Scientists from the Technion Israel Institute of Technology found for most cancer patients who used medical cannabis, pain improved strongly, other cancer-related symptoms also decreased, the consumption of painkillers was reduced, and the side effects were very low.
These findings suggest that medicinal cannabis can be used as an alternative to the pain relief medicines that are usually prescribed to cancer patients.
The research is published in Frontiers in Pain Research and was conducted by David Meiri et al.
Pain, along with depression, anxiety, and insomnia, are some of the most fundamental causes of oncology patients’ disability and suffering while undergoing treatment therapies, and may even lead to worsened outcomes.
In the study, the team recruited certified oncologists who were able to issue a medical cannabis license to their cancer patients.
These oncologists referred interested patients to the study and reported on their disease characteristics.
The team found that many of the outcomes measure improved, with less pain and cancer symptoms.
Importantly, the use of opioids and other pain drugs is reduced. In fact, almost half of the patients studied stopped all analgesic medications following six months of medicinal cannabis treatment.
These findings suggest that medical cannabis is a possible remedy for appetite loss, however, most patients in this study still lost weight.
As a substantial portion was diagnosed with progressive cancer, a weight decline is expected with disease progression.
The team also found that sexual function improved for most men, but worsened for most women.
They say future studies to dig deeper and look at the effectiveness of medicinal cannabis in different groups of cancer patients.
If you care about cannabis, please read studies about cannabis hemp oil may treat chronic neuropathic pain and heavy cannabis use may decrease incidence of diabetes.
For more information about cannabis, please see recent studies that high-potency cannabis may affect your memory functions, and results showing cannabis could help fight resistant bacteria.
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