cbd oil treatment for lung cancer

BMJ Case Rep. 2021;14:e244195. Full text

The patient was contacted to discuss her results. She revealed that she was using CBD oil and that she had started taking it in August 2018. No changes had been made in her prescription medications, diet, and lifestyle, and she continued to smoke a pack of cigarettes every week.

A case report describes the dramatic shrinkage of a tumor to a quarter of its original size in a patient with non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who had declined conventional treatment, continued smoking, and who later revealed that she was ingesting cannabidiol (CBD) oil.

Another expert, Edzard Ernst, MD, PhD, professor emeritus of complementary medicine, University of Exeter, Exeter, United Kingdom, pointed out that in animal models, cannabinoids have reduced the size of prostate cancer tumors. “Previous case reports have yielded encouraging findings also in human cancers,” he noted. He too said that further study is needed.

Patient Declined Recommended Treatment

Over the course of 2.5 years, the tumor continued to regress. By February 2021, it had shrunk to 10 mm, which represents an overall reduction of 76% in maximum axial diameter. The average rate of reduction was 2.4% per month throughout the monitoring period.

The team also notes that there are similar case reports in the medical literature.

At diagnosis, the tumor measured 41 mm, and there was no evidence of local or further spread. Hence, it was suitable for a standard treatment regimen of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy, note the authors.

The patient initially presented with a persistent cough that did not resolve with antibiotic therapy. She has a history of mild chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, osteoarthritis, and hypertension. She is a current smoker with a 68 pack-year history of smoking. She has no history of alcohol consumption and is taking several prescription medications.

Details of the case were published on October 14 in BMJ Case Reports.

“More research is needed to identify the actual mechanism of action, administration pathways, safe dosages, its effects on different types of cancer and any potential adverse side effects when using cannabinoids,” they conclude.

The report authors describe the case of a woman in her 80s, diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer. She also had mild chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), osteoarthritis, and high blood pressure, for which she was taking various drugs.

She had done so on the advice of a relative, after witnessing her husband struggle with the side effects of radiotherapy. She said she consistently took 0.5 ml of the oil, usually three times a day, but sometimes twice.

And they emphasise: “Although there appears to be a relationship between the intake of CBD oil and the observed tumour regression, we are unable to conclusively confirm that the tumour regression is due to the patient taking CBD oil.”

The supplier had advised that the main active ingredients were Δ9-­tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) at 19.5%, cannabidiol at around 20%, and tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) at around 24%.

When contacted in 2019 to discuss her progress, the woman revealed that she had been taking CBD oil as an alternative self-treatment for her lung cancer since August 2018, shortly after her original diagnosis.

Notes for editors
Please note: out of respect for patient confidentiality we don’t have the names or contact details of the cases reported in this journal.

The body’s own endocannabinoids are involved in various processes, including nerve function, emotion, energy metabolism, pain and inflammation, sleep and immune function.

It may be worth exploring further the use of cannabidiol (‘CBD’) oil as a potential lung cancer treatment, suggest doctors in BMJ Case Reports after dealing with a daily user whose lung tumour shrank without the aid of conventional treatment.