Studies to answer this question are underway. Some scientists are studying whether CBD could relieve some of the side effects of cancer and its treatment, such as pain, insomnia, anxiety, or nausea. Other scientists are studying whether CBD could potentially slow or stop the growth of cancer.
You may also be wondering if CBD is legal in your area. Some states allow the sale and possession of cannabis, including CBD and THC, for medical and recreational use. Others have stricter regulations, so state-by-state laws should always be learned before transporting CBD across state lines. Things are more complicated at the federal level. In 2018, the U.S. government recognized that hemp can be grown and manufactured legally as part of the Farm Act. Hemp can be used to make things like rope and clothing, in addition to CBD oil. In other words, hemp is no longer a controlled substance, which means it is not regulated by the government. This means that consumers have to evaluate the safety and quality of CBD products on their own. Some CBD, for example, may have much higher levels of THC than what is labeled.
What is CBD?
There is much about CBD that is still unknown. It has largely gone unstudied because, until 2018, it was considered a schedule I drug by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). A schedule I drug is a drug that has been declared illegal by the DEA because of safety concerns over its potential for abuse and because there is no accepted medical use for it. Then, in September 2018, the DEA updated CBD’s status to become a schedule V drug. Schedule V drugs have a lower potential for abuse and are deemed to have some medical use.
To date, no large-scale studies have shown CBD to have benefits for the treatment of people with cancer. Most studies that have been done evaluating CBD as a cancer treatment were in mice or in human cells in the lab. For instance, there are some studies that have shown that CBD inhibits the growth of cancer cells in mice with lung cancer or colon cancer. Another study showed that CBD, together with THC, killed glioblastoma cancer cells in the lab. However, no studies have been conducted in people with cancer.
There is currently 1 CBD treatment approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) called Epidiolex, which is used to treat a rare and severe form of epilepsy in children. There are not currently any FDA-approved CBD medications for treating cancer or side effects of cancer treatments.
CBD or Cannabidiol is a naturally occurring compound found in the cannabis flower. CBD does not give users a “high” like marijuana does. Some cancer patients use CBD oil to treat symptoms of cancer or side effects of cancer treatments, like nausea after chemotherapy or radiation.
The early detection of lung cancer provides the best chance of cure and prolonged survival. After decades in which lung cancer had a typically grim prognosis, advances in recent years are enabling patients to survive and live longer with lung cancer.
Among the tests currently being studied to increase the chances of diagnosing early lung cancer are nasal epithelial brushings. This is where a small brush is used to collect cells from your nose. These cells are part of the respiratory tract where lung cancer occurs and can be examined for abnormalities associated with lung cancer. Although in the early stages of testing, this technology could potentially identify patients with lung cancer before symptoms develop, a huge breakthrough in early detection.
Previously, to determine the type of lung cancer someone has, we could only go into the lung and take a tissue sample. Now, in some cases, a drop of blood can be collected and analyzed to see if one or more mutations is detected that are responsible for lung cancer. Some of these mutations can be targeted with therapies specifically designed for that specific mutation.
Researchers have learned that no two tumors are alike, similar to how each snowflake is unique. Some patients have specific tumors that we can now target with specific drugs. Used in lung cancers caused by specific gene mutations, these drugs are called targeted therapies.
Biomarker testing is used to identify the unique composition of each tumor. Immunotherapy works by stimulating the native immune system to recognize cancer cells as foreign and killing them. Cancer cells have ways to fool the immune system into thinking that cancer cells are normal cells. Immunotherapies help the immune system identify cancer cells as foreign, so it can then destroy the cancer cells.
Currently, there are no scientific, peer-reviewed studies showing that CBD has a beneficial effect on the cancer itself. Additionally, there are no scientific, peer-reviewed studies of how CBD might interact with powerful targeted therapies.
The Hope With Answers℠ Intro video series discusses the use of CBD oil for lung cancer. Dr. Ross Camidge of the University of Colorado Medical Center and Matt Arensdorff, lung cancer patient advocate. provides basic information for those newly diagnosed with lung cancer. Start your journey of understanding and learn more about the importance of detecting lung cancer early and methods for detection and treatment.
Learn about CBD oil, THC, and Marijuana and their uses for lung cancer patients through this discussion between Dr. Ross Camidge of the University of Colorado Medical Center and Matt Arensdorf, lung cancer patient and advocate:
The National Institutes of Health has prepared a PDQ document (FAQs) on the topic of Cannabis and Cannabinoids. As is true when taking anything along with prescribed medications, be sure to talk to your doctor before taking CBD in any form.
Hope With Answers Video Series: CBD and Lung Cancer
More detailed information is shared in this intermediate video from Hope with Answers, providing more details for those who need a deeper knowledge about issues surrounding lung cancer. In this video, Dr. Ross Camidge along with patient and advocate Matt Aresndorf dig a little deeper answering questions like “Can CBD oil be used to help lung cancer patients?” and “What can it be used for?”