Scientists have acquired data demonstrating that cannabis considerably reduces the negative effects experienced by cancer patients while also improving their symptoms.
Researchers from israel suggested that cannabis might be a promising substitute for the typical opioid painkillers currently given to cancer patients, which can lead to addiction and other unfavorable side effects, in an article published last week in the journal frontiers in pain research.
In addition to adverse effects like nausea and weakness, medical cannabis use can also cause psychosis.
The paper notes that patients typically tolerate the side effects of cannabis for cancer treatment well and classify them as mild to moderate.
Cannabinoids, which are found in cannabis, are the substances that provide marijuana its therapeutic and recreational effects. The main psychoactive component of cannabis is thc ((-)-9-trans-tetrahydrocannabinol), whereas cbd (cannabidiol) is non-psychoactive and has long been believed to aid with pain management.
According to the authors of the publication, there has previously only been a limited number of small-scale studies on the use of medicinal cannabis for pain alleviation. However, a comprehensive and sizable cohort of 404 patients was used in this work. An oncologist gave participants in this trial a dosage of medical cannabis that was given orally or topically as inflorescences (for smoking or inhaling) or oil extracts (under the tongue). No matter how it was given, the first dose was 20 grams (0.7 ounces) every month.
The patients completed questionnaires on their cancer treatment symptoms, which can include pain, anxiety, sadness, insomnia, increased disability, and adverse effects on sexuality, before beginning therapy.
The patients completed the questionnaires again at various intervals over the following six months, and the results provided the researchers with information on any changes or improvements in these symptoms.
The average weekly pain intensity decreased by a median of 20%, and the total burden of cancer symptoms decreased by a median of 18% during the six months of medicinal cannabis treatment, according to the authors of the study. They also note that the majority of the studied cancer comorbidities significantly improved during this time.
They also discovered that using medical cannabis for cancer patients was safe and well tolerated.
While 40% of the patient sample stopped using any and all analgesics after the six-week cannabis therapy period, according to the authors, 25% of the sample stated that their pain intensity had risen after ceasing the cannabis treatment, and 20% of the sample later started using analgesics.
According to one theory put forth by the authors, those who completed the six months of treatment had less severe diseases overall, which inevitably resulted in fewer comorbidities at the end of the trial.
According to the publication, the studys authors came to the conclusion that medicinal marijuana could offer a overall mild to modest long-term statistical improvement of all investigated variables including pain, related symptoms, and, significantly, reduction in opioid (and other analgesics) consumption.
For the majority of initiatives.
Because, as they write, as time advanced patients showed increased response rates for most measures, the authors findings may have been influenced by survival bias and they went on to say that the efficacy and clinical significance of medicinal cannabis may be constrained.
Although our study was highly thorough and provided more viewpoints on medical cannabis, the variety of patients in our study was wide-ranging due to factors including sex, age, and ethnicity, as well as cancer types and stage.
Future research should therefore examine the degree of medicinal cannabis efficacy in particular subgroups of cancer patients that share more traits psypost was informed by co-author david meiri, an assistant professor at the technion israel institute of technology.