CBD for Cancer

Updated: Nov 21

Welcome to Cannabis Conclusions, a unique educational series from Higher Learning LV that is targeted at hemp and cannabis industry professionals. This series provides readers with the conclusion section from important modern peer-reviewed research studies.

A May 2022 study entitled "Mechanisms of Cannabidiol (CBD) in Cancer Treatment: A Review" that was published in the journal Biology explored "the mechanisms of action underlying the anticancer activities of CBD against several common cancers. Studies on the efficacy and mechanisms of CBD on cancer prevention and intervention in experimental models (i.e., cell culture- and animal-based assays) and human clinical studies are included in this review."


Study Conclusion

"Although CBD shows promising positive effects on cancer management in numerous preclinical studies and some human clinical trials, mechanistic studies on the efficacy of CBD's anticancer effects are still limited. Emerging evidence suggests that CBD and other cannabinoid treatments may relieve cancer pain and ease the side effects of chemotherapy.


"The quality of Cannabis cultivation and the CBD constituents of commercial products can vary significantly, as Cannabis contains more than 100 cannabinoids."

"However, research on CBD as a cancer treatment and its underlying mechanisms of action, especially in large clinical trials, are warranted. In addition to the limited knowledge on the anticancer efficacy, mechanisms of action, and potential side effects of CBD in cancer treatment, another major challenge in using CBD as a cancer therapy is that variations exist among CBD-based products. The quality of Cannabis cultivation and the CBD constituents of commercial products can vary significantly, as Cannabis contains more than 100 cannabinoids.

"Synthetic, highly potent cannabinoid products that act as full cannabinoid receptor agonists are also available on the market; many of these have been banned by the U.S. government because they may cause severe illness, and even death. Moreover, different routes of drug administration and habits of consumption may also substantially affect the pharmacokinetics of CBD, thereby altering its effectiveness. Similar to other medicinal plants, the standardization of the concentration and composition of CBD-based anticancer drugs is of great importance.


"Through this review, we delineated the relationship between CBD treatment and its anticancer effects. Based on mostly cell culture-based studies and a few animal models, it is possible that complex and diverse molecular mechanisms are involved in the anticancer activity of CBD.


"The current study supports the notion that CBD can offer positive outcomes in cancer treatment."

"Among the most commonly reported are the activation of the CB1, CB2, and TRPV1 receptors, the induction of apoptosis in cancer cells, the suppression of the invasiveness, migration, and metastasis of tumors, and the enhancement of the effectiveness of chemotherapeutic drugs. As CBD treatment for cancers has become more widely available in recent years, further research efforts are warranted to obtain knowledge about the impact of CBD on cancer.


"Overall, the current study supports the notion that CBD can offer positive outcomes in cancer treatment. Future research in the area of CBD and cancer should aim to examine the efficacy and safety of CBD in human clinical trials, especially in randomized controlled trials, as they are considered the gold standard for studying causal relationships."


View the original study.


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