Past studies have shown that cannabinoids can interact with signalling pathways in cells, including cancer cells. They have been studied for use as a primary cancer treatment, but the results have been inconsistent
As per a study published in the journal in BMJ Case Reports, an 80-year-old woman, who used cannabidiol (CBD) oil for her tumor and rejected conventional treatment, witnessed her tumor shrink.
In the study, doctors at UK’s Respiratory Department in the Watford General Hospital have stated that the woman was suffering from non-small lung cancer with a tumor measuring 41 mm, in 2018.
The woman was also a patient of osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, and mild chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). She was on medications for these issues and furthermore, she was also a chain smoker.
The lady’s tumor did not show evidence of further spread and she was advised to undergo chemotherapy or surgery. However, the woman refused to do so and began self-medication, which was using 0.5ml of CBD oil three times a day. She kept her treatment on since August 2018.
Regular check-ups and CT scans within an interval of three to six months revealed that the size of the tumor had shrunk from 41mm to 10 mm by February 2021. This means, the tumour reduced by 76 percent in diameter.
In the paper, doctors further mentioned that she chose to use cannabidiol oil orally two-three times a day without taking permission from them and they saw the size of her tumor reduce through serial imaging.
The woman said that she had a reduced appetite since she was consuming this oil, but she did not experience any side effects. She also told doctors that the person who used to supply cannabidiol oil advised her to avoid hot food and drinks while taking the oil as it could lead to intoxication.
Cannabinoids are found in cannabis or in a marijuana plant and are often used as a natural remedy for various common ailments. The substance, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is present in cannabis and gives the feeling of being ‘high’. But CBD is not psychoactive like THC and it gives relief from pain without the mind-altering effects of marijuana. CBD oil, extracted from cannabis plant, helps in reducing side effects and symptoms related to cancer, vomiting, and nausea.
This is, however, just one case report, with only one other similar case reported, caution the authors. And it’s not clear which of the CBD oil ingredients might have been helpful.
The body’s own endocannabinoids are involved in various processes, including nerve function, emotion, energy metabolism, pain and inflammation, sleep and immune function. Chemically similar to these endocannabinoids, cannabinoids can interact with signalling pathways in cells, including cancer cells. They have been studied for use as a primary cancer treatment, but the results have been inconsistent.
“We are unable to confirm the full ingredients of the CBD oil that the patient was taking or to provide information on which of the ingredient(s) may be contributing to the observed tumour regression,” doctors pointed out.
And they emphasised, “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.”