Research Reveals Significant Symptomatic Improvement in Majority of Cancer Survivors Utilizing Cannabis

Research Reveals Significant Symptomatic Improvement in Majority of Cancer Survivors Utilizing CannabisA recent study published in the Journal of Cancer Survivorship has shed light on the use of cannabis among cancer survivors. The study, which surveyed 1,886 cancer survivors, found that nearly half of them either currently or previously used cannabis. The majority of those who used marijuana after their diagnoses reported that it was to manage symptoms such as sleep disturbances and pain. Additionally, about a fifth of cancer survivors currently use cannabis for symptomatic relief while undergoing active cancer treatment.

The prevalence of cannabis use among cancer survivors was notable, with most reporting a great degree of symptomatic improvement for the specified reason for use. Out of all participants, 17.4 percent were current cannabis users, 30.5 percent were former users, and 52.2 percent had never used marijuana. Of the respondents who used cannabis after their cancer diagnosis, 60 percent said they used it to manage sleep disturbances, followed by pain (51 percent), stress (44 percent), nausea (33 percent), and mood disorders or depression (32 percent).

The study also found that the use of marijuana was effective at treating symptoms for the majority of patients. For example, among those using it to treat nausea, 73.6 percent said it was effective to a great extent, with another 24.4 percent saying it was somewhat effective. Only a small fraction (1.9 percent) reported very little efficacy, and virtually none said it was not at all effective. Similar findings were observed for depression, appetite, pain, sleep stress, and coping with illness generally.

Interestingly, the study revealed that awareness of marijuana’s potential health hazards was quite low among respondents. Only about 1 in 10 reported being aware of any potential health risks associated with cannabis/marijuana during their cancer treatment.

Considering that some individuals might be using cannabis to treat symptoms without fully understanding the drug’s possible side effects, the study emphasizes the importance of medical guidance and discussions regarding therapeutic marijuana as part of a patient’s broader course of treatment. The researchers suggest that more studies are needed to strengthen current evidence on cannabis therapeutics, and there is a need for policies, clear guidelines, and educational programs for healthcare providers and cancer survivors regarding the use, benefits, and risks of cannabis in cancer management.

The study is part of a growing body of research exploring how cannabis can be used to manage cancer symptoms. Other studies have found that cannabis can reduce pain and improve clarity of thinking in chemotherapy patients. Furthermore, research published by the American Medical Association has connected state cannabis legalization with reduced opioid prescribing for certain cancer patients.

As patients, researchers, and observers await action from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) on marijuana’s scheduling status under the federal Controlled Substances Act, the study highlights the potential benefits of cannabis in cancer management. While rescheduling marijuana at the federal level would not legalize state medical marijuana or adult-use cannabis programs, it could open the door to FDA approval of cannabis-based drugs and increase profit for medical marijuana companies.

In conclusion, this study provides valuable insights into the use of cannabis among cancer survivors. It highlights the significant symptomatic improvement reported by most users and calls for further research and education to enhance our understanding of the benefits and risks associated with cannabis in cancer management.

Dr. Paul Miller, MD

Dr. Miller is committed to finding new and innovative ways to help his patients manage their symptoms and improve their overall quality of life. He has a particular interest in the therapeutic potential of medical cannabis and is passionate about educating both his colleagues and patients on its safe and effective use. He is also committed to continuing his education and staying up-to-date on the latest advances in neurology and cannabis research.

Leave a Comment