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Study: Impact Of CBD On Cancer Progression And Survival

Results have been published from a small Australian study assessing the effect of cannabidiol (CBD) treatment on disease progression and survival in patients with advanced cancer.

CBD has been subject to increasing research examining its potential for use across a broad range of diseases and conditions, including various forms of cancer. One of the organisations involved in related research is Queensland’s Mater.

In a study led by Dr Cian O’Leary of the Mater Cancer Care Centre in South Brisbane Queensland, an analysis reviewed the clinical records of all patients enrolled in Mater’s MEDCAN-1 Study, which investigated the use of CBD vs. placebo to see whether it improved symptoms associated with advanced cancer. Of the 135 patient records assessed, 128 were included in the final analysis. This sub-study looked at days 14, 28 and 56 of follow-up, for evidence of disease progression.

Based on their findings, the researchers concluded:

“In this substudy analysis, treatment with CBD oil did not affect disease progression or survival over the course of 56 days in patients with advanced cancer.”

The analysis has been published in the journal BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care. The original MEDCAN-1 clinical trial was supported by the Commonwealth of Australia Medical Research Future Fund.

While a small substudy, the results challenge the notion held by some that CBD is a panacea of sorts. But cannabidiol isn’t the only cannabis compound with potential in relation to cancer treatment, and combined with others such as THC may hold some promise.

Mater Research has been heavily involved in investigating the potential for medicinal cannabis in cancer treatment, and its work is ongoing.

Another Mater-led study, MedCan 3, aims to determine if a CBD-dominant medicine containing a small proportion of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has any impact on cancer and cancer treatment symptoms such as pain, nausea, anxiety and depression. That study is accepting participants until November 2025. The MedCan 2 trial, the results of which are yet to be published, has the same aims but involved a medicine containing “balanced” THC and CBD; i.e. in equal parts.

Gillian Jalimnson
Gillian Jalimnson is one of Hemp Gazette's staff writers and has been with us since we kicked off in 2015. Gillian sees massive potential for cannabis in areas of health, energy, building and personal care products and is intrigued by the potential for cannabidiol (CBD) as an alternative to conventional treatments. You can contact Gillian here.

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