This 2019 case report focuses on an 81-year-old man diagnosed with lung adenocarcinoma, the most common subtype of lung cancer, who experienced a remarkable regression of his tumor following self-administration of cannabidiol (CBD). The patient declined conventional chemotherapy and radiotherapy and, without the knowledge of his healthcare providers, chose to use low doses of CBD for short periods of time as an alternative therapy. It was only after the healthcare providers inquired about the significant reduction in tumor size that the patient disclosed his use of CBD. The main findings of the report reveal that the patient's tumor had a significant reduction in size and lymph node involvement after using CBD, providing insight into the potential therapeutic effects of CBD in lung cancer.
The patient in this case report had a medical history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diet-controlled diabetes, and a previous history of prostate cancer treated with radical prostatectomy in 2004, which has been in remission. He is a retired salesman and had quit smoking approximately 45 years ago after smoking around 18 cigarettes per day for 15 years.
Additionally, the significant reduction in size and number of mediastinal lymph nodes further underscored the remarkable response achieved by the patient, highlighting the substantial impact of the treatment intervention.
The extremely low CBD doses used in this case makes the remarkable tumor response even more noteworthy. This type of tumor response in cancer treatments using phytocannabinoids like THC and CBD are typically seen by using much higher doses, which makes the observed response in this case report particularly intriguing.
It's worth noting that the extremely low CBD dosing used in this study isn't an accurate standard employed by experts in this field. Consequently, these same outcomes may not apply to others who use similarly low doses. It's important to understand that while this case report had positive results, relying solely on microdoses of CBD, without incorporating any other lifestyle changes, should not be expected to fully cure cancer. If these results are replicated in future studies, it would be advisable to utilize significantly higher doses mixed with other lifestyle changes for optimal efficacy. However, the reason for administering such low doses stems from the patient taking their treatment into their own hands, possibly due to social stigma, while the doctors who wrote this case report clearly appear to lack expertise in CBD dosing.
The significant reduction in lung cancer tumor size using CBD could likely be attributed to a concept known as 'endocannabinoid tone'. Essentially, everyone's body has a unique level of endocannabinoid activity, dictated by factors like genetics and lifestyle, which influences how they respond to phytocannabinoids such as CBD. This individualized response could explain why even very low doses of CBD may have a powerful impact for some people. In the case of this man, his unique endocannabinoid tone may have been particularly responsive to CBD, thus resulting in the impressive 89% tumor reduction.
Unfortunately, there are currently no commercial tests available to determine an individual's endocannabinoid tone. This lack of personalized data hinders the ability to predict the efficacy of different CBD doses in specific individuals. Consequently, experts in the field usually advise starting with higher CBD doses. This approach is intended to bypass any potential resistance or under-responsiveness to lower doses, ensuring that the CBD has the best chance to provide its intended therapeutic effects.
In this case report, the patient's use of CBD oil was the only notable change in his lifestyle. He maintained his regular diet, did not take any new medications, and had no history of drug allergies. The decision to incorporate CBD oil into his routine was driven by the patient's desire to explore alternative therapeutic options for his lung adenocarcinoma. This highlights the significance of CBD as a potential factor contributing to the observed tumor response.
By isolating CBD as the only notable lifestyle change during the reporting period, it strengthens the hypothesis that CBD may have played a role in the positive outcomes seen in the patient's condition.
CBD can affect tumor cells through various mechanisms. It interacts with certain receptors in the body, such as the CB2 receptor, which is involved in immune responses, and the CB1 receptor, which affects brain function. CBD also activates certain receptors known as TRPV 1 and 2, which are involved in sensations like pain and temperature. These interactions can cause changes in the levels of certain substances within the cells, such as calcium.
CBD has been shown to induce a process called apoptosis, which is the natural programmed cell death, in cancer cells. It can generate reactive oxygen species (ROS) and activate certain proteins, such as caspases, which are responsible for initiating the process of cell death. CBD can also regulate the activity of specific genes, like p53, which plays a role in controlling cell growth and division. CBD also inhibits the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to thrive, and it can affect the immune system by reducing the recruitment of certain immune cells to the tumor site.
Although the effects of CBD on non-malignant cells were not fully assessed in the report, previous research suggests that CBD exhibits significantly lower potency in normal, healthy cells, implying a potential selective impact on cancerous cells.
The importance of this case report lies in its contribution to the growing body of evidence supporting the potential benefits of CBD in cancer treatment. It emphasizes the need to explore alternative therapies and drug repurposing strategies to improve outcomes for patients with lung cancer. While further research, including clinical trials, is necessary to validate these preliminary findings, the case underscores the importance of considering CBD as a potential therapeutic option for patients who decline or do not respond to conventional treatments.
Overall, this case report provides valuable insights into the potential of CBD as an alternative therapy for lung cancer. It highlights the need for further investigation into CBD's mechanisms of action and optimal dosage regimens. By expanding our understanding of CBD and its potential role in cancer treatment, we can advance personalized medicine approaches and offer hope to patients who face limited treatment options.
Study Title: Striking lung cancer response to self-administration of cannabidiol: A case report and literature review
Study Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6385325