Cannabis and Cancer

Liz Filmer
20 Nov 2022

There is much interest in the potential effects of cannabinoids on cancer. Some people claim that using CBD has positively impacted their general health. These are anecdotal stories, however, not scientific evidence.


Research has been carried out to see if THC and CBD could play any role in cancer treatment. Nothing has been proven yet. Most of this research is still in the very early stages and is still being done in the laboratory.

Nevertheless, it will continue in a bid to see if cannabis-based medicines could help treat some cancers or symptoms. There have been some small studies of people. But presently, there is no reliable medical evidence to say without a doubt that cannabis, in any of its many forms, has the power to act effectively and safely treat cancer.

What does the research say?

Research has found that cannabinoids can:

  • cause cells to die
  • prevent cells from dividing
  • prevent cells from developing new blood vessels.

However, it has also been discovered that cannabinoids may:

  • damage blood vessels
  • encourage cancer cells to grow¬†
  • Weaken the immune system.

Research has also examined how cannabis use may affect the risk of developing cancer in the first place. Some studies have found that using cannabis may reduce the risk of developing cancer. Still, other studies show it increases the risk of cancer.

Because of these mixed results, experts need to conduct more human studies into cannabis, its compounds and their potential benefits.

CBD Oil and Cannabis Oil.

Many types of cannabis oil and CBD oil are sold online. CBD oil is legal in most countries and is widely sold in pharmacies and health food shops. 

CBD oil is not a controlled substance under the Misuse of Drugs Act. It can be sold in the UK as a food supplement if the seller does not make any claims about its medicinal properties.

There are different ways of taking CBD oil. These include a liquid you put under your tongue or capsules you swallow.

Understandably, many people want to try anything that may help treat cancer, particularly if conventional cancer treatments are not going well. This could be if they have cancer themselves or if a loved one has cancer.

But if you are considering CBD oil, there are some essential things to consider.

Effects of CBD oil on cancer treatment

It is essential to talk to your cancer doctor before using CBD oil. CBD can affect some cancer treatments, and your cancer doctor needs to know about any possible effects or side effects you might have.

Buying cannabis products online.

Buying cannabis products, including CBD oil, online can be risky. They are not regulated, so the quality and what is in them are often unknown.

In 2017, a researcher tested 84 CBD products sold online. The results showed that:

  • about 1 in 4 (26%) had less CBD than stated on the label
  • almost half (48%) had more CBD than stated on the label
  • more than 1 in 5 (21%) contained THC.

Side effects of cannabis oil

There are side effects of using cannabis oil. THC can:

  • increase your heart rate
  • cause dizziness, hallucinations and paranoia
  • make you feel stoned.

Effects on other medicines

CBD and THC can affect how some medicines work.

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Liz Filmer