Yet there’s very little research around CBD and its use in treating people with cancer. Here’s what to know about what CBD is and what science currently shows about whether it’s safe and effective for people with cancer to use.
There have been some studies that show that CBD, alone or together with THC, may relieve pain, insomnia, or anxiety, but these studies were not specific to people with cancer. While no studies to date have shown that CBD eases these side effects specifically in people with cancer or people receiving cancer treatment, some people with cancer have reported benefits in taking CBD, such as helping with nausea, vomiting, depression, and other side effects. According to ASCO guidelines, your doctor may consider prescribing cannabinoids for chronic pain management if you live in a state where it is legal. However, ASCO guidelines state that there is not enough evidence to support the use of cannabinoids for preventing nausea and vomiting in people with cancer receiving radiation therapy or chemotherapy.
What is CBD?
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 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.
The Hope With Answers℠ Intro video series discusses the use of CBD oil for lung cancer. Dr. Ross Camidge of the University of Colorado Medical Center and Matt Arensdorff, lung cancer patient advocate. provides basic information for those newly diagnosed with lung cancer. Start your journey of understanding and learn more about the importance of detecting lung cancer early and methods for detection and treatment.
The National Institutes of Health has prepared a PDQ document (FAQs) on the topic of Cannabis and Cannabinoids. As is true when taking anything along with prescribed medications, be sure to talk to your doctor before taking CBD in any form.
Learn about CBD oil, THC, and Marijuana and their uses for lung cancer patients through this discussion between Dr. Ross Camidge of the University of Colorado Medical Center and Matt Arensdorf, lung cancer patient and advocate:
Hope With Answers Video Series: CBD and Lung Cancer
More detailed information is shared in this intermediate video from Hope with Answers, providing more details for those who need a deeper knowledge about issues surrounding lung cancer. In this video, Dr. Ross Camidge along with patient and advocate Matt Aresndorf dig a little deeper answering questions like “Can CBD oil be used to help lung cancer patients?” and “What can it be used for?”