Cannabis Use Associated With 'Significant Improvement' In Palliative Oncology Care

Cannabis Use Associated With 'Significant Improvement' In Palliative Oncology Care

HAIFA, ISRAEL — The consumption of cannabis is effective in treating symptoms associated with cancer and conventional anti-cancer therapies, such as nausea, weight loss, pain, and fatigue, according to observational study data published in the journal Evidence-Based Complimentary and Alternative Medicine.

Israeli investigators surveyed the use of cannabis on various cancer-related symptoms in 131 patients over the course of multiple interviews. Cancer symptoms as well as cannabis side effects were documented on numerical scales from zero to 4.

“All cancer or anti-cancer treatment-related symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, mood disorders, fatigue, weight loss, anorexia, constipation, sexual function, sleep disorders, itching, and pain had significant improvement,” authors reported. “No significant difference was found in the level of infections, mouth dryness, cough, shortness of breath, diarrhea, and leukocyte count or albumin level during the time between the two interviews.”

Researchers concluded: “The population of the prolonged users in the current study reported significant improvement in all aspects of supportive and palliative oncology care. … A slight reduction in the need for opioids and antidepressant drugs was seen in the study group. … [T]he improvement in symptoms should push the use of cannabis in the practice of oncology palliative treatment.”

 Full text of the study, “The medical necessity for medicinal cannabis: prospective, observational study evaluating the treatment in cancer patients on supportive or palliative care,” appears in Evidence-Based Complimentary and Alternative Medicine.

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