Leukemia & Hemp Derived CBD


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.


Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)  is considered the most common form of leukemia in developed countries and is characterized by a rapid increase and accumulation of tumor encouraging B-lymphocytes in the blood, bone marrow, lymph nodes, and spleen, which are typically seen as markers for injury and illness. The typical age of diagnosis is 65 years, with only 10 to 15 percent under 50 years of age Rozman et al., 1995.  

Although all forms of leukemia share similarities such as excessive white blood cell production within the blood indicating a heightened immune response and cellular mutation and proliferation, each subtypes posses their own particular traits. 

Other forms of leukemia and their specific traits are listed as follows:

Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), also called acute lymphoblastic leukemia and acute lymphoid leukemia, is a blood cancer that results when abnormal white blood cells (leukemia cells) accumulate in the bone marrow. It can occur at any age, but acute lymphocytic leukemia incidences occur most frequently in people under the age of 15 or over the age of 45. Although ALL makes up the largest percentage of leukemia diagnoses in children under the age of 15 (specifically between the ages of two to four), it is rare for adults to develop this disease.

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML), also known as acute myelogenous leukemia, acute myeloblastic leukemia, acute granulocytic leukemia or acute nonlymphocytic leukemia, is a fast-growing form of cancer of the blood and bone marrow. AML is the most common type of acute leukemia. It occurs when the bone marrow begins to make blasts, cells that have not yet completely matured. These blasts normally develop into white blood cells. However, in AML, these cells do not develop and are unable to ward off infections.

Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), also known as chronic myelogenous leukemia, begins in the blood-forming cells of the bone marrow and then, over time, spreads to the blood. Eventually, the disease spreads to other areas of the body. It has been shown that CML is associated with an abnormal chromosome known as the Philadelphia chromosome (Ph chromosome). 

Chromosomes are structures in cells that contain genes, which give instructions to the cells. The Ph chromosome is an abnormality that occurs when a piece of chromosome 22 breaks off and attaches to the end of chromosome 9, which also breaks off and attaches to chromosome 22.The breaks in both chromosomes cause the BCR and ABL genes, which combine to create the cancer gene. The link between the Ph chromosome and CML was discovered around 1960.

Hairy cell leukemia (HCL) is a rare subtype of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) that progresses slowly. HCL is caused when bone marrow makes too many B cells (lymphocytes), a type of white blood cell that fights infection. As the number of leukemia cells increases, fewer healthy white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets are produced. HCL affects more men than women, and it occurs most commonly in middle-aged or older adults. HCL is considered a chronic disease because it may never completely disappear.

Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are a group of closely related diseases in which the bone marrow produces too few functioning red blood cells (which carry oxygen), white blood cells (which fight infection), or platelets (which prevent or stop bleeding), or any combination of the three. The different types of myelodysplastic syndromes are diagnosed based on certain changes in the blood cells and bone marrow. The cells in the blood and bone marrow (also called myelo) usually look abnormal (or dysplastic), hence the name myelodysplastic syndromes.

According to the American Cancer Society, about 13,000 people a year are diagnosed with MDS. In the past, MDS was commonly referred to as a preleukemic condition (and it is still sometimes called preleukemia) because some people with MDS develop acute leukemia as a complication of the disease. However, most patients with MDS will never develop acute leukemia.


A study published in the journal of molecular pharmacology examined the effects of  cannabidiol (CBD), on the induction of cellular death in leukemic cells. Exposure of leukemia cells to CBD oil led to reductions in cell viability and induction in cellular death (Apoptosis). Furthermore, CBD treatment led to a significant decrease in tumor borders McKallip et al., 2006. 

An additional study also showed a dose dependent increase in cellular death with 8 μg/ml CBD and 15 μg/ml CBD-DMH, respectively, after a 24 hour treatment. This would ultimately indicate that optimal doses of CBD oil regularly could provide marked decreases in cellular mutation and increases in cellular death (Apoptosis) Gallily et al., 2009.

Together, the results from the listed studies reveal that cannabidiol (CBD), acting through CB1 & CB2 receptors (directly and Indirectly), may be a novel and highly selective treatment for leukemia and other forms of cancers not only associated with the blood. Although many of these preliminary findings express safety and efficacy of CBD oil to treat certain cancers, concrete evidence through randomized controls trials will need to take place before we see integration of the treatment options with cannabis in western medical practices.


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: http://mct.aacrjournals.org/content/6/11/2921.abstract
  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: http://jpet.aspetjournals.org/content/318/3/1375.abstract
  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: https://doi.org/10.1096/fj.06-6638fje
  7. 1. McKallip RJ, Jia W, Schlomer J, Warren JW, Nagarkatti PS, Nagarkatti M. Cannabidiol-Induced Apoptosis in Human Leukemia Cells: A Novel Role of Cannabidiol in the Regulation of p22 and Nox4 Expression. Mol Pharmacol 2006;70(3):897 LP-908.
  8.  1. Gallily R, Even-Chen T, Katzavian G, Lehmann D, Dagan A, Mechoulam R. γ-Irradiation Enhances Apoptosis Induced by Cannabidiol, a Non-psychotropic Cannabinoid, in Cultured HL-60 Myeloblastic Leukemia Cells [Internet]. Leuk Lymphoma 2003;44(10):1767–73.