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Mechanisms of Cannabidiol (CBD) in Cancer Treatment: A Review

by 1,†, 1,†, 2, 3,* and 1,*
Department of Kinesiology, Nutrition, and Health, Miami University, Oxford, OH 45056, USA
Department of Plant Sciences, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND 58102, USA
Department of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI 02881, USA
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Claudio Luparello
Biology 2022, 11(6), 817;
Received: 25 April 2022 / Revised: 22 May 2022 / Accepted: 22 May 2022 / Published: 26 May 2022
Emerging evidence suggests positive outcomes from the use of CBD as a cancer treatment. CBD can relieve cancer pain and ease the side effects of chemotherapy; however, there is less research about the mechanism of CBD’s anticancer effects. In this article, recent studies on the efficacy and mechanisms of CBD’s anticancer effects in cell- and animal-based models and human clinical studies are reviewed.
Cannabis sativa L. (Cannabis) and its bioactive compounds, including cannabinoids and non-cannabinoids, have been extensively studied for their biological effects in recent decades. Cannabidiol (CBD), a major non-intoxicating cannabinoid in Cannabis, has emerged as a promising intervention for cancer research. The purpose of this review is to provide insights into the relationship between CBD and cancer based on recent research findings. The anticancer effects of CBD are mainly mediated via its interaction with the endocannabinoid system, resulting in the alleviation of pain and the promotion of immune regulation. Published reviews have focused on the applications of CBD in cancer pain management and the possible toxicological effects of its excessive consumption. In this review, we aim to summarize the mechanisms of action underlying the anticancer activities of CBD against several common cancers. Studies on the efficacy and mechanisms of CBD on cancer prevention and intervention in experimental models (i.e., cell culture- and animal-based assays) and human clinical studies are included in this review. View Full-Text
Keywords: cannabidiol (CBD); cannabinoid; Cannabis; cancer; apoptosis cannabidiol (CBD); cannabinoid; Cannabis; cancer; apoptosis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Heider, C.G.; Itenberg, S.A.; Rao, J.; Ma, H.; Wu, X. Mechanisms of Cannabidiol (CBD) in Cancer Treatment: A Review. Biology 2022, 11, 817.

AMA Style

Heider CG, Itenberg SA, Rao J, Ma H, Wu X. Mechanisms of Cannabidiol (CBD) in Cancer Treatment: A Review. Biology. 2022; 11(6):817.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Heider, Camren G., Sasha A. Itenberg, Jiajia Rao, Hang Ma, and Xian Wu. 2022. "Mechanisms of Cannabidiol (CBD) in Cancer Treatment: A Review" Biology 11, no. 6: 817.

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