CBD Oil Shrinks Tumor in Lung Cancer Patient

CBD oil
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An 80-year-old’s lung tumor significantly regressed after self-administration of CBD oil, causing scientists to ponder the compound’s anti-cancer properties.

Scientists are discovering more and more therapeutic properties of the recreational drug cannabis. One particular compound present in the cannabis plant, cannabidiol (CBD) has garnered a huge amount of attention. Researchers have explored it as a potential treatment for migraines, epilepsy, and depression. Now, a recent case study has scientists wondering about the possible anti-cancer properties of CBD oil.

The case study, which was published in BMJ Case Reports, looked at the disease progression of an 80-year-old cancer patient. The woman was a regular smoker and had been diagnosed with lung cancer in 2018. However, she turned down all conventional lung treatments offered by her doctors. Therefore, the medical team monitored her tumor for any significant changes.

Existing cancer treatments could have severe side effects, both physically and mentally.

study authors

Unbeknownst to her doctors, the woman used self-prescribed CBD oil on the recommendation of a family friend. She took the oil orally, 2-3 times daily. Moreover, she continued to smoke throughout the 2.5-year surveillance. Interestingly, doctors noted a significant reduction in the tumor. From 1.6 inches in June 2018 to 0.4 inches in February 2021, there was an overall 76% reduction. Additionally, she did not report any adverse events from the use of CBD oil, except for a slight appetite loss.

Nasal Spray for Cancer

In the past, researchers have also trialled a cannabis-based drug for glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer. The trial assessed the efficacy of an oral spray, Sativex, that contained a combination of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). This is the first-ever major human trial looking at medical cannabis as a cancer treatment.

The potential for cannabinoids to be used as an alternative to augment or replace conventional primary cancer treatments definitely justifies further research.

study authors

Doctors believe that the case study demonstrates the potential tumor-regressing effects of cannabinoids. However, individual case reports are not enough for drawing conclusions. Therefore, researchers call for further research into the effects of CBD oil on cancerous tumors. Along with trials of cannabinoids for identifying its mechanism of action, safe dosage levels, and potential side effects.


Liew KL, Capuano E, Yung B. Lung cancer patient who had declined conventional cancer treatment: could the self-administration of ‘CBD oil’ be contributing to the observed tumour regression? BMJ Case Reports CP 2021;14:e244195. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bcr-2021-244195


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