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Cancer can affect many different parts of the body, but skin cancer is one of the most common forms. The two most common types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Melanoma, a less common form of skin cancer, is more dangerous than either and has actually doubled in incidence  over the past two decades.
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If you think you may have a skin cancer, please make an appointment – our doctors are very good at skin diagnoses and can give you proper treatment advice from leaving harmless things alone through creams to surgical removal if required.
Cannabinoids do bind to receptors which are present in many cells and there is some evidence in highly controlled laboratory circumstances that cannabinoids may inhibit some cancers. Sadly, there is also evidence that it may actually accelerate growth in others. There have been no useful trials in living humans and animal trials are not conclusive. The link at the end of this article gives more information and is maintained by the Uk Cancer Society so may be seen as a trusted and valid reference.
The proposed mechanisms of action of cannabis oil are plausible but unfortunately that does not make it safe or effective.
We feel that it is important to point out that there is also good evidence that smoking cannabis (as opposed to a topical application) significantly increases the risk of lung and head and neck cancer, whether or not it is used in combination with tobacco. Whilst there may in the future be a place for medicinal use of cannabinoids, at present the evidence very strongly suggests that in almost all cases the side effects outweigh the benefits.
Cannabis oil is of course illegal in New Zealand so as a treatment option it is not valid in any case. Hemp oil contains cannabinoids but the concentration is much lower.
A search of the internet lists many sites where people claim to have had skin cancers cured by cannabis oil. This effect may occur for one of the following reasons:
Never having been asked this before, a thorough review of the available literature was carried out, but sadly there have been absolutely no published clinical trials to date so it is impossible to recommend this treatment.
Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S., and is a broad term describing an abnormal growth of cells that has the ability to spread. The areas of the body most commonly affected are those that are exposed to the sun, but skin cancer can develop anywhere on the body.
Most of the common skin cancers like squamous and basal cell carcinomas are relatively noninvasive and, if caught early, can be completely removed by excision. The more invasive melanoma form of skin cancer is harder to detect and requires a more extensive treatment protocol including surgery, radiation treatment, and chemotherapy. Early melanoma has a survival rate of 98 percent—but this falls to 23 percent if the melanoma spreads to other parts of the body.
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Any cell can be transformed into a cancer cell—and there are many, many ways this can happen depending on the specific cell. This is just one of the reasons there may never be a single “cure” for cancer in general; cancer represents well over 100 different types. Each type of cancer may have different mechanisms contributing to its transformation and each may have different points at which it can be treated.
There are different types of skin cancer. These include:
All this taken together shows promise that CBD for skin cancer could play part in future treatment protocols, but more clinical trials and more information are still needed.