This article was vetted for scientific accuracy by:

Why You Can Trust American Marijuana

American Marijuana has been a trusted cannabis site since 2014, with a team of experts in the field working to ensure you’re only receiving premium quality information

Medical Disclaimer Content Integrity

What does science say on CBD oil for cancer?

According to the American Cancer Society, cannabis, otherwise known as marijauna, has been used in herbal remedies for centuries.

Cannabis has more than 100 compounds. Of these, its two most notable compounds are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that gives drug consumers their notorious “high” and the non-intoxicating cannabidiol (CBD).

Various scientific studies find that CBD and other cannabinoids could help cancer patients feel better in the following areas:

  • Nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy through smoking, or ingesting a gelatin capsule called Dronabinol (Marinol®). While chemotherapy is effective, it comes with side effects that include fatigue and hair loss. Chemotherapy also causes severe bouts of nausea and vomiting that can be so severe that patients are induced to delay or even quit their treatments. Cannabis oil, with its anti-emetic properties, reduces chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. Note that Dronabinol is a THC preparation, and not a CBD-only formulation.
  • Suppressing tumor growth. Preclinical evidence shows that the anti-inflammatory agents of CBD and other cannabinoids could inhibit cell growth and, maybe even kill cancer cells. In the review linked above, researchers noted that “CBD is a potent inhibitor of cancer cell growth.” A review published by the Journal of Cancer Research and Therapeutics found “a significant potential for both THC and cannabidiol (CBD) to exert palliative effects,” specific to side effects of cancer and chemotherapy. At least one clinical trial showed that patients with recurrent glioblastoma multiforme (brain cancer) who were treated with a “proprietary combination of THC and CBD” in addition to their regular treatment had a higher survival rate compared with a placebo group .

Can Cannabidiol prevent or conclusively cure cancer?

Even though most of these studies are encouraging, they’re far from conclusive and some show contradictory effects. We need far more studies, across demographics, to certify that cannabinoids can treat cancer and that they have this effect across all cancer types.

To date, few clinical trials have treated humans with cancer.

Is CBD oil safe?

According to studies, CBD oil can have side effects which could include:

  • Tiredness
  • Diarrhea
  • Changes in appetite/weight

However, the same review found that “in comparison with other drugs, used for the treatment of these medical conditions, CBD has a better side effect profile.” This means that CBD may have fewer and less severe side effects than other comparable treatment options.

How to use CBD oil

Cannabidoil (CBD) can be vaped, ingested, or lathered as a balm. It could also be eaten as a CBD capsule or gummy, drunk as a CBD-laced brew (e.g. as CBD coffee, beer, or flavored drink), or dropped as oil under your tongue. Each of these methods gives you its potential restorative effects.

Inhalation (smoking or vaping) and sublingual (under the tongue) applications are considered to be among the most bioavailable and fast-acting methods of ingestion when compared to other methods.

Bottom line on CBD oil for cancer

CBD oil for cancer is a developing issue that requires a lot more research before it’s recommended as a general treatment. Many people have experienced relief from symptoms due to CBD and other cannabinoids, but we’re not yet at a point where it can be recommended generally for cancer.

If you plan to add CBD oil to your existing treatment plan, make sure to consult with your doctor first. Ask your doctor’s advice on how you should take CBD, and what concentration is best for you and your health condition. You should take CBD as advised, and make sure to be consistent with your dose. It’s a good idea to have someone with you when you take that first dose.

Most important: Cannabis or CBD oil, or other cannabinoid-based treatments, can never replace conventional treatments. In the words of the American Cancer Society: “Relying on marijuana alone as treatment while avoiding or delaying conventional medical care for cancer may have serious health consequences.”

If you want to learn more about the best CBD brands in the market, head over to our Best CBD Oil article.