Comprehensive Guide to Cannabinoids and Breast Cancer: Therapeutic Potential and Associated Risks


Breast cancer is a complex and multifaceted disease. As researchers look for innovative treatment options, the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids has gained significant attention. This guide aims to explore the scientific basis of using cannabinoids in breast cancer care.

Cannabinoids and Breast Cancer Cells

Cannabinoids, interacting through the endocannabinoid system (ECS), have been shown to affect a variety of cellular pathways involved in cancer cell proliferation, apoptosis, and metastasis (Velasco et al., 2015). However, the majority of these studies are preclinical and more human trials are needed to validate these findings.

Potential Benefits and Risks of Cannabinoids in Breast Cancer

Chart: Cannabinoid Utility in Breast Cancer

Treatment AreaPotential BenefitsPrecautionsAntineoplastic Properties
Pain ManagementAnalgesicInteraction with chemotherapy
Nausea and VomitingAnti-emeticInteraction with antiemetics
AppetiteAppetite stimulantUnwanted weight gain
Sleep ProblemsSleep aidInteraction with sedatives
Emotional WellbeingAnxiolyticInteraction with antidepressants
Tumor Growth (Investigational)Anti-proliferativeNot evidence-based in humansEpigenetic effects that may induce apoptosis (Maccarrone et al., 2013), Inhibition of cell migration (Nasser et al., 2011), Microtubular effects (Kampa-Schittenhelm et al., 2016)

Precautions and Risks

The potential antineoplastic effects of cannabinoids, including epigenetic modifications that may lead to apoptosis and prevention of cancer cell migration, are still under investigation and are not yet clinically validated (Blázquez et al., 2018). Therefore, using cannabinoids for tumor reduction could potentially interfere with established breast cancer treatments.

For personalized guidance on cannabinoid use in breast cancer, consult Dr. Caplan at CED Clinic.


  1. Velasco, G., Sánchez, C., & Guzmán, M. (2015). Towards the use of cannabinoids as antitumour agents. Nature Reviews Cancer.
  2. Maccarrone, M., Lorenzon, T., Bari, M., Melino, G., & Finazzi-Agrò, A. (2013). Anandamide Induces Apoptosis in Human Cells via Vanilloid Receptors. Journal of Biological Chemistry.
  3. Nasser, M. W., Qamri, Z., Deol, Y. S., Ravi, J., Powell, C. A., Trikha, P., … & Ganju, R. K. (2011). Crosstalk between chemokine receptor CXCR4 and cannabinoid receptor CB2 in modulating breast cancer growth and invasion. PloS one.
  4. Kampa-Schittenhelm, K. M., Salitzky, O., Akmut, F., Illing, B., Kanz, L., & Schittenhelm, M. M. (2016). Dronabinol has preferential antileukemic activity in acute lymphoblastic and myeloid leukemia with lymphoid differentiation patterns. BMC cancer.
  5. Blázquez, C., Salazar, M., Carracedo, A., Lorente, M., Egia, A., González-Feria, L., … & Velasco, G. (2018). Cannabinoids inhibit glioma cell invasion by down-regulating matrix metalloproteinase-2 expression. Cancer research.

📗 Note: The diagram you see here is based on principles discussed in greater depth in “The Doctor-Approved Cannabis Handbook.” Enhance your knowledge by purchasing the book directly through this link 📗

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