Kidney Cancer – Cannabis Research

Kidney Cancer Research Dashboard


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As a subscriber, you will be able to access dashboard insights including chemotype overviews and dosing summaries for medical conditions and organ system and receptor breakdowns for cannabinoid and terpene searches. Study lists present important guidance including dosing and chemotype information with the ability to drill down to the published material. And all outputs are fully filterable, to help find just the information you need. Stay up-to-date with the science of cannabis and the endocannabinoid system with CannaKeys.

CannaKeys has 16 studies associated with Kidney Cancer.

Here is a small sampling of Kidney Cancer studies by title:

Components of the Kidney Cancer Research Dashboard

  • Dosing information available for Kidney Cancer
  • Chemotype guidance for treating Kidney Cancer with cannabis
  • Synopsis of cannabis research for Kidney Cancer
  • Individual study details for Kidney Cancer

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Overview - Kidney Cancer

Description of Kidney Cancer

Kidney cancer (aka renal cancer) most often starts in the clear cells of the kidneys about 80-90% of the time. It is also the most likely to spread and cause distant metastases in about 15% of cases due to direct blood supplies and extensions.

The other main renal cancer subtypes are papillary and chromophobe cell tumors. The odds of developing stage IV cancer with those types are about 3 and 4%, respectively.

The main sites of clear cell tumor metastases are lung, bone, brain, liver, lymph nodes, liver, and adrenal glands. Providers should routinely monitor these areas and observe for lytic or sclerotic bony metastases with lab and imaging studies.

Treatment depends on tumor size, necrosis score, and progression (stage). It usually involves surgery (tumor, partial, or complete organ removal).

Smoking tobacco, whether in cigarettes, pipes, or cigars, is the most potent risk factor. Other important but modifiable risk factors include:

  • Obesity and excess body weight

  • High blood pressure

  • Chronic renal failure or CKD

  • Occupational exposures to certain hazardous chemicals including trichloroethylene

Non-modifiable risk factors include genetics and rare hereditary conditions.

Current medical science favors systemic targeted molecular therapies over older immunotherapies. Chemotherapies or radiation have produced poor results.

10-year survival rates for the three main types of renal cancer (clear, papillary, and chromophobe) are 71%, 91%, and 88%, respectively.

Disease Classification

Condition: Cancer - Kidney
Disease Family: Cancer
Organ System: Urinary System
ICD-10 Chapter: Neoplasms
ICD-10 Code: C64

Kidney Cancer Symptoms:

Hematuria, chronic back or flank pain, the feeling of fullness in the flank, increased generalized weakness, fatigue, anemia, lack of appetite, and unexpected weight loss.

Also known as:

Renal cancer, Renal cell carcinoma, Urothelial carcinoma, Adenocarcinoma of kidney, Adenocarcinoma metastatic to kidney, sarcoma of kidney, clear cell carcinoma of kidney, leiomyosarcoma of kidney, transitional cell carcinoma of kidney, secondary adenocarcinoma of kidney, Wilms tumor, primary sarcoma of kidney, secondary adenocarcinoma of kidney, nephroblastoma, localized primary malignant neoplasm of kidney, cancer metastatic to kidney, melanoma metastatic to kidney, benign neoplasm of kidney

Drug Interactions

THC Interaction with Pharmaceutical Drugs

  • Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) can enhance the effects of drugs that cause sedation and depress the central nervous system, such as benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and alcohol. 
  • THC is metabolized by an inhibitor of several enzymatic liver pathways referred to as cytochrome P450 (aka CYP450). There are more than 50 enzymes belonging to this enzyme family, several of which are responsible for the breakdown of common drugs such as antidepressants (e.g., amitriptyline, doxepin, fluvoxamine), antipsychotics (haloperidol, clozapine, Stelazine), beta-blockers (e.g., propranolol), bronchodilators (e.g., theophylline), or blood thinners (e.g., warfarin). Thus, patients taking these medication classes may find that THC increases the concentration and effects of these drugs and the impact duration.
  • Clinical observation (not yet confirmed by clinical trials) suggests no likely interactions with other pharmaceuticals at a total daily dose of up to 20mg THC.

If you are interested in the interaction potential of specific pharmaceuticals with THC, consider visiting these free drug interaction checkers: or DrugBank Online.

CBD Interaction with Pharmaceutical Drugs

  • Cannabidiol (CBD) may alter the action of metabolic enzymes (specific drug-transport mechanisms) and alter interactions with other drugs, some of which may produce therapeutic or adverse effects. For instance, CBD interacts with the enzyme cytochrome P450 3A4 and cytochrome P450 2C19, increasing the bioavailability of anti-epileptic drugs such as clobazam (a benzodiazepine). This makes it possible to achieve the same results at significantly lower dosages, reducing treatment costs and risks of adverse effects. 
  • Groups of drugs affected include anti-epileptics, psychiatric drugs, and drugs affecting metabolic enzymes.
  • Clinical observations (not yet confirmed by clinical trials) suggest no likely interactions with other pharmaceuticals at a total daily dose of up to 100mg CBD.

If you are interested in the interaction potential of specific pharmaceuticals with CBD, consider visiting these free drug interaction checkers: or DrugBank Online.

THC/CBD Interaction with Pharmaceutical Drugs

In general, when using cannabinoid-based therapeutics that contain both THC and CBD consider the ratio between them and weigh the relevant information displayed in the individual THC and CBD Drug Interaction windows accordingly.

If you are interested in the interaction potential of specific pharmaceuticals with both primary cannabinoids and THC/CBD, consider visiting these free drug interaction checkers: or DrugBank Online.

Concerns about Cannabis and Cancer-related Immunotherapies:
Some recent clinical observational studies have suggested that the co-administration of cannabinoid-based therapeutics and immunotherapy or immune checkpoint inhibitors in the treatment of certain types of cancer has been associated with worse overall survival rates (T. Taha et al., 2019; A. Biedny et al., 2020; G. Bar-Sela et al., 2020).

However, other studies have suggested that the co-commitment use of immune checkpoint inhibitors and cannabis-induced no such deleterious effects. More specifically, one trial was conducted on animals resulting in data suggesting that cannabis did not negatively affect the properties of immune checkpoint inhibitors (B. Waissengrin et al., 2023). The same authors compared the previous study results with findings from a cohort of 201 patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer who received treatment with monotherapy pembrolizumab as a first-line treatment and adjunct cannabis to treat mainly pain and loss of appetite. Their time to tumor progression was 6.1 versus 5.6 months, and overall survival differed between 54.9 versus 23.6 months in cannabis-naïve patients and cannabis-using patients, respectively. However, while numerically different, the authors write that these differences were not statistically significant, leading them to suggest that “These data provide reassurance regarding the absence of a deleterious effect of cannabis in this clinical setting.”

Dosing Considerations

THC Dosage Considerations

  • THC micro dose:  0.1 mg to 0.4 mg
  • THC low dose:  0.5 mg to 5 mg
  • THC medium dose:  6 mg to 20 mg
  • THC high dose:  21 mg to 50+ mg

CBD Dosage Considerations

  • CBD low dose:  0.4 mg to 19 mg
  • CBD medium dose: 20 mg to 99 mg
  • CBD high dose:  100 mg to 800+ mg (upper limits tested ~1,500mg)

Information on this site is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own licensed physician or other medical professional. You should not use the information contained herein for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. If using a product, you should read carefully all product packaging. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, promptly contact your health care provider.

Information on this site is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over-the-counter medication is also available. Consult your physician, nutritionally oriented health care practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications.