye

Head, Neck & Throat

Gynecological

Kidney

Leukemia (Blood)

Liver

Lung

Melanoma (Skin)

Neuroendocrine

Oral

Ovarian

Pancreatic

Pediatric

Pets

Prostate

Stomach/Gastric

Research on Cannabis, Cancer & the Endocannabinoid System

Cannabis for Side Effects from Chemotherapy & Radiation

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