Case Study: Can CBD Oil Reduce Lung Cancer Tumors?

Case Study- Can CBD Oil Reduce Lung Cancer Tumors?

A case study links the daily use of cannabidiol oil (CBD) with lung cancer regression in an 80-year-old woman who refused conventional treatment.

  • The researchers cannot definitively confirm that CBD oil caused the tumour to shrink.
  • More research is needed to define the mechanism of action, effects on different types of cancer, adverse reactions, and optimal dosage and routes of administration.

Cannabinoids are chemical compounds present in the Cannabis sativa plant ( C. sativa ). Some people use cannabis therapeutically to treat seizures, pain, inflammation, spasms, and anxiety .

CBD and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the two main cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant. However, CBD does not produce the feeling of euphoria, or “euphoria,” that people associate with using cannabis.

CBD oil is a concentrated extract derived from cannabis leaves or flowers dissolved in a consumable oil such as olive oil, hemp or sunflower oil. There are different types of CBD oil containing various concentrations of cannabinoids.

CBD isolates contain only CBD. Full-spectrum CBD products contain compounds from all parts of the C. Sativa plant, with less than 0.3% THC.

Broad-spectrum CBD products include most of the same compounds as full-spectrum ones, but only trace amounts of THC.

Full and broad-spectrum products can produce greater clinical effects than CBD isolates due to the entourage effect – the combination of cannabinoids has a more pronounced impact than the individual ones.

Cannabinoids interact with the body’s internal cannabinoid system, which experts call the endocannabinoid system. This system modulates:

  • nerve function
  • appetite
  • metabolism
  • ache
  • emotions
  • inflammation
  • immune response
  • to sleep

Currently, some people with cancer may use cannabinoids for supportive care to treat chemotherapy-related pain and nausea and vomiting.

Progressive tumour shrinkage

Doctors in the UK recently published an article in the journal BMJ Case Reports . The case report describes a woman in her 80s with lung cancer who experienced tumour regression while taking CBD oil.

She also has a history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, hypertension, and osteoarthritis and has been given medications to treat these conditions. The woman reported smoking just over one pack of cigarettes per week, or 68 packs per year, before and after diagnosis. In June and July 2018, doctors examined the woman, which included a CT scan, a computed tomography (PET) scan, an MRI, and a biopsy, to establish and confirm the diagnosis.

Doctors arrived at a diagnosis of stage IIB non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) . The initial CT scan showed a 41-millimetre (mm), or 1.6-inch (in.) nodule in the middle lobe of the woman’s right lung.

The test did not reveal lymph node involvement or metastasis, which is when cancer spreads to other parts of the body. Therefore, the doctors recommended a curative treatment.

Treatment for NSCLC may include surgery, radiofrequency removal, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy. Doctors repeated the chest CT scan in September 2018, which showed a reduction of the right middle lobe cancer to 33 mm (1.3 in.) and two new nodules in the left apex and right upper lobe.

The woman refused surgical removal of the lobe due to the risks of surgery. She also refused radiofrequency ablation treatment because of the side effects her late husband experienced with radiation therapy.

Doctors decided to monitor the patient by performing CT scans every 3-6 months. During the 2.5-year follow-up period, CT scan showed a progressive decrease of the initial right middle lobe nodule from 41 mm (1.6 in) in June 2018 to 10 mm (0.4 in) in February 2021. At that time, the woman revealed that she started taking CBD oil at a dose of 0.5 millilitres orally three times a day and occasionally twice a day shortly after diagnosis.

The active ingredients specified by the supplier were THC (19.5%), CBD (20.05%) and tetrahydrocannabinol acid (23.8%). On the recommendation of the supplier, the woman did not take the CBD oil with hot food or drinks because she wanted to avoid “getting high”. She reported decreased appetite while taking CBD oil.

The woman did not change her diet, lifestyle, or prescribed medications during this period. She also reported continuing to smoke one pack of cigarettes a week during the surveillance period.

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