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Can my dad take cannabis oil whilst having chemo?

30 Mar 2018 09:56

Okay, so i'm just thinking of a few options that my dad could take. He's been offered 8mths to 2 years to live. Depending on the odds. He will be having "top up" chemotheraphy to prolong his life and radiation is an option too. 

So obviously, there is a lot of speculation around cannabis oil. I don't really want to hear anything about the scientific side of things as I want my dad to try it anyway. I have not yet fully explored this option.

But, my question was... If my dads hospital blood tests reveals cannabis oil in his system, will they refuse him chemotherapy?

I know this is dependent upon whether the oil has THC in it. So, if it did have THC in it, would the doctors refuse chemo? and if it was just CBD, would they also refuse chemo??

I know THC products are illegal in the UK. so would the doctor report this if my dad was to take it? 

Don't want any judgement, obviously i'm going to look into anything that can help my dad. 

Ask any questions you have 

Can my dad take cannabis oil whilst having chemo?

30 Mar 2018 17:14 in response to Nicole2101

Hi Nicole,

I don't think the nurses will be back until Tuesday but I'm afraid the answer to most of your questions is going to be "it depends".

Patient confidentiality is really important, so it is highly unlikely a doctor or nurse would report anyone for having illegal drugs in their system, unless they had caused a traffic accident, were minors or vulnerable people who they suspected had been drugged to enable abuse to take place. Almost no-one would go to A&E after a night out if there was a risk of being grassed up, A&E would soon resemble a custody suite if they did.

The oncologist might suspend chemo if there were substances in his bloodstream which could react with the chemo and cause his condition to worsen. These are called contraindications and can happen with over the counter medicines and even herbal remedies such as evening primrose oil. When in doubt always ask the oncologist.

Try not to get too hung up on any predictions given by medical experts, they are almost always wrong in individual cases. Over several hundred people they are OK for averages but almost no-one is average. I was given between 2 months without chemo and up to 18 months with chemo. That was in 2013 and I'm still living well despite my inoperable and incurable stage 4 cancer. I'm just glad I didn't splurge all my money away on a few months in a luxury tropical hotel! 

Good luck with your Dad's treatment.


Can my dad take cannabis oil whilst having chemo?

4 Apr 2018 10:04 in response to Nicole2101

Hello Nicole and thanks for your post

I was sorry to learn about your dad and can appreciate you want to explore all possible options for him.

When patients are having chemotherapy their bloods are regularly checked for signs of anaemia and infection. They also check how well the kidneys and liver are working. If it shows that there have been changes in how well these organs are working, then the dose of chemotherapy will need to change or stop. As far as I’m aware doctors don’t routinely check for illegal substances in blood tests, but if someone had unexplained abnormal blood tests they may well do. You can read more about the blood tests that are taken during chemotherapy treatment here.

The active ingredients in cannabis which are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are still being researched. It isn’t a properly licensed medicine so we wouldn’t recommend anyone takes it. We especially do not recommend that people take it alongside established cancer treatments like chemotherapy. This is because we do not know if it will interfere with how the treatment works making it more unsafe. A doctor may not want to prescribe chemotherapy if they knew their patient was taking any form of cannabis because of this reason.

I’m not sure if doctors would report their patients if they knew there were taking cannabis along their cancer treatment. You would have to ask this question at the hospital where your dad is having his treatment.

I’m sorry I can’t be more specific but hope this is of use. Do get back to us if we can help with anything else.

Kind regards,



Can my dad take cannabis oil whilst having chemo?

9 Oct 2018 03:06 in response to davek

Hey Dave hate to nosey but wanted to ask what type of cancer you have? My dad was recently diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic. We are trying hard to be very positive during this time. I love hearing more positive feedback

Can my dad take cannabis oil whilst having chemo?

25 Oct 2018 09:18 in response to davek

Hey Dave, 

my partner is 28 and has been told he has tumour in both his lungs and it’s starting to spread. He didn’t allow them to do a biopsy but from the ct scan they said they are certain it’s cancer and he has maximum a year to live. 

What did u do that u have managed to still be here with us? Did u do chemo? My partner doesn’t want to do chemotherapy and they cannot operate and the risks are high if they do for it to spread faster. 

What is your opinion on cbd oil for the pain as he is not taking any pain meds and is it possible to stop it growing further and maybe reduce the size of the tumour? 

Can my dad take cannabis oil whilst having chemo?

25 Oct 2018 11:09 in response to sarahsk

Hi Sarah,

Chemo was my only option as the cancer had grown around my aorta and spread to distant parts. I was lucky that my body could tolerate the chemo and that my oncologist stopped the chemo at the optimum time when the cancer was damaged and shrunk but before my immune system crashed. 

I was lucky that my cancer isn't painful - though that's also why it wasn't suspected until stage 4 which was ufortunate.I've not tried alternative pain killers and to be honest can't imagine trying cbd unless conventional drugs had been tried and found not to work. 

I hope your partnet changes his mind about chemo. There's a lot of disinformation out there and myths based on how bad chemo was in the 1960s and 70s, along with deliberate misinterpretations of scientific evidence to help sell cannabis oil and other alternative (rather than complementary) treatments. The side effects can be managed these days to a high degree and there are a hundred times more types and combinations of chemo than there ware even 20 years ago. I was given a combination of three types of chemo because this is more effective and longer lasting than the traditional one chemo regime. 


Best wishes