Medical cannabis (marijuana) has been shown to alleviate nausea and vomiting of cancer chemotherapy. There is also evidence of reduced anxiety and improved sleep among cancer patients. Studies have also shown medical cannabis improves appetite and frequency of eating in comparison with a placebo.
- The British Journal of Psychiatry Feb 2001, 178 (2) 107-115; DOI: 10.1192/bjp.178.2.107
- Cancer Sept 1982; DOI: 10.1002/1097-0142(19820815)50:43.0.CO;2-4
Medical Marijuana to Help Treat Cancer
Southern CT Wellness & Healing encourages our patients to read medical studies outlining the pros and cons for the use of medical marijuana. As it pertains to cancer, the body of evidence is growing that supports medical cannabis and it’s positive impact on treating cancer.
New studies investigating the benefits and uses of medical marijuana are showing scientifically backed methods to help treat various cancers and manage symptoms of cancer. The Journal of Pain and Symptom Management released a report in October 2016 about “Medical Cannabis in the Palliation of Malignant Wounds.” The study explores the effects on helping relieve pain from wounds that do not heal. The issue of Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry published an article in April 2015 about “Cannabidiol (CBD) and its analogs: a review of their effects on inflammation.” It outlines how CBD can treat inflammation in the body.
In the July 2012 issue of Oncology and Hematology, a review was published on “The intersection between cannabis and cancer in the United States.” The review examines whether marijuana can play a role as anti-cancer therapy, and the palliation of common cancer-associated symptoms. We’ve summarized the main arguments and findings from the article. You can read the full text here.
- ‘Cannabinoid’ is the scientific term for the psychoactive ingredients of marijuana. There is evidence that cannabinoids may have anti-cancer effects, however, the exact mechanism that the anti-tumor effect occurs is unknown. Researchers are currently investigating suppression methods, cell inhibition, and cell stimulation that cannabis creates in the body. At the time of publication for the source of the study cited, there had been only one clinical trial published for cannabinoid-mediated anti-tumor activity. More studies are needed to draw definitive conclusions.
- Studies have existed since the 1970s on the role of palliation of cancer symptoms using marijuana. Numerous trials have provided several indications. The role cannabis plays to manage symptoms varies based on product and method of use. CBD and THC studies in patients with chronic pain tended to outperform the placebo. No less than 30 trials and 1,300 patient’s reports have shown that chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) has been tested to be better managed using cannabinoids than conventional anti-emetics. Although, the American Society of Clinical Oncology guidelines do not yet recommend cannabinoids as first-line therapies.