After Lady’s Tumor Unexpectedly Shrinks, Her Docs Surprise If CBD Oil Performed a Function

    A row of bottles of CBD oil can be seen in a branch of the health chain Planet Organic on February 17, 2020 in London, England.

A row of bottles of CBD oil can be seen in a branch of the health chain Planet Organic on February 17, 2020 in London, England. Photo: Leon Neal (Getty Images)

Doctors in the UK say they have encountered an unusual case of cancer cure: a woman in her 80s whose lung cancer began to shrink without conventional treatment after starting daily CBD / THC oil. While it’s far from clear that the oil actually affected their tumor, doctors argue that cannabis and its main ingredients deserve further research as a potential cancer treatment.

The CBD in CBD oil comes from cannabidiol, one of the two main compounds in cannabis. These products may also contain delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the other main compound responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis. CBD oil and similar products are in a dismal legal market in much of the world. Only one medicinal use of CBD is currently approved in the United States, a high-dose version that is believed to help relieve symptoms in people with certain seizure disorders. But cannabis and CBD oil are allowed sold and used in much of the country as well as some other countries such as the UK.

The patient in this case had a persistent cough for months until her doctor’s visit in February 2018. By summer, imaging tests and a biopsy clearly showed lung cancer, particularly non-small cell lung cancer. Although she was a smoker and already had lung problems, the doctors found her case treatable. But after long discussions, the woman decided to decline options such as surgery or radiation therapy. Because of this, doctors agreed to simply keep an eye on the growth of their cancer through routinely scheduled imaging tests.

Notably, the woman’s cancer began to shrink without the doctors’ intervention. Compared to the initial imaging in June 2018, they estimated that the size of the cancer had shrunk by 76% by February 2021. In February 2019, after a year of shrinking, doctors spoke to the woman about her results, and she stated that she had been taking a CBD oil product on the advice of a relative since June 2018, usually in three doses a day. Other than decreased appetite, the woman reported no side effects from her treatment, and doctors could not see any other changes in her prescribed medications, diet, or lifestyle (she was advised to quit smoking, but had continued to do so) during this time.

“This case seems to demonstrate a possible benefit of taking ‘CBD oil’ that could have led to the observed tumor regression,” the doctors wrote in their report on the case. released Thursday in BMJ case reports.

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Some outside experts in the UK are currently skeptical. In a summary of the comments collected of the Science Media Center, Edzard Ernst, retired professor of complementary medicine at the University of Exeter, noted that “Case reports cannot be considered reliable evidence and there is currently no data from rigorous clinical studies to suggest that cannabis products have the natural history of Change cancer. “

Lead author Kah Ling Liew, a doctor in the respiratory department at Princess Alexandra Hospital, told Gizmodo that the woman was still alive and being actively pursued. When she last checked out this year, the cancer doesn’t seem to have made a comeback and has gotten so small that they can no longer measure its size from the scans she gets.

Liew and her colleagues are aware that they cannot know that the woman’s CBD oil habit caused her cancer to shrink. But they say that they cannot find any other plausible explanation at this point either. It is known that cancer can sometimes occur spontaneous regression, where the tumor suddenly shrinks for no clear reason without treatment, but Liew said this scenario is unlikely.

“Of course we cannot confirm the causality from this single case,” she said. “However, spontaneous regression is extremely rare in such cases. The only difference in this case was the ingestion of the ‘CBD oil’. “

Cannabis is already sometimes used to reduce nausea and other symptoms resulting from standard treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation. However, the team notes that the effects of CBD and other cannabinoids on cancer have themselves been studied, including some demonstrate that they can directly influence the growth and development of tumors. However, they also note that animal studies have been mixed, with some even suggesting that cannabinoids promote tumor growth. In the medical literature, they managed to find another similar case where a person with lung cancer also experienced tumor reduction after using CBD oil.

In the current case, according to the product supplier, the women’s oil has an identical mixture of CBD and THC. But in the other case, the patient should only take CBD. So the authors don’t know if that extra THC could have played a role in the woman’s recovery. At the moment, many questions remain in the air – questions that, according to the authors, at least require more attention and research.

“CBD / THC deserves further study as the primary form or adjunct to cancer treatment as the treatment itself appears to be minimally invasive,” Liew said. Of course, even if CBD / THC could help treat some people’s cancer, the authors wouldn’t expect it to be a panacea for all cancers in general, as one cancer can be different from another. “There won’t be a single treatment that works for every type of cancer,” added Liew.

Whether or not cannabis does something against cancer beyond the nausea relief it can sometimes provide, the authors also believe that more could be done to communicate with patients about alternative treatments that they may be able to do themselves use.

“Doctors need to be aware that their patients may be performing unconventional and unlicensed treatments without their knowledge, and it is always important to consider patient decisions when discussing treatment options,” Liew said.

The woman herself is understandably happy about her recovery.

“I’m ‘overjoyed’ that my cancer is shrinking, which I think was caused by the ‘CBD oil’. I can take it very well and intend to continue this treatment indefinitely, ”she wrote in an accompanying patient’s perspective.