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Cannabidiol (CBD) Versus Cisplatin in Cancer Therapy

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Chemotherapy is a powerful cancer treatment, but it comes with challenging side effects that can affect patients' quality of life. Researchers are exploring ways to improve cancer treatments while reducing these side effects. One potential solution is combining CBD, a compound found in cannabis, with chemotherapy drugs like cisplatin. CBD has shown promise as an antitumorigenic agent and may help alleviate some of the adverse side effects of chemotherapy. In this blog, we'll explore the potential benefits of using CBD alongside cisplatin in cancer therapy and discuss important considerations for patients undergoing chemotherapy.

Cannabidiol Interacts Antagonistically with Cisplatin

Recent studies have shown that CBD might have anti-cancer effects in different types of cancer, including melanoma. In this lab study, researchers looked at how CBD affects melanoma cells (a type of skin cancer). They tested CBD alone and in combination with two other cancer drugs, mitoxantrone (MTX) and cisplatin (CDDP). They measured how CBD affected the growth and viability of the cancer cells.

The results showed that CBD reduced the growth and spread of the melanoma cells when used alone, and it worked even better when combined with MTX. However, when CBD was used with CDDP, it didn't work well and had a negative effect on the cancer cells.

The researchers also tested CBD on normal skin cells (keratinocytes) and found that it didn't cause any significant harm to them.

CBD shows promise as a part of a multi-drug therapy for melanoma, especially when combined with MTX. However, it should be used cautiously with CDDP because it seemed to have a negative effect when used together in this study. More research is needed to fully understand how CBD can be used in cancer treatment.

CBD Reduces Nephrotoxicity Caused by Cisplatin

Cisplatin is a strong medicine used to treat cancer, but it can harm the kidneys. In this study, scientists looked at a substance called cannabidiol, which comes from cannabis but doesn't make you high. Cannabidiol has antioxidant effects and has been approved to treat inflammation, pain, and spasticity in patients with multiple sclerosis.

The study was done in mice with kidney damage caused by cisplatin. The drug caused the mice's kidneys to have more stress and inflammation, leading to kidney damage. But when the mice were treated with cannabidiol, it helped reduce the stress, inflammation, and cell death in the kidneys. This means that cannabidiol might be a promising way to protect the kidneys from the harmful effects of cisplatin.

CBD Fights Lung Cancer That’s Resistant to Cisplatin

Drug resistance is a pertinent and problematic issue affecting conventional chemotherapy drugs such as cisplatin. In this study, CBD was able to make the cisplatin- resistant lung cancer cells die off, and it also slowed down the growth of tumors and the spread of cancer in mice.

The researchers found that CBD works by reducing certain proteins that help the cancer cells grow, and it also increases the production of substances that can harm the cancer cells. They also discovered that CBD works through a specific molecule called TRPV2, which is present in human lung tumors and can lead to better survival for lung cancer patients.

This study suggests that CBD could be a new and promising treatment to target resistant lung cancer cells and help improve outcomes for patients with non-small-cell lung cancer.

CBD Increases the Effectiveness of Cisplatin in Head and Neck Cancers

Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is a type of cancer that can occur in different parts of the head and neck. In laboratory tests, CBD was found to have anti-cancer properties against HNSCC cells. It reduced the ability of the cancer cells to spread and grow. When tested on mice with HNSCC, CBD also showed promising effects in slowing down tumor growth.

Consideration to Make

When considering the use of CBD in combination with other chemotherapeutic agents for cancer treatment, several important factors must be taken into account. Here are some key considerations:

Drug Interactions

CBD can interact with other medications, including chemotherapy drugs. It may impact how these drugs are metabolized in the body, leading to potential changes in efficacy or toxicity. It is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional before combining CBD with other cancer treatments to ensure there are no harmful interactions.

Dosing and Timing

Finding the right dosage and timing for CBD administration is essential. Studies have shown that CBD may have a biphasic effect, where low and high doses can have different outcomes. Understanding the optimal dosing and timing in combination with other chemotherapeutic agents is critical for achieving the desired therapeutic effects.

Patient Safety and Tolerance

Cancer patients often experience various side effects from chemotherapy. Introducing CBD may further impact patient tolerance and overall well-being. Monitoring patients closely for adverse effects and adjusting treatment plans accordingly is essential.

Efficacy and Synergy

While CBD has shown promising antitumorigenic effects in preclinical studies, its efficacy in humans and potential synergy with chemotherapy drugs require further investigation. Rigorous clinical trials are needed to determine the safety and effectiveness of combining CBD with conventional cancer therapies.

Legality and Product Quality

The legal status of CBD varies from country to country, and the quality of CBD products on the market can vary significantly. Patients should seek medical guidance on legal and reputable sources of CBD to ensure they are using safe and reliable products.

Patient Preferences and Ethics

Integrating CBD into cancer treatment should also consider patient preferences and ethical considerations. Open and honest communication between patients and healthcare providers is essential to make informed decisions about treatment options.


While CBD holds promise as a potential adjunct to cancer therapy, its use in combination with other chemotherapeutic agents requires careful consideration. Healthcare professionals should carefully evaluate drug interactions, dosing, patient safety, efficacy, legality, and patient preferences to ensure safe and effective use in cancer treatment. Rigorous research and clinical trials are vital to better understand the benefits and risks of combining CBD with conventional cancer therapies.


Lydia K. (Bsc. RN) is a cannabis writer, which, considering where you’re reading this, makes perfect sense. Currently, she is a regular writer for Mace Media. In the past, she has written for MyBud, RX Leaf & Dine Magazine (Canada), CBDShopy (UK) and Cannavalate & Pharmadiol (Australia). She is best known for writing epic news articles and medical pieces. Occasionally, she deviates from news and science and creates humorous articles. And boy doesn't she love that! She equally enjoys ice cream, as should all right-thinking people.