CBD Oil for Cancer: Know the Facts [Complete Guide]

Cancer cells on scientific background 3D illustration

As part of the effort to fight cancer, scientific research continues to seek new options for therapy. CBD oil is a hot topic, with cannabinoids showing promising potential in relieving many symptoms associated with cancer and cancer treatments.

It’s estimated that, in 2021, about 151,000 Australians will be diagnosed with cancer. It was also found that, at the end of 2016, approximately 457,000 people in Australia alive had cancer in the past 5 years (those that were diagnosed).

Throughout history, we have constantly turned to the natural world to help us heal. There are plants, fruits and vegetables that have anti-cancer properties. Many powerful medicines come from plants, and CBD oil is no exception.

CBD oil, from industrial hemp plants, has shown potential as a treatment for cancer, as well as helping with symptoms caused by cancer medications.

Below, we’ll outline the facts you need to know about CBD oil and cancer. But before you read on, we suggest reading our overview of CBD oil to understand the background.

Can CBD oil cure cancer?

No. No reliable cure for cancer exists, and CBD oil is no different. However, as we discuss below, CBD oil may be able to effectively treat certain symptoms associated with cancer.

CBD oil has been known to treat a wide range of conditions, whether they be related to cancer or not. This has included pain relief, treatment for anxiety and depression, relief from seizures and also helps with your sleep.

So below, we’ll outline how CBD oil can potentially provide benefits to those people suffering from cancer.

CBD Oil and cancer: Is it an effective treatment?

CBD oil is known for providing a range of benefits to the human body, including alleviating cancer symptoms. It cannot ‘cure’ cancer. But there have been enlightening studies to demonstrate that CBD oil may in fact be an effective treatment.

Some of the studies we find encouraging include:

  • This 2019 review, which highlighted certain pancreatic cancer studies that discovered cannabinoids’ ability to slow down the growth of tumours, and even contribute the death of tumour cells.
  • This 2019 study, which showed that CBD once again could induce the death of cells and make glioblastoma cells (i.e. highly aggressive cancer cells) more radiation-sensitive.
  • This 2014 study which found that CBD could potentially slow the spread of colorectal cancer cells (i.e. the cells that cause colon cancer).
  • This 2010 research which found that CBD helped lower the build-up of breast cancer cells quite significantly.

It’s way too soon to conclude that CBD is a completely safe and effective treatment for cancer in human beings. You should not consider CBD oil as a substitute for other traditional cancer treatments such as chemotherapy.

There are other areas that deserve further scientific exploration in order to better understand how CBD oil interacts with the human body, including how it can treat cancer. This includes, for instance, the dosages, the effect of CBD with other cannabinoids (like THC) and how CBD works on different types of cancer.

Prostate cancer

The evidence as to whether CBD can assist with treating prostate cancer is inconclusive. There have been some studies observing how cannabis (primarily THC and CBD) interact with certain prostate cancer cells. But these studies have been limited to mouse experiments, and also cells artificially grown in labs.

Nevertheless, the research demonstrated that they can potentially halt the proliferation of prostate cancer cells, causing them to die and even stop them from spreading. However, human trials will be necessary to understand their full impact.

Lung cancer

There is not enough evidence to conclude that CBD can effectively treat lung cancer. However, there have been a number of intriguing studies to indicate that it might be a promising candidate.

Some of the findings are listed below:

  • One study from 2014 found that CBD, when mixed with THC, could make prime cancer cells more radiation-sensitive. The problem, however, was that this study wasn’t conducted on humans or even animals. It was just tested on cells.
  • Another isolated report from 2019 found that a man’s lung cancer responded well to CBD oil after he turned down regular cancer treatment. This, however, is just one person and a range of other factors could have been at play. The results have not been shown in any wide peer-reviewed study.

Breast cancer

There is no conclusive evidence that CBD is good or can effectively treat breast cancer. There is some, however, anecdotal evidence indicating the benefits of CBD for breast cancer symptoms.

The primary reason people use CBD oil for breast cancer is to manage their symptoms. These may include muscle and joint pains, stress and anxiety, insomnia and also symptoms associated with chemo. This includes nausea as well as losing appetite.

One sufferer reported that she purchased CBD oil from her local pharmacy, and noticed that it helped her on some days. But when she stopped taking it, her discomfort worsened. She purchased CBD oil again, and it “made a significant improvement in my daily quality of life”. Note, however, that this is the case of one individual and many factors could have been at play.

BreastCancer.org conducted a survey of breast cancer patients. It found that 42% of those who completed the survey used medical cannabis to manage their symptoms or treatment side effects. Three quarters (i.e. 75%) of those people reported that the medical cannabis was “very” or “extremely” helpful.

Despite these promising findings, no large-scale study has been conducted on CBD’s effects on humans with breast cancer. You should always consult your doctor.

Side effects of using CBD Oil for cancer

There are very few negative side effects of using CBD oil for cancer. But the potential impact differs on a case-by-case basis. Some side effects of using CBD oil could include a change in weight, feeling tired, diarrhoea or an increased appetite.

But more research is necessary to completely understand its effect on the human body.

In 2018, the World Health Organisation said that CBD was generally safe. Negative side effects occurred probably due to CBD’s interaction with other medications that a person may be using. Pure CBD alone, however, has not itself been shown to be dangerous.

Cannabinoids may interfere with certain medications, so you should always talk to your doctor before taking CBD. This is especially so if you’re taking antibiotics, antidepressants, blood thinners, sedatives or undergoing chemotherapy.

Harvard Medical School has said that CBD has been shown to undermine the enzymes in the body that metabolise drugs.

So it’s important for cancer patients to understand that CBD oil is not a substitute.

Can CBD oil help dogs with cancer?

CBD oil is not a cure for a dog’s cancer, but it can alleviate its symptoms.

Unfortunately, sometimes dogs are diagnosed with cancer which can include bone cancer, mammary cancer, lymphoma and melanoma.

CBD can prove to be an effective supplement for dogs who are undergoing cancer treatment. But it won’t be the magic bullet you’re hoping for.

As with humans, CBD will interact with your dog’s endocannabinoid system. It mimics other cannabinoids that arise in your body naturally. It can be an effective way to treat symptoms such as stress, anxiety and also arthritis.

You should always consult your vet to determine if CBD oil is right for your fluffy friend. Many vets may be hesitant to comment simply because they don’t know enough. Consider seeing a specialist vet who is able to advise you on all your options. This should include whether CBD is an effective treatment.

You can read more about the benefits of CBD oil for dogs here.

The verdict

At the end of the day, the fight against cancer is ongoing. CBD oil is a promising treatment for those who are suffering from cancer. Many people have reported that their symptoms have subsided and that life is more manageable. Studies conducted have resulted in enlightening findings.

But more research is required. We still don’t understand the full effects of CBD on human beings suffering from cancer. So it’s always important to seek professional medical advice.

Where to buy CBD oil for cancer

You can purchase CBD oil online right here on this website. The Little Health Company. supplies full and broad-spectrum CBD oil crafted from organic industrial hemp plants. Our CBD oil is high-grade, free from contaminants and also alcohol-free.

If you’re looking to try CBD oil for your cancer symptoms, please consult your doctor. You can also contact us if you’ve got any questions about how CBD oil interacts with your body and how it may impact cancer symptoms.

Make sure to read our guide on where to buy CBD oil in Australia (which will tell you what to be careful of).

You may also be interested in reading our CBD oil fact sheet, containing more useful information on the product.