CBD for cancer
10 min.

✓ Evidence Based

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Last updated on 24 September 2021

Cancer is one of the most serious diseases that people have suffered from for thousands of years. Fortunately, research in recent years has made great progress in the treatment of cancer. Recently, more and more people have started to make use of CBD for cancer.

CBD Treatment for Cancer

A compound extracted from the hemp plant, cannabidiol (CBD) has shown crucial in the fight against cancer and tumors. The cannabis plant from which CBD is extracted has seen a fair share of use in different societies over the centuries. From traditional Chinese medicine to Greek lore, India’s Ayurvedic practice, and more, this herb has established a foothold in the medical world. CBD oil for cancer continues to come to the aid of humanity. Mostly, this medicine proves crucial thanks to its interaction with the endocannabinoid system. This way, it can help maintain the body’s balance and so much more.

CBD’s interaction with Endocannabinoid’s receptors

This system comprises two primary receptors, cannabinoid 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid 2 (CB2). According to studies, Cannabinoid 1 receptors are in the brain as well as the central nervous system. The CB 2, on the other end, is available in the spleen, immunity system, and other such structures1.

These receptors will respond differently according to the type of cannabinoid. For instance, THC has more affinity to CB1, but it comes in as an agonist for the two. As such, it binds with and activates both cannabinoid types.

On the other end, CBD acts indirectly against the cannabinoid agonists rather than binding directly with them. Hence, CBD gets imperfectly within them and blocks THC as well as other chemicals from binding with the cannabinoids.

Another essential thing done by CBD is interacting with several other receptors in the body. These include 5-HT1A receptors, usually linked to the vanilloid receptor TRPV1 and serotonin2. Most importantly, these receptors come in as an ion channel. Essentially, CBD helps with different functions, from the body’s homeostasis to environmental functions.

CBD For Specific Cancer Treatment

When it comes to the use of CBD for cancer treatment, this substance has proven to be essential for taking on diverse types of cancers. It can be used for Lung cancer, Leukemia, Skin cancer, prostate cancer, tumors, or other cancers. CBD can help control the spreading of the condition, reducing it together.

According to a study, published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, CBD helps fight against breast cancer3.

This comes down to the antitumor efficiency from cannabinoids thanks to cannabidiol effects on carcinoma on the human breast. CBD coordinates communication between apoptosis and autophagy, hence enhancing programmed cell death in breast cancer cells. According to another study, CBD helps in many other ways of reducing and eradicating breast cancer4.

CBD shows great potential in combating bladder cancer. The activation of TRPV22, for instance, triggers apoptotic cell death in the T24 bladder cancer cells in humans5. Besides, studies show that CBD has the potential to treat lymphoblastic diseases. These include lymphoma and leukemia6. CBD has proved capable of promoting suicide in lymphoma cancer cells, a situation known as apoptosis. In essence, CBD relates to CB2 receptors to decrease the risk of cancerous cells forming7.

Scientific reviews have shown that CBD can prevent colon cancer8. According to the study, CBD has the potential to reduce the development of some carcinogenic factors normally found in colorectal cancer patients. CBD may help reduce abnormal glands in the rectum and colon, the so-called aberrant crypt foci (ACF). The study also states that CBD is able to reduce tumour formation and the number of polyps.
A study by the Journal Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics9 is investigating whether CBD inhibits the growth of brain tumour cells. In the study, mice were given a dose of 0.5mg and the growth of implanted human U87 glioma cells was observed. The result was significant antitumor activity caused by cannabidiol.
In February 2019, a case study in which a patient treated an adenocarcinoma of his lung with CBD, attracted attention due to the amazing achieved results10. The tumor in the lung decreased significantly. An earlier study gives indications of how this effect occurs. The role of the COX-2 and PPAR-γ receptors in CBD-induced apoptosis (“suicide program” of biological cells) of lung cancer cells was investigated in more detail11.

Use of CBD during chemotherapy

An article published in 2013 in the journal Carcinogenesis12 describes that CBD makes glioblastoma, the most common malignant brain tumor in adults, more susceptible to chemotherapy. CBD increases TRPV2 activity, which in turn enhances glioma cells’ ability to absorb chemotherapeutic agents. At the same time, there was no effect on the body’s normal astrocytes.

A year later, another study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology concluded that CBD counteracts neuropathic pain without adversely affecting nervous system function or the effectiveness of chemotherapy13.

One of the most important tasks of CBD oil in cancer treatment could be the possible alleviation of side effects of chemotherapy. CBD could minimize undesirable side effects of chemotherapy such as nausea, chronic pain, and vomiting. FDA-approved synthetic cannabinoids have already proven helpful in treatment.

In general, orally administered synthetic cannabinoids such as dronabinol14 and nabilone15 have shown dominance over dopamine receptor antagonists. This performance makes them indispensable in preventing CINV.

CBD treatment for dogs with cancer (and other pets)

Research shows that CBD treatment for cancer not only works in humans but also for pets16.  Dogs can suffer from different types of cancers. These include skin cancer, which is quite common in dogs. Other types of cancer commonly found in dogs include mammary gland cancer for female dogs, as well as head and neck cancer. Dogs also usually fall victim to mouth cancers, which needs swift action.

The studies cited in this article suggest that CBD may be helpful in combating the growth of cancer cells. Although most studies investigating this approach are preliminary, they show interesting results. CBD and other cannabis and hemp plant components may also have the potential to fight cancer and its symptoms in farm animals and pets.

Pets have to struggle with the side effects of chemotherapy just as humans do. CBD could alleviate the gastrointestinal symptoms of nausea and vomiting that occur in humans and animals alike. It could indirectly help pets regain Appetite17 , which is often a problem in cancer treatment. Not to mention CBD can also help relieve the inflammation and pain often caused by Cancer18. You can read more about that on our post about CBD oil for dogs.

According to other studies, the extract with CBD showed clear anti-tumor effects. It also acted upon the effects of a chemical used in inducing cancer in biological research – azoxymethane. In another study19 CBD also showed the capability of slowing the development of tumors in the brain.

Researchers in the Department of Experimental Medicine at the University of Camerino in Italy conducted the study. In the study, CBD also proved to slow the growth of cancer cells and weakening existing ones. This gave chemotherapeutic drugs an edge over the cancerous cells. Similar CBD performance has also come up in studies on other types of cancer. These include bladder cancer, leukemia, lymphoma, and many more. For more information about using CBD for your dog, see the video below that covers the question “is CBD oil good for dogs with cancer?”. You can also read our post about CBD for Pets.


There are numerous studies on CBD oil for use in cancer. As early as 1975, researchers investigated cannabis as a possible drug for cancer treatment. Despite legal restrictions, science has discovered interesting evidence for the positive effect of the plant in cancer patients. Another important aspect of CBD is that it cannot induce psychoactive effects in patients. This distinguishes it from other cannabinoids in the hemp plant.

According to the research results cited, CBD could be supportive in several areas of cancer treatment. Studies have shown, among other things, that CBD triggers cell death (apoptosis) in cancer cells, but does not affect healthy cells. It also shows potential to prevent the migration of cancer cells. Anti-angiogenic properties are also suspected20. This could prevent the formation of new blood vessels and thus worsen the nutrition of the tumors, making metastasis less likely. Above all, it could reduce cancer invasiveness.

Cannabinoids such as tetrahydrocannabinol, endocannabinoids, and synthetic agonists as well as the transport of endocannabinoids have shown anti-tumor effects21. There is evidence that cannabinoids are pro-apoptotic (apoptosis is the process of cell death that occurs in multicellular organisms). According to the studies, cannabinoids also have an anti-proliferative effect, which means that cannabinoids also slow down the growth and spread of cancer cells. These effects combat cell migration, invasion, and adhesion.

However, studies seem to indicate that this option also has certain drawbacks. These include limiting the use of cannabinoid agonists due to psychoactive side effects. For example, non-psychoactive cannabinoid compounds have a structural affinity to CBD.

Preclinical research indicates that it may be effective clinically for treating both nausea and vomiting produced by chemotherapy or other therapeutic treatments. But cannabis abuse can lead to other complications such as Cannabinoid Hyperemesis syndrome.

CBD may also help to regulate pro-angiogenic signals from glioma cells22. Studies show that cannabinoids may have a broad range of anticarcinogenic effects. According to a report by the National Cancer Institute on anti-tumor effects, these cannabinoids may help to inhibit the growth of cancer cells.

Thanks to this combination of different effects, CBD may have an advantage over the many other approaches to cancer treatment. In addition, conventional cancer therapy methods often have significant side effects. CBD could also have a supportive effect on conventional cancer treatment and reduce side effects. These include nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy.

CBD could be beneficial in skin cancer, breast cancer, bladder cancer, leukemia, lymphoma, and many more for humans and animals. There is still a lot of what researchers have to discover regarding cannabis and CBD oil for cancer treatment. Many are very optimistic that cannabis-based medicine will be used more often in cancer treatment in the future.

CBD for Cancer – Customer Reviews*

I’ve bought it twice already for my father… ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I have already ordered it 2x for my father. He has kidney cancer and was very depressed during the first treatment cycle and had no appetite. First, we started with 5% as a test, which worked well. He will soon start taking the 10% with curcumin. I am curious about how he will react to it. Delivery goes fast, customer service top. Always helpful. Many thanks to the Hemppedia team

Trustpilot review by D. Özkan

Bought some for my dad ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Bought it for my dad, who was affected by cancer and after about 14 days he could step down with pain killers, he was really happy about it, he managed to use it for about 8 months before cancer won. Definitely, something I would use myself if need be

Trustpilot review by M. Rosenlund

Delivery’s really fast. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“I take the capsules preventively because I had breast and skin cancer. Stress doesn’t get to me as much, as without the capsules! They do me good, I feel great!”

Trustpilot review by S. Daboci 


  1. Bisogno, Tiziana, and Vincenzo Di Marzo. „Cannabinoid receptors and endocannabinoids: role in neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative disorders.“ CNS & Neurological Disorders-Drug Targets (Formerly Current Drug Targets-CNS & Neurological Disorders) 9.5 (2010): 564-573. []
  2. Linge, Raquel, et al. „Cannabidiol induces rapid-acting antidepressant-like effects and enhances cortical 5-HT/glutamate neurotransmission: role of 5-HT1A receptors.“ Neuropharmacology 103 (2016): 16-26. []
  3. Ligresti, A., Moriello, A., Starowicz, K., Matias, I., Pisanti, S., De Petrocellis, L., Laezza, C., Portella, G., Bifulco, M. and Di Marzo, V. (2006). Antitumor Activity of Plant Cannabinoids with Emphasis on the Effect of Cannabidiol on Human Breast Carcinoma. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, 318(3), pp.1375-1387. []
  4. Shrivastava, Ashutosh, et al. „Cannabidiol induces programmed cell death in breast cancer cells by coordinating the cross-talk between apoptosis and autophagy.“ Molecular cancer therapeutics 10.7 (2011): 1161-1172 []
  5. Yamada, Takahiro, et al. „TRPV2 activation induces apoptotic cell death in human T24 bladder cancer cells: a potential therapeutic target for bladder cancer.“ Urology 76.2 (2010): 509-e1. []
  6. Massi, Paola, et al. „Cannabidiol as potential anticancer drug.“ British journal of clinical pharmacology 75.2 (2013): 303-312. []
  7. ((McKallip, Robert J., et al. „Cannabidiol-induced apoptosis in human leukemia cells: a novel role of cannabidiol in the regulation of p22phox and Nox4 expression.“ Molecular Pharmacology 70.3 (2006): 897-908. []
  8. Aviello, Gabriella, et al. „Chemopreventive effect of the non-psychotropic phytocannabinoid cannabidiol on experimental colon cancer.“ Journal of molecular medicine 90.8 (2012): 925-934. []
  9. Massi, Paola, et al. „Antitumor effects of cannabidiol, a nonpsychoactive cannabinoid, on human glioma cell lines.“ Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics 308.3 (2004): 838-845 []
  10. ulé-Suso, Josep, et al. „Striking lung cancer response to self-administration of cannabidiol: A case report and literature review.“ SAGE open medical case reports 7 (2019): 2050313X19832160. []
  11. Ramer, Robert, et al. „COX-2 and PPAR-γ confer cannabidiol-induced apoptosis of human lung cancer cells.“ Molecular Cancer Therapeutics 12.1 (2013): 69-82 []
  12. Nabissi, Massimo, et al. „Triggering of the TRPV2 channel by cannabidiol sensitizes glioblastoma cells to cytotoxic chemotherapeutic agents.“ Carcinogenesis 34.1 (2012): 48-57. []
  13. Ward, Sara Jane, et al. „Cannabidiol inhibits paclitaxel‐induced neuropathic pain through 5‐HT1A receptors without diminishing nervous system function or chemotherapy efficacy.“ British journal of pharmacology 171.3 (2014): 636-645 []
  14. Meiri, Eyal, et al. „Efficacy of dronabinol alone and in combination with ondansetron versus ondansetron alone for delayed chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.“ Current medical research and opinion 23.3 (2007): 533-543. []
  15. Ware, Mark A., Paul Daeninck, and Vincent Maida. „A review of nabilone in the treatment of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.“ Therapeutics and clinical risk management 4.1 (2008): 99. []
  16. Samara, E. M. I. L., M. E. I. R. Bialer, and R. A. P. H. A. E. L. Mechoulam. „Pharmacokinetics of cannabidiol in dogs.“ Drug metabolism and disposition 16.3 (1988): 469-472. []
  17. Fride, Ester, Tatyana Bregman, and Tim C. Kirkham. „Endocannabinoids and food intake: newborn suckling and appetite regulation in adulthood.“ Experimental Biology and Medicine 230.4 (2005): 225-234 []
  18. Nagarkatti, Prakash, et al. „Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs.“ Future medicinal chemistry 1.7 (2009): 1333-1349 []
  19. Anju Preet, Ramesh Ganju and Jerome Groopman. Δ-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol inhibits growth and metastasis of lung cancer. Cancer Research: Experimental and Molecular Therapeutics, May 2007, 67, 9 []
  20. Sulé-Suso, Josep, et al. „Striking lung cancer response to self-administration of cannabidiol: A case report and literature review.“ SAGE open medical case reports 7 (2019): 2050313X19832160. []
  21. Hermanson, Daniel J., and Lawrence J. Marnett. „Cannabinoids, endocannabinoids, and cancer.“ Cancer and metastasis reviews30.3-4 (2011): 599-612. []
  22. Shrivastava, Ashutosh, et al. „Cannabidiol induces programmed cell death in breast cancer cells by coordinating the cross-talk between apoptosis and autophagy.“ Molecular cancer therapeutics 10.7 (2011): 1161-1172. []


CBD Expert | View posts

With close to two decades of successful stint in the Media industry, I felt I was surely missing a piece in my life puzzle. I took a break and set out to seek the purpose of my life. I travelled, lived out of a suitcase, let things flow into life without resisting, and after five challenging years, I found my rhythm. I love to write about Cannabis and Health and try my best to simplify esoteric concepts into simple ideas for life.

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