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THC Use Associated With Increased Survival Time In German Cancer Patients

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Germany first legalized cannabis for medical use in 2017. Since that time, Germany’s medical cannabis program has become the largest in Europe, with the nation’s program serving hundreds of thousands of suffering patients.

Thanks to the recently implemented CanG law in Germany, medical cannabis in Germany is set to undergo a significant transformation in the coming years, with cannabis no longer being on the nation’s Narcotics List, caps on domestic medical cannabis production being removed (Germany imported over 34 tons of medical cannabis in 2023), and the German medical cannabis supply chain being streamlined.

Researchers in Germany recently examined survival time rates among palliative cancer patients who consumed medical cannabis products containing THC. Below is more information about it via a news release from NORML:

Berlin, Germany: The daily use of 5mg of oral THC is associated with increased survival times in palliative cancer patients, according to data published in the journal Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids.

German researchers evaluated the impact of THC dosing in a cohort of 9,419 advanced cancer patients enrolled in Specialized Palliative Outpatient Care (SAPC). SAPC offers team-based home care for patients with advanced and progressive diseases whose life expectancies are limited to days, weeks, or months.

Researchers reported that patients’ daily use of 4.7mg of THC was associated with significantly increased survival time, whereas lower doses were not.

The study’s authors concluded: “The data … show a significant impact of THC on survival in ambulatory palliative care patients [who] … use more than 4.7 mg/day. Median survival time was prolonged by 15 days – from survival time of 25 days without THC therapy to 40 days with a daily THC dose higher than 4.7 mg per day. This prolongation by more than two weeks can be considered substantial. In addition to mere survival, patients [treated] with THC become more mentally and physically active. … The increased activity and improved quality of life might enable the patients to renew social contact with relatives and friends and to settle essential affairs before dying.”

The study’s findings are consistent with data published in 2021 that similarly reported that THC was associated with increased survival times in German hospice patients, particularly among women ages 75 and older.

Full text of the study, “The use of tetrahydrocannabinol is associated with an increase in survival time in palliative cancer patients: A retrospective multicenter cohort study,” appears in Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids.