We review and update this article as new research emerges. The last update was May 2018, where we made edits to the structure of the article to make the introduction and several sections clearer.

Few cancer topics spark as much online debate as cannabis.

The bottom line is that right now there isn’t enough reliable evidence to prove that any form of cannabis can effectively treat cancer in patients. This includes hemp oil, cannabis oil or the active chemicals found within the cannabis plant (cannabinoids) – whether natural or man-made.

Many researchers worldwide are actively investigating cannabinoids, and Cancer Research UK is supporting some of this work. These studies use highly purified chemicals found in the cannabis plant, or lab-made versions of them, and there is genuine interest in these as potential cancer treatments. But this is very different to street-bought cannabis and hemp oil available online or on the high street, for which there is no evidence of any impact on cancer.

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Cannabis, cannabinoids and cancer – the evidence so far

Cannabis, cannabinoids and cancer – the evidence so far


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