CBD and Lung Cancer: What Do We Know So Far?


Dec 1, 2019

CBD, or cannabidiol oil, is all the rage in health-conscious, holistic, and alternative medicine circles today. Communities throughout the United States have hailed its benefits as revolutionary. 

Unfortunately, many unscrupulous proponents of CBD have also given it a bad name by making exaggerated and irresponsible claims about how it can be used and what it can cure. Among such claims is the one that CBD is a be all end all cure for cancer. These sorts of unsupported statements have tarnished CBD’s name and caused many to think that it is, in fact, just useless snake oil.

This is a shame, considering that CBD users around the world continue to benefit from its many positive qualities and effects.

While claiming that CBD can unequivocally cure lung cancer, or any other form of cancer is currently unsubstantiated, its effectiveness for treating several different symptoms of cancer is fairly well-documented.

CBD helps users every day alleviate symptoms like chronic pain, insomnia, and even lack of appetite. Since these symptoms are commonly felt by those suffering from lung cancer and undergoing treatment, CBD can be a helpful tool to help provide relief from some of these symptoms.

Lung cancer is a debilitating and common ailment. The American Cancer Society estimates that there were approximately 228,150 new cases of lung cancer and 142,670 deaths from lung cancer in 2019. These numbers are staggering, especially considering that lung cancer and its associated treatments can be extremely painstaking.

Research on CBD and Lung Cancer

Anything that is helping to address the harmful symptoms of such a pervasive illness, including CBD, should be respected and researched further. The irresponsible claims of some should not disqualify CBD entirely as a valid healing modality.

This is especially the case when considering the research that has been allowed to be conducted so far, such as this study about lung cancer’s responsiveness to CBD. It documented a striking response in the tumor of a patient suffering from lung cancer. Studies like this do seem to indicate that CBD could be helpful to cancer patients.

Even with such preliminary evidence, with a condition as widespread as lung cancer, medical professionals should be studying every treatment that shows any promise. 

How Regulatory Hurdles Sparked a Political Debate

According to Healthcare Weekly, due to regulations associated with the history of CBD oil, most research pertaining to CBD has been disallowed by many world governments. 

The prohibition of research has provoked a backlash from activists working to help expand cancer treatments. 

The issue has become further politicized by activists considering the data that black men are 15 percent more likely to be diagnosed with lung cancer than white men. When taken in tandem with the higher incarceration rates for black men than white men, activists claim that the war on drugs and associated prohibition of CBD research is an example of institutional racism. 

This becomes a polarizing issue in the media, but regardless of the political debate it has sparked, it is relatively uncontroversial today that CBD research should be expanded. In fact, most medical professionals today support expanding research into the possible applications to different ailments, including lung cancer.

Lung Cancer and Microdosing of CBD

Many lung cancer sufferers have taken to microdosing CBD to help combat the symptoms of the disease and associated treatment. In fact, one study in the journal of Cancer Medicine suggested that CBD might have cancer-fighting potential. The study, however, could not determine the cause of this, and how well CBD interacts with other cancer treatments.

Microdosing of CBD could be helpful in alleviating the symptoms of cancer treatments. In fact, the claim that CBD can help with the symptoms of cancer treatments like chemotherapy is further substantiated by the National Cancer Institute.

According to CBD Kyro, microdosing of CBD can also help to reduce inflammation in the body. Furthermore, it can help relieve pain in patients, particularly neuropathic pain. In fact, a 2018 review that looked at research studies carried out between 1975 and 2018 found that CBD can be effective for general pain management.

Mood Enhancing Qualities of CBD

Fighting lung cancer is as much a mental challenge as a physical one. Cancer sufferers often experience debilitating depression as a result of their impaired physical state. The accompanying pain, forced complacency, weight loss, and limited physical ability can be a hard mental blow.

Many CBD users report that it helps to boost their mood and in some cases even combat negative emotions such as fear, depression, and anxiety. According to Daily CBD Mag, CBD can sometimes be a natural solution to address these negative emotions, and one with very limited side effects.

Stimulating Appetite

One application of CBD common for cancer sufferers is to use it to stimulate the appetite. Often plagued by a debilitating lack of appetite, CBD can help to induce hunger pangs, so that patients can gain weight and regain their health.

It’s important to note that CBD does not boost appetite in the same way as marijuana. This is because it is THC that causes the sharp hunger pangs that smokers commonly refer to as “the munchies.” Since CBD contains virtually no THC, it does not increase appetite in the same way.

However, CBD boosts appetite for different reasons. It can reduce nausea, calm users’ nervous system, and relax the digestive system. As a result, it accomplishes a similar result for different reasons.

The Future of CBD and Lung Cancer Research

Numerous cell culture and animal studies have shown antitumor effects of cannabinoids in various cancers. This research, however, is still in its infancy, and it’s still too early to draw any definitive results about how CBD could aid in treating cancer.

The research that does exist, however, provides some very thought-provoking results that certainly merits further study of how CBD could be used to treat cancer outside of providing palliative care to cancer sufferers.

Now that regulations are beginning to loosen in many world governments, and public opinion is shifting towards the continued study of CBD as a healing modality, more benefits could well come to light. 

Despite this, no substantial studies on CBD’s effect of treating cancer are yet ongoing. Furthermore, the studies that have been conducted have been small in scale, and have indicated the need for further research.