Sativex is a cannabis-based medicine. It is licensed in the UK for people with Multiple Sclerosis muscle spasticity that hasn’t improved with other treatments. Sativex is a liquid that you spray into your mouth.
There are also many cannabis based products available online without a prescription. The quality of these products can vary. It is impossible to know what substances they might contain. They could potentially be harmful to your health and may be illegal.
Clinical trials need to be done in large numbers where some patients have the drug and some don’t. Then you can compare how well the treatment works.
Cannabis is a plant. It is known by many names including marijuana, weed, hemp, grass, pot, dope, ganja and hash.
CBD oil comes from the flowers of the cannabis plant and does not contain the psychoactive substance THC. It can be sold in the UK as a food supplement but not as a medicine. There is no evidence to support its use as a medicine.
It is also important to note that some studies have shown that CBD might interfere with how your body processes cancer drugs, called a drug interaction. This might make cancer treatments more toxic or make them less effective. More research is needed on these effects, too. For these reasons, always tell your oncologist if you’re thinking about using CBD before you take it.
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.
You may find stories online of people discussing the benefits of CBD as a cancer treatment or as relief for side effects. Please remember that such personal stories, while they may be well-meaning, are shared without scientific study and do not constitute evidence. The safety and efficacy of CBD for people with cancer still has to be proven in large, randomized, controlled clinical trials.
Can CBD help 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.
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.
There are 2 synthetic cannabis medications, nabilone (Cesamet) and dronabinol (Marinol or Syndros), that are FDA-approved to treat nausea and vomiting related to chemotherapy. These medications are made in a laboratory.
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.
CBD products may include vape oils which are inhaled into the lungs with a special vape pen which heats the oil into vapor. The vapor is breathed into the lungs and gets into the bloodstream reaching peak concentrations in about three minutes. Vape oils may be combined with essential oils which are best avoided.
Research  has shown that cannabinoids may stop the malignant cells from dividing and may interfere with their blood supply. Studies also show that cannabinoids may stimulate the immune system to attack tumors and destroy them. Taking CBD may potentially control the resistance cancer develops towards chemotherapy. The effects of it on cancer are encouraging enough to continue researching the use of CBD products in cancer treatment.
Researchers stated that CBD acts as an anti-inflammatory, thus decreasing pain caused by inflammation. It has also relieved neuropathic pain. Using hemp oil for decreasing these types of pain may be beneficial, whether from cancer or not. Rugby players, for example  were interviewed about their use of CBD for pain relief, and 80% of 172 respondents reported that it relieved their pain. Studies exist for the role CBD plays in pain relief for other conditions, but not for cancer, at least, not without THC.
Does Cannabis Kill Cancer Cells?
The best CBD for cancer would be the hemp-based full-spectrum topicals. Just as in the oil products, you can buy broad-spectrum or isolate topicals. However, full-spectrum remains the best topical CBD oil for cancer patients.
Much of the anti-tumor activity revolves around the reactive oxygen species metabolism, endoplasmic reticulum stress, and inflammation. But, that is not the only mechanism of CBD might reduce tumor growth. In breast and prostate cancer, the ECS receptor GPR55 is over-expressed, and CBD plays a role in indirectly inhibiting it, thus slowing down the progression of the tumor.
While the use of CBD in cancer is exciting, we still have many studies to conduct. We must move from animal studies to human studies to better understand the mechanisms involved in cannabis and CBD modulation of cancer growth and control of symptoms, especially symptoms related to chemotherapy and pain.
When CBD was administered to animals at a dose of 5mg/kg, nausea was reduced  , and the effect was maintained at seven days. A 2016 study showed that Sativex, a mixture of THC and CBD, reduced nausea and vomiting induced by chemotherapy. The activation of serotonin receptors may mediate the anti-nausea effect of CBD  . Preclinical work suggests that CBD products may benefit chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting through activation of these receptors.