Cancer, Tumors, and CBD

Cannabis medicines have been used for a wide range of treatments for side effects of chemotherapy as well as for treating cancer pain, encouraging sleep, stimulating appetite, and reducing anxiety and depression. Some promising studies are even showing tumor shrinkage. In addition, CBD has been shown to help potentiate (make it work better) the effects of other cancer treatments and opioid pain medications, allowing patients to take less medication while achieving the same results.

A 2019 review 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’s authors wrote that research into the effectiveness of different formulations, dosing, and precise mode of action are lacking and urgently needed.

 A 2019 study indicated that CBD could provoke cell death and make glioblastoma cells more sensitive to radiation, but with no effect on healthy cells.

A 2014 study in experimental models of colon cancer in vivo suggests that CBD may inhibit the spread of colorectal cancer cells.

A review 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.

Always check with your medical provider before discontinuing any medications. 


“Cancer,” Cannabis Pharmacy: The Practical Guide to Medical Marijuana, by Michael Backes, Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, 2014, pp. 191-194.

“Cancer Dosing Guidelines,”, The ROC,

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