Cancer To Cannabis: Part 1


Cancer has become a major public health concern in the United States and around the globe. It is estimated that one in four deaths in the US are due to cancer. Statistics from 2005 estimated that 1.4 million people were diagnosed with cancer that year and the estimated amount of deaths was just over half a million and the growth rate was projected to increase by 0.3% per year. In general, cancer can be characterized as neoplastic and is due to numerous cellular changes. Although all cancers are different, the common features underlying neoplasia (Tumor growth) is alterations in the cellular membrane. It has become apparent that these changes are caused by environmental factors like poor air quality, smoking tobacco, consuming excessive amounts of alcohol, poor work environments, poor diet and radiation exposure, Jemal et al., 2009.


Cannabidiol (CBD) has been recognized as a major non-psychoactive constituent of cannabis that can be ingested or applied topically. Research has shown that cannabis possesses anti-neoplastic properties, meaning that it can inhibit or halt the development of cancerous tumors by initiating cell death, limiting inflammation, cell proliferation, and cell survival. In particular, emerging evidence suggests that cannabinoid receptors expressed by tumor cells may offer a healthier strategy to treat certain cancers, which may also depend on how aggressive it might be. McAllister et al., 2011.


Data has demonstrated the safety and efficacy of CBD in pre-clinical models of breast cancer. The results have the potential to lead to the development of revolutionized non-toxic compounds for the treatment of breast cancer metastasis, and the information gained through recent experiments broaden our knowledge of cannabinoid biology as it pertains to cancer progression. Shrivastava et al., 2011.

It has been documented that endo-cannabinoid agents affect multiple signaling pathways and biological processes involved in cancer development. Emerging evidence suggests that agonists of cannabinoid receptors, which share the useful property to differentiate between tumor cells and their unchanged counterparts, could represent a tumor-selective ability to treat cancer in addition to their already exploited use to treat nausea, pain, anorexia and weight loss in cancer patients.

Although further research is needed to confirm recent findings, pre-clinical trials have demonstrated numerous times that cannabis pathways indeed play a role in multiple mechanism associated with cancer and the progression of the disease. Federal legislations have recently enabled the medical industry to take steps towards providing concrete research that will allow people to utilize safe and natural hemp remedies to improve disease and health care outcomes.

New to CBD? check out the related link to the new user guide.


  1. Jemal A, Siegel R, Ward E. Cancer statistics, 2009. CA a cancer J …2009;
  2. Shrivastava A, Kuzontkoski PM, Groopman JE, Prasad A. Cannabidiol Induces Programmed Cell Death in Breast Cancer Cells by Coordinating the Cross-talk between Apoptosis and Autophagy. Mol Cancer Ther2011;
  3. McAllister SD, Murase R, Christian RT, et al. Pathways mediating the effects of cannabidiol on the reduction of breast cancer cell proliferation, invasion, and metastasis. Breast Cancer Res Treat2011;