Medical Marijuana Use in Patients with Cancer
November 2016 - Vol. 13 No. 11 - Page #10

The number of states that have legalized medical marijuana has steadily increased in recent years, and cancer and cancer treatment-related symptoms (ie, nausea, vomiting, cachexia) are qualifying conditions for use of the drug in all 26 states, and the District of Columbia, where use is permitted by state law.1 Although large, randomized, double blind clinical trials evaluating the efficacy of medical marijuana to treat the symptoms of cancer are limited, many patients use it to treat nausea, vomiting, decreased appetite, anxiety, and insomnia. In addition, two synthetic, oral cannabinoid drugs (dronabinol [Marinol] and nabilone [Cesamet]) are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting (CINV) in patients who have not responded to standard therapy.2-4

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