Does Cannabis Help With Skin Cancer? Part 3


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.


It has become evident that Melanoma contributes to the greatest number of skin cancer-related deaths in the world. Although intensive research has been geared towards this area of cancer for decades, prevention and early detection are the only effective measures against melanoma, so new strategies are imperative for the management of cancers effecting the largest organ in the body, the skin! A recent review evaluated the efficacy of cannabinoid receptors, a new potential mechanism with antitumoral compounds. Human melanomas and melanoma cell lines express CB1and CB2 cannabinoid receptors which have indirect actions with Cannabidiol (CBD), therefore opening a whole new realm on cancer studies in regards to natural cannabis applications.

The mechanism by which cannabinoids inhibit melanoma cell proliferation was investigated in a recent study by Blazquez et al., 2006. The investigators found that through indirect activation of cannabinoid receptors melanoma cell proliferation decreased in part via inhibition of Akt, a pro-survival cellular pathway that is deregulated in many types of tumors, including melanoma. Although the use of cannabinoids in standard healthcare plans is limited, the current study displays efficacy in the management of malignant melanoma. In addition, these findings were associated with an improvement of  tumor-progression parameters, as well as with an inhibition of tumor-cell spreading, which is considered a clinical hallmark of advanced melanoma. Cannabinoid action seems to be selective for tumor vs. nontumor cells.


Although most cancers can be characterized by cellular mutation, inflammation and neoplasia (Tumor growth) each cancer type posses a unique characteristic, which makes progression of the disease unpredictable and unique to each diagnosis and breast cancer is no exception to these characteristics.

Metastasis typically characterizes the final stages of breast cancer, meaning that the cancer has actually spread through the lymphatic system to other regions of the body and seems to be the least understood component of any cancer. The Id-1 gene has recently been shown to be a key regulator of the metastatic potential of the breast. It has recently been explained that Id-1 was down regulated with administration of cannabidiol (CBD), in aggressive human breast cancer cells. The CBD concentrations effective at inhibiting Id-1 expression correlated with those used to inhibit the proliferative and invasive activity of breast cancer cells McAllister et al., 2007

An additional study on human breast carcinoma indicated that the use of cannabis extracts enriched in either cannabidiol (CBD) or THC showed success in a panel of tumor cell lines that clearly demonstrated, of the five natural compounds tested, cannabidiol is the most potent inhibitor of cancer cell growth and proliferation, Ligresti et al., 2006. CBD represents the first nontoxic exogenous agent that can significantly decrease Id-1 expression in metastatic breast cancer cells leading to the down-regulation of tumor aggressiveness.

Although many of these findings are still in the preliminary stages, the safety and efficacy of cannabis products is becoming a force to be reckoned with. As legislations have shifted, we hope to see a change in the efforts of Americas health care system to advocate for the efficacy of cannabis to treat up to 93 different ailments including cancer, naturally.


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.

Cannabinoid options of application:

Transdermal (Skin)-Topical Salve: This application is typically used for acute and direct application. Such as an ankle sprain, arthritis, tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, carpal tunnel, tennis elbow, fibromyalgia and migraines. Full-spectrum salves provide a whole panel of cannabinoids for increased potency.

Edible Application

Tinctures: Tincture oils are utilized in full-spectrum form (whole plant derived) and Isolated forms (Pure CBD) that are applied directly under the tongue or mixed in water. This form is typically used for direct application to the central nervous system and the entire body for ailments like anxiety, stress, epilepsy, insomnia, depression, PTSD, autoimmune responses, ADHD, cancer, systemic inflammatory disease such as, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and metabolic syndrome. All applications are available as CBD isolate, broad spectrum and full spectrum.

Soft Gels: Full-spectrum soft gels essentially have the same application as tincture oils. The difference is that each soft gel is measured to a specific milligram to provide a consumer with a perfectly measured dose of CBD. This would be used for any ailments one might use CBD for, including all the ones listed above.

 Superfood powder: Super food green powder has a broad range of greens, phytonutrients, vitamins and of course CBD. This application is great to give some a nice, clean energy boost before a workout or just to get your day started naturally with improved focus.


  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;
  4. McAllister SD, Christian RT, Horowitz MP, Garcia A, Desprez P-Y. Cannabidiol as a novel inhibitor of Id-1 gene expression in aggressive breast cancer cells [Internet]. Mol Cancer Ther 2007;6(11):2921 LP-2927. Available from:
  5. Ligresti A, Moriello AS, Starowicz K, et al. Antitumor Activity of Plant Cannabinoids with Emphasis on the Effect of Cannabidiol on Human Breast Carcinoma [Internet]. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 2006;318(3):1375 LP-1387. Available from:
  6. Blázquez C, Carracedo A, Barrado L, et al. Cannabinoid receptors as novel targets for the treatment of melanoma [Internet]. FASEB J 2006;20(14):2633–Available from: