CBD for Lung Cancer

This section is pulled from McAllister et al’s 2007 review.

A majority of investigations demonstrate that the ability of non-psychoactive cannabinoids (primarily CBD) to inhibit cancer cell viability/proliferation is not linked to direct inter- actions with CB1 and CB2 receptors, transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily V member 1 (TRPV1), adeno- sine A2A receptor (A2A) or the peroxisome proliferator- activated receptor gamma (PPRγ). In certain cancer cell lines, the ability of CBD to inhibit cancer cell viability/ proliferation has been reversed in the presence of antagonists for CB2, TRPV1, TRPM8, COX-2, and PPRγ. Lung cancer cell lines appear to be particularly responsive to rever- sal of the anti-invasive effects of CBD in culture with antag- onists to CB1, CB2, and TRPV1 1–3

Currently, only two studies have investigated receptor dependence of CBD-dependent antitumor activity in vivo. In a model where tumors were derived from subcuta- neous implanted human lung cancer cells, full reversal of CBD-dependent antitumor activity was observed in the presence of a PPRγ antagonist 4.

In a more recent study, it was reported in a mouse model of breast cancer metastasis that CBD was more potent than THC at inhibiting the formation of lung metastatic foci 5,6.


  1. Ramer, R., Merkord, J., Rohde, H. & Hinz, B. Cannabidiol inhibits cancer cell invasion via upregulation of tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinases-1. Biochem. Pharmacol. 79, 955–966 (2010).
  2. Ramer, R., Rohde, A., Merkord, J., Rohde, H. & Hinz, B. Decrease of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 may contribute to the anti-invasive action of cannabidiol on human lung cancer cells. Pharm. Res. 27, 2162–2174 (2010).
  3. McAllister, S. D., Soroceanu, L. & Desprez, P. Y. The Antitumor Activity of Plant-Derived Non-Psychoactive Cannabinoids. J. Neuroimmune Pharmacol. 10, 255–267 (2015).
  4. Ramer, R. et al. COX-2 and PPAR-  Confer Cannabidiol-Induced Apoptosis of Human Lung Cancer Cells. Mol. Cancer Ther. 12, 69–82 (2013).
  5. McAllister, S. D., Christian, R. T., Horowitz, M. P., Garcia, A. & Desprez, P.-Y. Cannabidiol as a novel inhibitor of Id-1 gene expression in aggressive breast cancer cells. Mol. Cancer Ther. 6, 2921–2927 (2007).
  6. Murase, R. et al. Targeting multiple cannabinoid anti-tumour pathways with a resorcinol derivative leads to inhibition of advanced stages of breast cancer. Br. J. Pharmacol. 171, 4464–4477 (2014).