CidpUSA.org God Guides
cannabinoids Cancer Wonder:
Nausea and vomiting
Delta-9-THC taken by mouth: Two cannabinoid drugs approved in the United States are available under the names dronabinol and nabilone. Both dronabinol and nabilone are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of chemotherapy -related nausea and vomiting in patients who have not responded to standard therapy. Many clinical trials have shown that both dronabinol and nabilone worked as well as or better than some of the weaker FDA-approved drugs to relieve nausea and vomiting. Newer drugs given for chemotherapy-related nausea have not been directly compared with Cannabis or cannabinoids in cancer patients.
Inhaled Cannabis: Three small trials have studied inhaled Cannabis for the treatment of chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting. Various study methods and chemotherapy agents were used with mixed results. There is not enough information to interpret these findings.
Delta-9-THC taken by mouth: A clinical trial compared delta-9-THC (dronabinol) and a standard drug (megestrol) in patients with advanced cancer and loss of appetite. Results showed that delta-9-THC was not as effective in increasing appetite or weight gain in advanced cancer patients compared with standard therapy. However, a clinical trial of patients with HIV/AIDS and weight loss found that those who took delta-9-THC had increased appetite and stopped losing weight compared with patients who took a placebo.
Inhaled Cannabis: There are no published studies of the effect of inhaled Cannabis on cancer patients with loss of appetite. Studies of healthy people who inhaled Cannabis showed that they consumed more calories, especially high-fat and sweet snacks.
Combining cannabinoids with opioids: Results from a small study of 21 patients with chronic pain (mostly from non-cancer conditions) show that adding vaporized Cannabis to slow-release oxycodone or morphine gave patients better pain relief, even though in some instances blood levels of opioids were lower after Cannabis was added.
Delta-9-THC taken by mouth: Two small clinical trials of oral delta-9-THC showed that it relieved cancer pain. In the first study, patients had good pain relief as well as relief of nausea and vomiting and better appetite.
Whole Cannabis plant extract medicine: A study of a whole-plant extract of Cannabis that contained specific amounts of cannabinoids, which was sprayed in the mouth, found it was effective in patients with advanced cancer whose pain was not relieved by strong opioids alone.
Inhaled Cannabis: A study of inhaled Cannabis in patients with HIV -related peripheral neuropathy found better pain control in the Cannabis group than in the placebo group. To date, no clinical trials have studied cannabinoids in the treatment of chemotherapy-related neuropathy in patients with cancer.
Anxiety and sleep
Inhaled Cannabis: A small case series found that patients who inhaled marijuana had improved mood, improved sense of well-being, and less anxiety.
Whole Cannabis plant extract spray: A trial of a whole-plant extract of Cannabis that contained specific amounts of cannabinoids, which was sprayed under the tongue, found that patients had improved sleep quality.
Have any side effects or risks been reported from Cannabis and cannabinoids?
Adverse side effects of cannabinoids may include:
Rapid beating of the heart.Low blood pressure.
Muscle relaxation. Bloodshot eyes.
Slowed digestion and movement of food by the stomach and intestines.
Both Cannabis and cannabinoids may be addictive.
Symptoms of withdrawal from cannabinoids may include:
Irritability.Trouble sleeping. Restlessness.Hot flashes.
Nausea and cramping (rarely occur).
These symptoms are mild compared to withdrawal from opiates and usually lessen after a few days.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved Cannabis for use as a cancer treatment.