Role of Cannabinoids in Oral Cancer


Brigitte Cretu, Alexandra Zamfir, Sandica Bucurica, Andreea Elena Scheau, Ilinca Savulescu Fiedler, Constantin Caruntu, Ana Caruntu and Cristian Scheau


January 12,  2024


Cannabinoids have incited scientific interest in different conditions, including malignancy, due to increased exposure to cannabis. Furthermore, cannabinoids are increasingly used to alleviate cancer-related symptoms. This review paper aims to clarify the recent findings on the relationship between cannabinoids and oral cancer, focusing on the molecular mechanisms that could link cannabinoids with oral cancer pathogenesis. In addition, we provide an overview of the current and future perspectives on the management of oral cancer patients using cannabinoid compounds. Epidemiological data on cannabis use and oral cancer development are conflicting. However, in vitro studies assessing the effects of cannabinoids on oral cancer cells have unveiled promising anti-cancer features, including apoptosis and inhibition of cell proliferation. Downregulation of various signaling pathways with anti-cancer effects has been identified in experimental models of oral cancer cells exposed to cannabinoids. Furthermore, in some countries, several synthetic or phytocannabinoids have been approved as medical adjuvants for the management of cancer patients undergoing chemoradiotherapy. Cannabinoids may improve overall well-being by relieving anxiety, depression, pain, and nausea. In conclusion, the link between cannabinoid compounds and oral cancer is complex, and further research is necessary to elucidate the potential risks or their protective impact on oral cancer.

DOI: 10.3390/ijms25020969


Cretu, B., Zamfir, A., Bucurica, S., Scheau, A. E., Savulescu Fiedler, I., Caruntu, C., … & Scheau, C. (2024). Role of Cannabinoids in Oral Cancer. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 25(2), 969.