CBD for Cancer: Can It Help?


Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of many cannabinoids that can be found in hemp and marijuana, two types of cannabis plants.

CBD may help people with cancer manage some symptoms of the disease as well as side effects of treatment. Scientists are also looking into how CBD could aid cancer treatment, but more research is needed before any conclusions can be made.

There’s solid evidence supporting the idea that cannabinoids can reduce tumor growth in animal models of cancer. CBD may also enhance uptake or increase potencyTrusted Source of certain drugs used to treat cancer.

Here are some promising studies:

  • A 2019 reviewTrusted Source of in vitro and in vivo studies focusing on pancreatic cancer found that cannabinoids can help slow tumor growth, reduce tumor invasion, and induce tumor cell death. The study authors wrote that research into the effectiveness of different formulations, dosing, and precise mode of action are lacking and urgently needed.
  • A 2019 studyTrusted Source indicated that CBD could provoke cell death and make glioblastoma cells more sensitive to radiation, but with no effect on healthy cells.
  • A large, long-term studyTrusted Source of men within the California Men’s Health Study cohort found that using cannabis may be inversely associated with bladder cancer risk. However, a cause and effect relationship hasn’t been established.
  • A 2014 study in experimental models of colon cancer in vivo suggests that CBD may inhibit the spread of colorectal cancer cells.
  • A reviewTrusted Source of 35 in vitro and in vivo studies found that cannabinoids are promising compounds in the treatment of gliomas.
  • Other research demonstrated the efficacy of CBD in pre-clinical models of metastatic breast cancer. The study found that CBD significantly reduced breast cancer cell proliferation and invasion.

These are just a few studies addressing the potential of cannabinoids to help treat cancer. Still, it’s far too soon to say that CBD is a safe and effective treatment for cancer in humans. CBD shouldn’t be considered a substitute for other cancer treatment.


CBD
shouldn’t be used in place of other cancer treatment. We need more rigorous studies into the potential benefits and risks of CBD, dosing, administration, and how it affects other cancer therapies.

Currently, there are no FDA-approved CBD products for cancer. So, aside from Epidiolex for epilepsy, the products that are available haven’t been evaluated by the agency.

Even so, some people are using cannabinoids to ease side effects of cancer treatment. Because CBD can interact with other cancer therapies, it’s best to check with your doctor before you start taking it.

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