“Patients with serious illness often have pain, uncontrolled symptoms, and poor quality of life. Evidence continues to evolve regarding the role of cannabis to treat chronic pain, nausea, and anorexia. Little is known about how patients with serious illness perceive its benefits and harms. Given that an increasing number of clinicians across the United States are treating patients with medical cannabis, it is important for providers to understand patient beliefs about this modality. We assessed patient perceptions of benefits and harms of cannabis who obtained a medical cannabis card within an ambulatory palliative care (APC) practice.
Results: All 101 patients invited to participate completed the survey. A majority had cancer (76%) and were married (61%), disabled or retired (75%), older than 50 years of age (64%), and men (56%). Most patients ingested (61%) or vaporized (49%) cannabis products. A majority of respondents perceived cannabis to be important for their pain (96%) management. They reported that side effects were minimally bothersome, and drowsiness was the most commonly reported bothersome harm (28%). A minority of patients reported cannabis withdrawal symptoms (19%) and concerns for dependency (14%). The majority of patients were using concurrent prescription opioids (65%). Furthermore, a majority of cancer patients reported cannabis as being important for cancer cure (59%).
Conclusion: Patients living with serious illnesses who use cannabis in the context of a multidisciplinary APC practice use cannabis for curative intent and for pain and symptom control. Patients reported improved pain, other symptoms, and a sense of well-being with few reported harms.”
“The use of cannabis products for medical purposes is rapidly increasing in the Netherlands. Studies suggest that these products have positive effects in the treatment of chronic neuropathic pain, multiple-sclerosis-related spasticity, certain epilepsy syndromes and chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting.”
“Despite remaining one of the most widely abused drugs worldwide, Cannabis sativa exhibits remarkable medicinal properties. The phytocannabinoids, cannabidiol and Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, reduce nausea and vomiting, particularly during chemotherapy. This is attributed to their ability to reduce the release of serotonin from enterochromaffin cells in the small intestine, which would otherwise orchestrate the vomiting reflex. Although there are many preclinical and clinical studies on the effects of Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol during nausea and vomiting, little is known about the role that cannabidiol plays in this scenario. Since cannabidiol does not induce psychotropic effects, in contrast to other cannabinoids, its use as an anti-emetic is of great interest. This review aims to summarize the available literature on cannabinoid use, with a specific focus on the nonpsychotropic drug cannabidiol, as well as the roles that cannabinoids play in preventing several other adverse side effects of chemotherapy including organ toxicity, pain and loss of appetite.”
“Cannabis (Cannabis sativa) is the most widely used illicit drug in the world, with an estimated 192 million users globally.
The main psychoactive component of cannabis is (-)-trans-Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC), a molecule with a diverse range of pharmacological actions. The unique and distinctive intoxication caused by Δ9-THC primarily reflects partial agonist action at central cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptors.
Δ9-THC is an approved therapeutic treatment for a range of conditions, including chronic pain, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, and is being investigated in indications such as anorexia nervosa, agitation in dementia, and Tourette’s syndrome.
It is available as a regulated pharmaceutical in products such as Marinol®, Sativex®, and Namisol®, as well as in an ever-increasing range of unregistered medicinal and recreational cannabis products.
While cannabis is an ancient medicament, contemporary use is embroiled in legal, scientific, and social controversy, much of which relates to the potential hazards and benefits of Δ9-THC itself.
Robust contemporary debate surrounds the therapeutic value of Δ9-THC in different diseases, its capacity to produce psychosis and cognitive impairment, and the addictive and “gateway” potential of the drug.
This review will provide a profile of the chemistry, pharmacology, toxicology, and recreational and therapeutic uses of Δ9-THC, as well as the historical and societal importance of this unique, distinctive, and ubiquitous psychoactive substance.”
“There is an increased interest in the use of cannabinoids in the treatment of symptoms in cancer and palliative care patients. Their multimodal action, in spite of limited efficacy, may make them an attractive alternative, particularly in patients with multiple concomitant symptoms of mild and moderate intensity. There is evidence to indicate cannabis in the treatment of pain, spasticity, seizures, sleep disorders, nausea and vomiting, and Tourette syndrome. Although the effectiveness of cannabinoids is limited, it was confirmed in neuropathic pain management and combination with opioids. A relatively favorable adverse effects profile, including no depressive effect on the respiratory system, may make cannabis complement a rather narrow armamentarium that is in the disposition of a palliative care professional.”
“Complementary therapies for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have earned growing interest from patients and investigators alike, with a dynamic landscape of research in this area. In this article, we review results of the most recent studies evaluating the role of cannabis and turmeric for the treatment of IBD and other intestinal illnesses.
Cannabinoids are well-established modulators of gut motility and visceral pain and have demonstrated anti-inflammatory properties. Clinical trials suggest that there may be a therapeutic role for cannabinoid therapy in the treatment of IBD, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), nausea and vomiting, and GI motility disorders. Recent reports of serious adverse effects from synthetic cannabinoids highlight the need for additional investigation of cannabinoids to establish their efficacy and safety. Turmeric trials have demonstrated some promise as adjuvant treatment for IBD, though not in other GI disease processes. Evidence suggests that the use of cannabis and turmeric is potentially beneficial in IBD and IBS; however, neither has been compared to standard therapy in IBD, and thus should not be recommended as alternative treatment for IBD. For cannabis in particular, additional investigation regarding appropriate dosing and timing, given known adverse effects of its chronic use, and careful monitoring of potential bleeding complications with synthetic cannabinoids are imperative.”
“Nausea and vomiting result from complex interactions between afferent and efferent pathways of the gastrointestinal tract, central nervous system, and autonomic nervous system. Afferent pathways from the vagus nerve, vestibular system, and chemoreceptor trigger zone project to nucleus tractus solitarius, which in turn relays signals to the central pattern generator to initiate multiple downstream pathways resulting in symptoms of nausea and vomiting. There is increasing evidence that the central pathway of chronic nausea is different from that of acute nausea and vomiting-and closely resembles that of neuropathic pain. This improved understanding of chronic nausea has resulted in a paradigm shift with regard to management strategy. Although conventional therapies such as antiemetics and prokinetics are commonly used to manage acute nausea and vomiting, they are historically not as effective in treating chronic nausea. Recently, neuromodulator agents, such as tricyclic antidepressants, gabapentin, olanzapine, mirtazapine, and benzodiazepines, and cannabinoids have been shown to be efficacious in the treatment of nausea and vomiting, and may be useful in the treatment of chronic symptoms. There is a need to study these agents, especially in the management of chronic functional nausea. Improved understanding of the central and peripheral circuitry of nausea and vomiting symptoms will allow for enhanced utilization of the currently available medications, and the development of novel therapeutic options.”
“There are currently three cannabinoids available on the pharmaceutical market. Dronabinol and Nabilone are both synthetic tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which the FDA has approved for treatment of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) after the failure of a trial of first-line anti-emetics. Both are also FDA approved to treat anorexia associated with AIDS. Recently, the FDA has also approved a cannabidiol (CBD) product to treat seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome and Dravel Syndrome in pediatric patients. However, there is no FDA approved indication for its use as an anti-emetic. Independently produced cannabidiol extracts are being used increasingly in the general population for many non-FDA approved indications, frequently including nausea and emesis. In states that have decriminalized marijuana, both in recreational and medicinal contexts, products with varying ratios of cannabidiol and THC are also used for their anti-emetic properties.”
“As cancer therapies improve, patients are living longer. With these improvements in therapy comes a responsibility to optimize patients’ quality of life during cancer therapy and beyond. This report reviews three timely and important topics.
The first section reviews the mechanism underlying chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy and evaluates the evidence for interventions to prevent and treat peripheral neuropathy. It also provides a framework for approaching the diagnosis and management of this common and bothersome side effect.
The second section addresses the controversial but effective use of cannabinoids for cancer and chemotherapy symptoms. Although clinical trials are difficult to conduct because of the political and social stigma of this class of drugs, this review provides evidence of the efficacy of cannabinoids for treatment of pain and nausea.
The last section addresses the mind-body connection, with a focus on the negative emotions patients with cancer often experience. This section assesses the literature regarding mindfulness-based programs to improve cancer-related stress. These three topics may appear unrelated, but all address one common goal: treating the body and the mind to optimize quality of life during and after cancer therapy.”
“Although commercially available dronabinol is not superior to other antiemetics and oromucosal nabiximols is not very effective for treating cancer pain, cannabis has been shown to be effective for treating pain and may help patients reduce opioid intake.”
“The chronic use of drugs that reduce the dopaminergic neurotransmission can cause a hyperkinetic movement disorder called tardive dyskinesia (TD). The pathophysiology of this disorder is not entirely understood but could involve oxidative and neuroinflammatory mechanisms.
Cannabidiol (CBD), the major non-psychotomimetic compound present in Cannabis sativa plant, could be a possible therapeutic alternative for TD. This phytocannabinoid shows antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antipsychotic properties and decreases the acute motor effects of classical antipsychotics.
The present study investigated if CBD would attenuate orofacial dyskinesia, oxidative stress and inflammatory changes induced by chronic administration of haloperidol in mice. Furthermore, we verified in vivo and in vitro (in primary microglial culture) whether these effects would be mediated by PPARγ receptors.
The results showed that the male Swiss mice treated daily for 21 days with haloperidol develop orofacial dyskinesia. Daily CBD administration before each haloperidol injection prevented this effect.
Mice treated with haloperidol showed an increase in microglial activation and inflammatory mediators in the striatum. These changes were also reduced by CBD. On the other hand, the levels of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 increased in the striatum of animals that received CBD and haloperidol.
Regarding oxidative stress, haloperidol induced lipid peroxidation and reduced catalase activity. This latter effect was attenuated by CBD. The combination of CBD and haloperidol also increased PGC-1α mRNA expression, a co-activator of PPARγ receptors. Pretreatment with the PPARγ antagonist, GW9662, blocked the behavioural effect of CBD in our TD model. CBD also prevented LPS-stimulated microglial activation, an effect that was also antagonized by GW9662.
In conclusion, our results suggest that CBD could prevent haloperidol-induced orofacial dyskinesia by activating PPARγ receptors and attenuating neuroinflammatory changes in the striatum.”