Cannabidiol (CBD) is a potential therapeutic compound found in the cannabis plant. People can mix CBD with a carrier oil to create CBD oil. Evidence suggests that CBD oil may help to treat cancer symptoms, but more research is necessary.
While it is too early to make strong claims about using CBD oil for cancer treatment, evidence indicates that it may help to manage symptoms resulting from cancer or its treatment.
Although initial results from small and animal studies on cancerous cells and CBD oil are promising, they are not yet conclusive. More research is still necessary to determine how effective CBD oil may be in treating cancer.
A person should always check with a doctor before using CBD oil to ensure it will not interact negatively with any current cancer medication or forms of treatment.
This article contains information on what researchers know about CBD oil and cancer and how to choose and use CBD oil products.
Is CBD legal?The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the legal definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act. This made some hemp-derived CBD products with less than 0.3% THC federally legal. However, CBD products containing more than 0.3% THC still fall under the legal definition of marijuana, making them federally illegal but legal under some state laws. Be sure to check state laws, especially when traveling. Also, keep in mind that the FDA has not approved nonprescription CBD products, and some products may be inaccurately labeled.
CBD is one of
THC is the chemical responsible for the “high” that many people may associate with cannabis. CBD, which
Learn more about the differences between CBD and THC here.
Manufacturers extract CBD from the C. Sativa plant to create a CBD oil, then mix it with a carrier oil. A common extraction process that manufacturers use is the
Producers then dilute the CBD with a nontoxic oil to produce CBD oil. According to the
While more research investigating cannabis or cannabinoids as a cancer treatment is necessary, some evidence shows promise.
For instance, a previous
It is worth noting that research is still in its early stages. Most evidence is largely from laboratory- or animal-based studies. Therefore, more research and human studies are necessary to determine the potential anticancer properties of CBD oil.
Due to ethical issues, investigating CBD and its use as a cancer treatment may also be difficult. Many studies investigating CBD may incorporate chemotherapy medication. Therefore, this may make it difficult to interpret how effective CBD is in treating cancer by itself.
CBD effects on different types of cancer
Researchers have studied the effect of CBD on specific types of cancer.
In 2020, researchers noted that cannabinoids may
The authors of this 2020 study also write that CBD can stop cancer cells from multiplying in breast cancer. It may also inhibit the migration and metastasis of cancer cells in aggressive breast cancer cases. Researchers found these results in both human and test tube studies.
Studies have found that the anticancer effects of CBD may be dose-dependent, and scientists believe that inducing cell death is the main way that CBD can help in colorectal cancer cases.
CBD may act on certain cell lines in lung cancer. The 2020 literature review writes that some research found CBD
While cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy can effectively treat cancer, they have various side effects. Most research has investigated the benefits of CBD, although CBD oil may work similarly.
Some of the cancer side effects CBD may help to reduce include
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved some cannabinoid-containing medications to reduce the side effects of cancer treatments. Examples
However, these medications are not the same as CBD oil products a person can purchase over the counter (OTC). While CBD oil may help with nausea, it will likely be less effective than prescription cannabinoid-containing medications.
Click here to learn more about CBD and nausea.
A 2017 review also found that CBD may help with chronic neuropathy pain in humans, which can be a side effect of chemotherapy and cancer.
Click here to learn more about CBD oil and pain.
Cancer treatment can
Click here to learn more about CBD and sleep.
Cancer treatment can also
However, more long-term studies in humans are necessary to determine what role, if any, CBD has to play in the prevention of cancer. Additionally, as CBD oils contain roughly 1–5% CBD, they would likely have less effect than the stronger doses in prescription medications.
Research suggests that potential side effects
Learn more about CBD and depression.
Research also indicates that CBD
When considering CBD products, people should choose products that:
- are not from a company subject to an
FDA warning letter
- contain no more than
0.3%THC, per the Agriculture Improvement Act
- have proof of third-party testing by an ISO/IEC 17025-accredited laboratory
- pass tests for pesticides, heavy metals, mold, and microbes
- pass product potency evaluations and safety testing
- are from a company that provides certificates of analysis (COAs) for their products
Additionally, people may also consider:
- CBD potency
- retailer’s and manufacturer’s reputation
- customer reviews
As with any CBD product, people should follow all packaging instructions and not exceed the correct dose on the label. People new to CBD oils should start with the lowest possible dosage. Once they know how their body reacts to the substance, they can gradually increase the dose.
Manufacturers sell CBD oil in several forms. These can include:
- oils to place under the tongue or tinctures to add to food
- oils in creams, lotions, or balms for topical applications
- oils in gummies or other edibles for people to consume
Currently, there are no definitive studies on CBD’s effectiveness, so it is hard to know exactly what dosage people should use. Dosage can also vary due to the product’s potency and the application method.
According to a
CBD may have some benefits for reducing cancer symptoms and may have some anticancer properties. However, research is still in its early stages. Furthermore, as manufacturers dilute CBD with a carrier oil to produce CBD oils, they may have less of a beneficial effect than other CBD products, including prescription products.
People should always talk with a doctor before using CBD products or any other compound during cancer treatment to ensure they will not react with any current medication.