CBD oil is perhaps the most commonly utilized formulation of CBD, as it’s easy to use and allows for a high dose of consumption. However, CBD comes in many other forms—gummies, tinctures, capsules, vapes, and ointments, to name a few.
Lastly, research has found that in the general population (so not necessarily patients with cancer), CBD can reduce anxiety and improve sleep quality. This finding is helpful, considering the diagnosis and treatment of cancer is often overwhelming and wrought with fear and worry.
As of now, there are only a handful of human studies that have examined CBD's anti-cancer role.
Keep in mind—these studies are extremely small and lack a control group, so no finite conclusions can be drawn from them. Nevertheless, they spark further interest in the possible role of CBD in treating cancer.
In addition, a mouth spray that contains both THC and CBD (called Sativex) is being investigated for its role in treating cancer pain (especially nerve-related pain) that is poorly controlled by opioids. The drug is currently not available in the United States, but it is available in Canada for treating advanced cancer pain.
CBD is only available by prescription in the United States in the form of a drug called Epidiolex. This drug is used to treat refractory epilepsy.
While the research is still very early, experts speculate that CBD may play a role in treating cancer, specifically by slowing tumor growth and inducing the death of cancer cells. CBD may also help manage unpleasant symptoms related to cancer and chemotherapy, such as pain, nausea, and vomiting.
Much of the anti-tumor activity revolves around the reactive oxygen species metabolism, endoplasmic reticulum stress, and inflammation. But, that is not the only mechanism of CBD might reduce tumor growth. In breast and prostate cancer, the ECS receptor GPR55 is over-expressed, and CBD plays a role in indirectly inhibiting it, thus slowing down the progression of the tumor.
Slows Tumor Growth
When CBD was administered to animals at a dose of 5mg/kg, nausea was reduced  , and the effect was maintained at seven days. A 2016 study showed that Sativex, a mixture of THC and CBD, reduced nausea and vomiting induced by chemotherapy. The activation of serotonin receptors may mediate the anti-nausea effect of CBD  . Preclinical work suggests that CBD products may benefit chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting through activation of these receptors.
Types of CBD For Cancer
Both CB1 and CB2 are expressed in cancer types. Overexpression of these two cannabinoid receptors has been related to a poor prognosis. Researchers found that CBD has potent anti-proliferative and pro-apoptosis effects. Apoptosis is programmed cell death, and in cancer, too little apoptosis occurs. CBD stimulates the death of cancer cells by promoting apoptosis.