CBD Inhibits In Vivo Development of Human Breast Cancer Tumors

Int J Mol Sci. 2023 Aug 26;24(17):13235. doi: 10.3390/ijms241713235.


Inflammation is a critical component of cancer development. Previously, we showed in vitro that IL-1β treatment of non-invasive human breast cancer MCF-7 cells promoted their transition to a malignant phenotype (6D cells). This epithelial-mesenchymal transition was reverted by exposure to cannabidiol (CBD). We show in a murine model that subcutaneous inoculation of 6D cells induced formation and development of tumors, the cells of which keep traits of malignancy. These processes were interrupted by administration of CBD under two schemes: therapeutic and prophylactic. In the therapeutic scheme, 6D cells inoculated mice developed tumors that reached a mean volume of 540 mm3 at 45 days, while 50% of CBD-treated mice showed gradual resorption of tumors. In the prophylactic scheme, mice were pre-treated for 15 days with CBD before cells inoculation. The tumors formed remained small and were eliminated under continuous CBD treatment in 66% of the animals. Histological and molecular characterization of tumors, from both schemes, revealed that CBD-treated cells decreased the expression of malignancy markers and show traits related with apoptosis. These results confirm that in vivo CBD blocks development of breast cancer tumors formed by cells induced to malignancy by IL-1β, endorsing its therapeutic potential for cancer treatment.

Keywords: CBD-treatment; EMT blockage; breast cancer; tumor resorption.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Breast Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Cannabidiol* / pharmacology
  • Cannabidiol* / therapeutic use
  • Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Animal*
  • Mice


  • Cannabidiol