Cannabidiol: an alternative therapeutic agent for oral mucositis?

J Clin Pharm Ther. 2017 Jun;42(3):245-250. doi: 10.1111/jcpt.12504. Epub 2017 Feb 12.


What is known and objective: Chemo- and radiotherapy are therapeutic modalities often used in patients with malignant neoplasms. They kill tumour cells but act on healthy tissues as well, resulting in adverse effects. Oral mucositis is especially of concern, due to the morbidity that it causes. We reviewed the literature on the etiopathogenesis of oral mucositis and the activity of cannabidiol, to consider the possibility of its use for the prevention and treatment of oral mucositis.

Methods: We searched the PubMed database and selected complete articles published in English that met the inclusion criteria for the period 1998-2016. The search terms 'cannabinoids', 'cannabidiol', 'oxidative stress', 'antioxidants' and 'oral mucositis' were used.

Results and discussion: The control of oxidative stress may prevent and alleviate oral mucositis. Studies have demonstrated that cannabidiol is safe to use and possesses antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.

What is new and conclusions: The literature on the use of cannabidiol in dentistry is still scarce. Studies investigating the use of cannabidiol in oral mucositis and other oxidative stress-mediated side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy on the oral mucosa should be encouraged.

Keywords: antioxidants; cannabidiol; cannabinoids; oral mucositis; oxidative stress.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics / administration & dosage
  • Analgesics / adverse effects
  • Analgesics / therapeutic use
  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / adverse effects
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects
  • Antioxidants / adverse effects
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use
  • Cannabidiol / adverse effects
  • Cannabidiol / pharmacology
  • Cannabidiol / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / therapy
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Radiation Injuries / drug therapy
  • Stomatitis / drug therapy*
  • Stomatitis / etiology


  • Analgesics
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Cannabidiol