CBD Oil and Skin Cancer: What Does the Research Say

While chemotherapy and radiation have mostly been the go-to approach to tackling cancer, a new item seems to be creating quite a buzz regarding the matter. Cannabidiol or CBD has been doing rounds about being an effective treatment method for skin, especially skin cancer.

It has shown to be effective in numerous medical conditions such as epilepsy, seizures, loss of appetite or anorexia, intestinal bowel syndrome, and even various forms of cancer, such as the brain, colorectal, breast, pancreas, and even skin.

While there are numerous CBD-based products available in the market, such as pain relief spray, pain relief roll-on, facial serums, face creams, body oils, recovery lotions, and more, we need to first understand what exactly CBD is before we can begin to understand its positive benefits for treating or tackling skin cancer.

Understanding CBD

 CBD or Cannabidiol is obtained from the Cannabis plant. Scientifically named Cannabis sativa, this plant is more commonly referred to as the hemp plant. While many people know the plant because of its psychotropic properties, the Cannabis plant is increasingly being recognized in good light owing to the numerous health benefits it comes with.

Extraction processes are used to get the CBD component of the plant out, which is then processed to prepare a wide range of CBD-based products. This part also has very low levels (almost minimal) of THC, which is the psychotropic component in the hemp plant responsible for making people ‘high.’ Since the levels of THC are so low, using CBD-based products will only have positive health benefits and won’t induce any psychotropic effects.

What does the research say about using CBD oil for skin cancer?

 There has been extensive research regarding the potency of CBD oil in helping tackle skin cancer. Several researches suggest that when CBD oil is used in combination with other cancer treatment methods, it can help reduce tumor growth at an accelerated speed. Many researches also suggest that in a few cases, the usage of CBD oil can help increase the potency of cancer drugs.

Here are some more pieces of evidence that support the beneficial effect of CBD oil when trying to tackle skin cancer:

  • A 2015 study by the Journal of Investigative Dermatology showed that a THC and CBD mixture promoted autophagy (the breakdown of unnecessary cell components while keeping healthy cells safe) of cancerous cells. It also enabled cell death and prevented the spreading of cancer cells.
  • Another in-vitro skin cancer study was conducted by the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology that showed the death of melanoma cells in mice up to 90%.
  • Another study was published in the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, which says that if CBD connects to those cancerous cells on the skin that have CBD receptors, it can help reduce the strength of cancer.
  • A study by Vanderbilt University showed that CBD suppresses angiogenesis, which is the process by which blood is supplied to a tumor that furthers its growth and spread in the body. CBD has shown to inhibit this process, causing the tumor cells to receive no blood, and eventually, die out over time.

These are just a few studies that have shown the positive health benefits of using CBD oil to help relieve the effects of skin cancer. Numerous other studies have shown its potency in causing cell death of tumorous cells and also allowing cancer drugs to increase their potency so that their positive effects can be seen in the patient faster.

To truly make the best use of CBD in cancer treatment, research has been ongoing about how to administer the right amount of CBD to the patient and what are the other possible administration methods. Research is also ongoing about how CBD interacts with other chemotherapy drugs and how specific cancer types can be killed using CBD.

Supporting researches for other forms of cancer and medical conditions

 CBD was first shown to have loads of positive effects for treating epilepsy and preventing seizures. It was effective in patients of all age groups, from children to adults. It helped them reduce the effects of seizures and epilepsies and also allowed them to recover faster. This led health professionals to carry out research in numerous other medical areas, out of which cancer turned out to be a promising candidate.

A 2019 study in the Journal of Pancreatic Cancer states that CBD has multiple benefits when trying to cure pancreatic cancer. It helps slow the growth of tumors and causes them to die. Two studies, published each in Oncotarget Open Access Impact Journal and Journal of Neurooncology, have shown CBD to be a promising candidate to help kill gliomas or brain tumor cells. They not only help kill the cancer cells but also stimulate cancer drugs to increase their potency.

Another 2014 study published in Phytomedicine showed the efficiency of CBD in the inhibition of colon carcinogenesis. CBD was shown to be highly effective in reducing the spread of colorectal cancer cells. CBD has also shown to be effective in treating breast cancer. A Breast Cancer Research and Treatment study published in Springer states the positive effects of CBD on the reduction of breast cancer cell proliferation, invasion, and metastasis.

CBD oil as a complementary treatment for skin cancer

 While there are loads of researches and studies that have shown how CBD oils can reduce the growth of cancer cells, destroy the cancer cells, and help regulate skin cancer, it is important to note here that there are still no solid evidence about using CBD oil as a sole treatment method for skin cancer. Health professionals used CBD oil always in complementary ways with other cancer treatment methods, such as chemotherapy and radiation, to help tackle skin cancer.

Apart from cell death and increasing the potency of drugs, CBD oils have also shown benefits in the following areas:

  • Radiation and chemotherapy drugs can cause a lot of nausea and vomiting. This also causes people to become incredibly weak, which makes them prone to infections and can also sometimes make them too weak to continue the treatment. CBD oils have shown to be very beneficial when trying to keep nausea and vomiting at bay and getting some relief from it.
  • Another side effect of undergoing skin cancer is the loss of appetite. Patients are shown to get an aversion to food and drinks. Slight ingestion can cause them to vomit it out or upset their stomachs. Chemotherapy and radiation are energy-draining cancer treatments, and losing your appetite can cause you to become incredibly weak and open to infections. CBD oils have shown to help increase people’s appetite so that they can maintain a healthy weight when undergoing cancer treatment.
  • Cancer treatments also cause a huge deal of pain. The procedure is incredibly painful and uncomfortable. To be able to bring some pain relief, CBD oil can be given. CBD oils can help lower pain levels since they have the ability to interact with serotonin and anandamide, both of which are responsible for keeping a happy and painless state of the body.

Different methods of taking CBD oils to tackle skin cancer

 There are several ways CBD oils can be introduced in the bloodstream of cancer patients. Let us have a look at the most common ways people use to incorporate CBD oils in their cancer treatment methods.


Topicals are applied directly to that part of the skin that needs to be targeted. These include pain relief creams and salves. Pain relief roll-ons are also beginning to get popular. They are infused with a particular concentration of CBD oil. The concentration is dependent upon the condition of the target area. They help bring relief from pain by getting absorbed in the skin and attaching themselves to their CBD receptors in the lower layers of the skin.


Tinctures again are prepared by keeping a certain concentration of CBD oil in mind. A pipette is used to administer a very precise dose of CBD oil. The pipette is filled with the CBD-infused tincture up to a particular level, and the drops are released one by one under the tongue of the patient. This area has a large number of nerves, which help with the faster and more effective absorption of the oil. The oil is thus introduced into the circulatory system from where it is taken to the target site.


A spray bottle is used to introduce the CBD oil in the bloodstream. Pain relief sprays are highly effective in helping deal with pain, especially during an ongoing chemotherapy or radiation session. The mucus lining in the nose is highly effective in helping absorb CBD oil droplets, thus fastening its positive actions.


Just like intranasal CBD oils are sprayed into the nose of the patient, oromucosal CBD oils are sprayed into the mouth of the cancer patient. The mucus lining the mouth is highly effective in helping absorb CBD oils faster.


Another way of carrying out precise dosing of CBD oils is by using capsules. They have an accurate amount of CBD oil put into them and are also highly easy to ingest. If someone needs faster pain relief immediately, they are given capsules with a higher strength in them. CBD oil capsules are given to the patient just like you would give any other regular tablet or capsule.


If, for any reason, the cancer patient is not able to swallow capsules and has trouble with sprays and topicals, CBD oil-infused edibles are a great way of administering CBD oil to the patient. They usually come as gummy bears and chocolates.

Other health benefits of using CBD

 CBD helps reduce anxiety. This is an incredibly good option to go for if the cancer patient is experiencing anxiety during the ongoing treatment and needs to be calmed down.

  • Inflammation of the skin and other internal body organs is an incredibly painful and uncomfortable medical condition. CBD products such as oils, balms, tinctures, capsules, and so on are very useful to help reduce inflammation and make the patient more comfortable.
  • CBD products are a great option when trying to tackle nausea and preventing vomiting.
  • CBD-based products are high in antioxidents, which allows them to become good moisturizing agents. They can have numerous benefits on the skin, including reducing acne.
  • CBD also has incredible benefits when trying to better cardiovascular health.
  • Intestinal Bowel Syndrome is another medical condition that has shown to be improved significantly in patients that use CBD products complementary to their regular medications.


 There isn’t a lot that can be done to treat the numerous forms of cancer, and any relief is welcomed. CBD has shown to be incredibly potent for numerous forms of cancer, including skin. The side effects are usually minimal, which include tiredness, weight, and appetite changes (which in the case of cancer patients is a good thing since they can maintain a normal healthy weight), and mild diarrhea.

It is important to always consult your doctor before you put yourself on CBD products since they can sometimes interact with other drugs such as antibiotics, antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications, anti-seizure medications, blood thinners, and other chemotherapy drugs. These interactions leave both drugs useless and will do more harm than good, which is why you need to make sure that your doctor approves the CBD products.

Moreover, based on the numerous conclusive research that has shown CBD to be highly useful, it will be a waste if it is not tried. Any form of cancer – be it skin or brain or breast – is a hard and challenging time for not just the patient but also their family members and loved ones. It is important to help the patient stay relaxed, comfortable, and out of pain. CBD is a great product to use when it comes to tackling nausea, pain, irritability, and even appetite loss.

The only thing you need to make sure is to stay away from CBD products that claim over-the-top health benefits. Consult your doctor at every step and at least try to ease the pain and nausea that comes unwelcomingly with cancer by making the best use of CBD-based products such as oils, tinctures, creams, salves, capsules, sprays, and roll-ons.

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