Although cannabidiol (“CBD”) has grown extremely popular over the past couple of years thanks to anecdotal user claims of medical efficacy, most scientists have been reluctant to say anything conclusive until they carry out more in-depth research. Users have claimed that CBD can be effective against pain, anxiety, depression, and insomnia; in limited circles, some even claim that the hemp extract can kill cancer cells. But as the research on CBD’s potential benefits and risks is limited and in its infancy, experts have cautioned against using CBD as an alternative to prescribed medication, especially when life-threatening conditions like cancer are concerned. However, the curious case of a woman with lung cancer has underscored the need for more in-depth research on CBD as a potential treatment for cancer.
According to a newly published report in “BMJ Case Reports,” a female patient in her 80s who suffered from cancer may have benefited from using CBD oil. An active smoker, the patient smoked at least one pack per week and was afflicted with several health conditions, including high blood pressure and COPD. She was also diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer after doctors discovered a 41mm malignant tumor in her lung.
After that 2018 diagnosis, the patient refused conventional treatment and only came in for regular healthcare monitoring as well as CT scans every half year. Although the type of cancer she suffered from had an estimated half-year survival rate sans treatment, the patient was still alive as of February 2021, and her tumor had decreased by 76% (to 10mm) despite refusing treatment.
In 2019, she revealed that she had started taking around 0.5ml of CBD oil two to three times a day, and details by the supplier show that the CBD oil had 20% CBD, 19.5% THC and 24% THCA. It seems as if the tumor shrunk without the help of conventional cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation and surgery, and despite the fact that the patient continued to smoke during this period, she did not experience any prescription or lifestyle changes. The report’s authors suggest that while there may indeed be a connection between CBD oil consumption and tumor regression, more research is needed for them to fully understand the relationship,
Currently, some cancer patients use cannabis not to treat their tumors but to alleviate the side effects of the condition and cancer treatment, including nausea, vomiting, insomnia and lack of appetite. Dr. James B. Yu, a radiation oncologist at Yale Medicine and a therapeutic radiology professor at the School of Medicine at Yale University, also notes that this singular case should not be seen as concrete evidence of CBD’s cancer treating abilities because there are cases of lung cancer regressing without conventional treatment.
This case study adds to the existing limited verifiable data about the possible benefits of various cannabinoids such as CBD, and it makes a case for the FDA to pass enabling policies creating uniform federal regulations for CBD product makers such as Simply Sonoma Inc. and manufacturers of other cannabis-based products.
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