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Cannabis May Help Reduce Refractory Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea

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According to the World Cancer Research Fund, as many as 18 million people were diagnosed with cancer worldwide in just 2018 alone. It’s a very sad statistic, and will never quantify the pain and suffering that cancer patients have to endure.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for cancer. Cancer comes in different forms, and there are different treatments available depending on the patient’s situation.

A common form of cancer treatment is chemotherapy. Anyone that has endured chemotherapy treatment will be quick to tell you that it is absolutely awful, resulting in all types of side effects including severe nausea.

Fortunately for suffering cancer patients, the results of a new study indicate that cannabis extracts may be able to help reduce refractory chemotherapy-induced nausea. Below is more information about it via a news release from NORML:

The adjunctive use of cannabis extracts significantly reduces symptoms in patients with treatment-resistant chemotherapy-induced nausea, according to clinical trial data published in the journal Annals of Oncology.

Australian researchers compared cannabis extracts (oral capsules containing 2.5mg of THC and 2.5mg of CBD) versus placebo in a cohort of 72 patients with chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV).

Researchers reported that the adjunctive use of cannabis extracts was associated with reductions in patients’ nausea and vomiting, and also with improvements in subjects’ overall quality of life. Although the majority of patients did report side-effects, these effects were largely limited to non-serious events such as sedation and dizziness.

They concluded: “The oral THC:CBD cannabis extract was active and tolerable in preventing CINV, when combined with guideline-consistent antiemetic prophylaxis for a study population with refractory CINV. … Further research is necessary to determine the significance and durability of improvements observed in specific AQOL-8D [quality of life] dimensions.”

Cannabis extracts containing equal ratios of THC and CBD are already available in many countries by prescription under the brand name Sativex. The substance is not legally available in the United States. By contrast, oral synthetic THC, marketed under the brand name Marinol, is FDA-approved in the US for the treatment of nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy.