What is Skin Cancer and Why Use CBD for Cancer?

Skin cancer is one of the most common, most treatable, and yet also one of the deadliest types of cancer. It typically presents as a skin lesion that won’t heal and tends to keep growing and ulcerating indefinitely. When caught at an early stage, this cancer can often be cured fairly easily by removing the affected area. Things can get a bit trickier once it has metastasized – which means it has progressed below the surface of the skin and burrowed into vital organs.

In recent years, there has been increasing attention to the use of cannabis and CBD oil for skin cancer. There is an impressive diversity of cancer treatment1.

Anyone who starts exploring the topic of CBD for cancer will eventually come across the Rick Simpson oil cancer testimonials. This man allegedly used cannabis oil to treat his skin cancer around a decade ago and then proceeded to help many thousands of patients do the same while spreading awareness around the benefits of cannabis oil in cancer treatment.

Are these allegations realistic? Should patients now consider using CBD oil for skin cancer as part of their treatment? What is the position of the scientific community on this matter? These are just some of the questions that will be clarified in this article.

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Different Forms of Skin Cancer

There are three main types of skin cancer: melanoma, basal cell carcinoma (BCC), and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) – all of which seem to respond well to the use of CBD oil. One of the most interesting things about using cannabis oil for skin cancer is how it seems to enhance the effect of conventional treatments, which means patients will likely benefit from CBD oil for melanoma, CBD oil for basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma. Modern research suggests CBD oil can be used as2 for skin cancer in with no compromise to conventional treatment plans.
Technically speaking, CBD is the non-psychoactive component in cannabis – the highly controversial plant also known as “marijuana” that was for the last few decades outlawed and banned around the world. As CBD is usually derived from industrial hemp (which is also a type of cannabis), nowadays a lot of countries have embraced its use, as long as it does not contain a high concentration of THC. In America, many states openly sell CBD products.

At this point, cannabis oil for skin cancer is on the verge of being officially reintroduced to modern medicine. Since political administrations are being understandably slow and cautious in aligning with the scientific advancements, many patients have to find their CBD for skin cancer online, especially in places where cannabis legalization has not fully unfolded yet.

Rick Simpson Oil Cancer Testimonials

Rick Simpson is a well-known cannabis activist from Canada. He was one of the earliest public proponents for the cannabis oil cancer treatment after he cured his own skin cancer that conventional medicine had twice failed to heal. This happened around 2003, at a time when there few people knew that concentrated cannabis oil might be able to eradicate different types of cancer. Having heard of this, Rick decided to try it and achieved spectacular results by applying the oil topically in his lesions – which he claims to have fully healed within weeks. He also released a documentary called “Run from the Cure” where he explains his story in detail.

After treating his skin cancer using cannabis oil, Rick Simpson claims he then proceeded to spread the message… as well as healing other cancer patients using oil that he extracted himself, from plants that he grew in defiance (at the time) to the local laws of Canada. He was eventually persecuted and fled to Europe, where he still lives while persistently advocating for the use of cannabis in the treatment of cancer. He does this public and humanitarian service both locally and thought his Internet platforms, which amassed quite a massive following and bit of visibility throughout the years.

Is there truth behind the Rick Simpson oil cancer testimonials? According to the latest medical research, and judging from the dramatic growth that has been predicted for medical cannabis in the next few years, there is a good chance his allegations are indeed substantial.

What is medical research saying about CBD oil for skin cancer

Anyone who wishes to catch up to the medical research around cannabis oil as a possible cancer treatment will find massive amounts of information available online. At this point in history, cannabis has been extensively studied3 with promising results that already led to the development of the first cannabinoid-based pharmaceuticals.

There is now little reason for doubting cannabis and its extracts are real medicine, one that could be quite valuable in the treatment of cancer as well as many other diseases, both physical and mental. To understand how this is possible, a good starting point would be reading about the endocannabinoid system.

Even though it was only discovered in recent decades, this is the largest neurotransmitter system in the human body; it seems to have a key role in regulating the maintenance of physical and mental health from a cellular level, and it’s activated by the unique compounds available in the cannabis plant. These compounds, including CBD, THC and several other cannabinoids effectively seem to mimic substances that our body produces naturally, which are extremely important to the maintenance of good health4.

There is plenty of medical research exploring and evaluating the relationship between CBD and cancer in general, which is giving hope to patients suffering specifically form skin cancer. Studies have shown that cannabidiol can promote the apoptotic death of cancer cells5 acting independently of the cb1 and cb2 receptors. The way this happens remains not fully know, for now, however it is assumed that it is due to the compound’s ability to enhance the production of reactive oxygen species in cancer cells6.

How to Use CBD Oil for Skin Cancer

Since pure CBD oil is extremely thick and unwieldy, it’s sometimes diluted in a carrier oil such as coconut oil to make it easier to apply on the skin as well as improve absorption. Some patients also dilute the oil in alcohol (creating a rubbing salve), while others just apply the pure oil directly. It seems that as long as the plant-based cannabinoids remain in contact with the cancerous wound, recovery will begin and the lesion will show signs of healing within days.

It’s worth noting the results seem to be dependent on the dose, and it typically takes a strong concentration of cannabis oil that’s applied regularly and in sufficient quantity to a skin cancer lesion, in order to effectively heal it. As well as applying the CBD oil on the cancerous lesion (if possible), it’s recommended to also consume CBD oil internally to boost the immune system7 as well as to minimize the side effects and improve the success rate of conventional cancer treatments.

CBD oil for skin cancer: what’s the right dosage?

CBD oil has nearly no toxicity and no major side effects8, meaning patients shouldn’t worry about over-dosing. In fact – if a patient has positive results using the oil, it can be worth trying to increase the dosage to accelerate the rate of recovery.

CBD dosage for skin cancer

Finding the right dose of CBD oil for skin cancer will depend on several factors, such as your tollerance for CBD as well as the severity of your condition. We recommend starting low and gradually increasing the dossage until you see an improvement. We draw our recommendation from the book  “CBD: A Patient’s Guide to Medical Cannabis” by Leonard Leinow and Juliana Birnbaum9 We describe this approach in detail in our post on CBD dosage.

CBD oil is safe to use both topically as well as internally, and in fact, it should be administered both ways at once to get the best results. Patients who are undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy as part of their cancer treatment should benefit greatly from adding CBD oil to their diet. There are many studies available showing a CBD is very useful to minimize the side effects of conventional cancer treatments, and some evidence suggests its use is associated with improved survival rates10.

Using CBD Oil for Skin Cancer in Pets

This may sound a bit surprising, but CBD oil for skin cancer in pets is also a popular topic. Medical cannabis is just as effective in pets11 as in humans; in fact, it seems to be effective in all vertebrate animals, since it has been established they all have an endocannabinoid system just like humans do.

CBD oil for skin cancer in pets is the exact same oil that is used to treat human patients. It is also used in the same way – ideally by applying the oil directly on the skin lesion, either in its pure form or diluted in a carrier. CBD oil products are safe to use both in humans as well as their pets; similarly to the treatment of human patients, it’s advisable to feed some oil to ailing pets to enhance the topical treatment.

Final Thoughts on CBD for cancer

Hopefully, this information has shed light on the usefulness of CBD for cancer, as well as the clinical potential of cannabinoid compounds available only from the cannabis plant. In the next few years, it’s highly likely cannabis will become increasingly popular in mainstream medicine… but patients who are treating a skin cancer right now don’t have the luxury of waiting – so it could be wise to learn more about the endocannabinoid system and its relevance to cancer treatment.


  1. Cannabis Oil Success Stories. (2019). Cannabis Oil Success Stories for all types of dis-ease. [online] []
  2. Velasco, G., Sánchez, C. and Guzmán, M. (2016). Anticancer mechanisms of cannabinoidsCurrent Oncology, 23, p.23. []
  3. NCCIH. (2019). Marijuana and Cannabinoids. [online] []
  4. McPartland, J., Guy, G. and Di Marzo, V. (2014). Care and Feeding of the Endocannabinoid System: A Systematic Review of Potential Clinical Interventions that Upregulate the Endocannabinoid System. PLoS ONE, 9(3), p.e89566. []
  5. Shrivastava, A., Kuzontkoski, P., Groopman, J. and Prasad, A. (2011). Cannabidiol Induces Programmed Cell Death in Breast Cancer Cells by Coordinating the Cross-talk between Apoptosis and Autophagy. Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, 10(7), pp.1161-1172. []
  6. Massi, P., Valenti, M., Vaccani, A., Gasperi, V., Perletti, G., Marras, E., Fezza, F., Maccarrone, M. and Parolaro, D. (2008). 5-Lipoxygenase and anandamide hydrolase (FAAH) mediate the antitumor activity of cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive cannabinoidJournal of Neurochemistry, 104(4), pp.1091-1100. []
  7. Yasmin-Karim, S., Moreau, M., Mueller, R., Sinha, N., Dabney, R., Herman, A. and Ngwa, W. (2018). Enhancing the Therapeutic Efficacy of Cancer Treatment With CannabinoidsFrontiers in Oncology, 8. []
  8. Crippa, J., Guimarães, F., Campos, A. and Zuardi, A. (2018). Translational Investigation of the Therapeutic Potential of Cannabidiol (CBD): Toward a New Age. Frontiers in Immunology, 9. []
  9. Leinow,, L. and Birnbaum, J. (2017). CBD: A Patient’s Guide to Medicinal Cannabis. North Atlantic Books. []
  10. Śledziński, P., Zeyland, J., Słomski, R. and Nowak, A. (2018). The current state and future perspectives of cannabinoids in cancer biologyCancer Medicine, 7(3), pp.765-775. []
  11. Iffland, K. and Grotenhermen, F. (2017). An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, 2(1), pp.139-154. []
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About The Author



  1. AvatarDavid Waterhouse

    Hello Silviya,
    I have a number of red spots with rough scab like skin on my forehead. My doctor has sprayed the ones on my face with liquid nitrogen. Some of those treatments have left scars. I’d like to try the cannabis oil on the others. Can I put the oil on those areas of my head and tape cotton balls over them? How long should I leave them on before washing the areas and reapplying?


    1. SilviyaSilviya Article Author

      Hello David,

      In general, you can apply CBD oil directly on the skin, as long as it doesn’t go onto an open wound. Just use the dropper to drip one drop onto the desired area. A little goes a long way. The oil will absorb into your skin, so no need for a cotton pad and no need of washing it away. If you are a beginner with CBD oil, start with applying it 2 times a day.

      I sincerely hope this helps.

      Best regards,
      Silviya from Nordic Oil

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