[Cannabidiol in cancer treatment]

Schmerz. 2020 Apr;34(2):117-122. doi: 10.1007/s00482-019-00438-9.
[Article in German]


Background: Cannabis was used for cancer patients as early as about 2500 years ago. Experimental studies demonstrated tumor-inhibiting activities of various cannabinoids more than 40 years ago. In view of the status of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) as a regulated substance, non-psychotomimetic cannabidiol (CBD) is of particular importance.

Objectives: Efficacy of pure CBD in various animal models as well as initial results (case reports) from patients.

Methods: Review of the literature on animal experiments and observations in humans.

Results: Preclinical studies, particularly recent ones, including numerous animal models of tumors, unanimously suggest the therapeutic efficacy of CBD. In isolated combination studies, synergistic effects were generally observed. In addition, CBD may potentially play a role in the palliative care of patients, especially concerning symptoms such as pain, insomnia, anxiety, and depression. Further human studies are warranted.

Keywords: Cancer; Cannabidiol (CBD); Cannabinoids; Malignant disease; Tumors.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anxiety
  • Cannabidiol
  • Cannabinoids* / therapeutic use
  • Cannabis*
  • Dronabinol
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms* / drug therapy


  • Cannabinoids
  • Cannabidiol
  • Dronabinol