Repurposing cannabidiol as a potential drug candidate for anti-tumor therapies

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In recent years, evidence has accumulated that cannabinoids—especially the non-psychoac-tive compound, cannabidiol (CBD)—possess promising medical and pharmacological activities that might qualify them as potential anti-tumor drugs. This review is based on multiple studies summarizing different mechanisms for how CBD can target tumor cells including cannabinoid receptors or other constituents of the endocannabinoid system, and their complex activation of biological systems that results in the inhibition of tumor growth. CBD also participates in anti-inflammatory activities which are related to tumor progression, as demonstrated in preclinical models. Although the numbers of clinical trials and tested tumor entities are limited, there is clear evidence that CBD has anti-tumor efficacy and is well tolerated in human cancer patients. In summary, it appears that CBD has potential as a neoadjuvant and/or adjuvant drug in therapy for cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number582
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Anti-tumor therapy
  • Cannabidiol
  • Cannabinoids


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