Effects Of Cannabinoids On Skin Cancer

An Introduction to Skin Cancer

Skin cancer results from the growth of abnormal cells on the skin. It occurs when fatal DNA damage occurs on the skin cells. This damage is usually triggered by exogenous factors such as the ultraviolet rays of the sun or tanning beds. The damage results in mutations that facilitate rapid multiplication of the cells and then turn them into malignant tumors.

Skin cancer can also be attributed to genetic defects.

There are several types of skin cancer. They range from the most common, basal cell carcinoma, to the most fatal, melanoma, to the extremely rare, Merkel cell carcinoma.

The Statistics

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, at least 5.4 million non-melanoma skin cancer cases are recorded yearly. At least 3.3 million people are currently undergoing treatment.

There have been more skin cancer diagnoses than all other cancers combined. During the course of a lifetime, at least one in every five individuals will develop skin cancer.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, at least 9,500 people are diagnosed with skin cancer daily. No less than a million Americans are living with melanoma. Studies by the same academy have concluded that basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are the most common types of skin cancer and can be cured if detected and treated early.

Cannabinoids and Skin Cancer

It is no longer news that cannabinoids have a wide variety of health benefits. Cannabis contains at least 113 unique types of cannabinoids. These cannabinoids effectively treat symptoms of cancer and side effects associated with conventional cancer treatment.

According to the British Journal of Pharmacology, peer-review studies have proven that many cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD), cannabigerol (CBG) and cannabidivarin (CBDV) tend to shut down cells that grow without control. Uncontrolled growth of skin cells results in skin cancers and skin allergies.

In the study published in the journal, the effects of the three cannabinoids on human skin cells were documented. CBD was the most effective in combating DNA damage or unwanted DNA activities. More attention is focused on CBD because it doesn’t have the psychoactive effect of THC.

The researchers in this study have also agreed that phytocannabinoids such as CBD that have the potential to inhibit DNA activity may also be a new treatment that may help prevent uncontrolled or unwanted genetic activities on a large scale.

Additionally, a study conducted by the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Public Health found that cannabinoids reduce skin cancer by at least 90 percent within a period of 20 weeks.   

Symptoms of Skin Cancer That May Be Treated by Cannabinoids

  • Antineoplastic properties: Laboratory and animal studies have proven that medical cannabis may inhibit or completely stop growth of tumors.
  • Neuropathy: Neuropathy is a term that describes damage to the nerve. It is a complication of cancer treatments. Patients commonly experience weakness, numbness, tingling or burning sensations in the hands and feet due to neuropathy. Because cannabinoids have neuroprotective properties, they could potentially be used to prevent neuropathy. 
  • Antiemetic: Cannabinoids are used to prevent nausea and vomiting.
  • Appetite stimulant: Cannabinoids have been used to counter the loss of appetite often experienced by patients going through cancer treatment.
  • Mood enhancement: Cannabinoids are known to treat anxiety and depression.
  • Pain management: Cannabinoids can stimulate the body’s own painkilling properties. The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD can treat the pain of nerve damage.

The NCI—the government’s own authority on cancer—lists some known benefits of cannabinoids plain and clear. And, more importantly, it blatantly admits that cannabinoids have killed cancer cells in lab rats. The British study above found that cannabinoids inhibit uncontrolled cell growth.

Congressmen and women, clinicians, farmers and—most importantly—patients are demanding the research, development and use of cannabinoids. Nature's Breakthrough is dedicated to educating about and advocating for the safe and rigorous research and development of cannabinoids.

The Nature’s Breakthrough educational resource is just one of the ways The Hemp Haus practices its sincere commitment to and passion for educating people about CBD and helping them find the right, high-quality product based on their needs.


Goldde N, Jakobs M, Bald T, Tuting T, Gaffal E (2015). Differential role of cannabinoids in the pathogenesis of skin cancer. Life Sci; 138: 35-40.

Jun'ichi Nakajima et. al. (2013). Structure‐dependent inhibitory effects of synthetic cannabinoids against 12‐O‐tetradecanoylphorbol‐13‐acetate‐induced inflammation and skin tumor promotion in mice. Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology. Web. June 22, 2018. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jphp.12082

Cannabis and Cannabinoids (2017). National Cancer Institute. Web. June 22, 2018. https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/cam/patient/cannabis-pdq

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