Assessment of Efficacy and Tolerability of Medicinal Cannabinoids in Patients With Multiple Sclerosis: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

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“Are medicinal cannabinoids effective and well tolerated in the treatment of multiple sclerosis?

Findings  In this systematic review and meta-analysis of 17 randomized clinical trials including 3161 patients, cannabinoids were significantly associated with efficacy for subjective spasticity, pain, and bladder dysfunction compared with placebo. Cannabinoids had a higher risk of adverse events and withdrawals due to adverse events, with no statistically significant differences found for serious adverse events.

Meaning  Cannabinoids appear to be safe regarding serious adverse events, but their clinical benefit may be limited.

Cannabinoids have antispastic and analgesic effects.

The results suggest a limited efficacy of cannabinoids for the treatment of spasticity, pain, and bladder dysfunction in patients with MS. Therapy using these drugs can be considered as safe.”

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2706499

“MEDICAL MARIJUANA USES: CANNABIS MAY EASE SYMPTOMS OF MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS” https://www.newsweek.com/medical-marijuana-may-ease-symptoms-multiple-sclerosis-1170416

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Marijuana Use and the Risk of Ischemic Stroke: The Stroke Prevention in Young Adults Study

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“The association between marijuana use and ischemic stroke (IS) risk remains controversial. The goal of this study was to determine the effect of marijuana use on the risk of young-onset IS among Caucasians and African-Americans.

Having a history of marijuana/hashish use was not associated with IS in the overall sample or any gender-/ethnic-specific subgroup. Our data does not demonstrate a risk of ischemic stroke as associated with marijuana use.”

http://n.neurology.org/content/82/10_Supplement/S55.003

“No Link Between Marijuana Use and Stroke Risk. There was no evidence that marijuana use was associated with an increased risk of ischemic stroke in adolescents and young adults.”  https://www.medpagetoday.com/meetingcoverage/aan/45577

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Chemometric Analysis of Cannabinoids: Chemotaxonomy and Domestication Syndrome

Scientific Reports

“Cannabis is an interesting domesticated crop with a long history of cultivation and use. Strains have been selected through informal breeding programs with undisclosed parentage and criteria. The term “strain” refers to minor morphological differences and grower branding rather than distinct cultivated varieties.

The “sativa” and “indica” lineages used to describe cannabis throughout the industry are based on postulation that sativa strains originated from European hemp cultivars, while indica are from potent, resinous Indian cannabis but given the use and trade of the plant in ancient times, the exact origin is unknown and these may not be distinct species. Comparisons of cannabinoid contents of these classifications have shown that the THC content can be identical between these two classification groups.”   https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-31120-2

“THC amounts identical in most cannabis strains, study finds. Newly published research from UBC’s Okanagan campus has determined that many strains of cannabis have virtually identical levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), despite their unique street names. The research shows that most strains, regardless of their origin or name, had the same amount of THC and CBD” https://phys.org/news/2018-10-thc-amounts-identical-cannabis-strains.html
“UBC Okanagan study: THC amounts identical in most cannabis strains. B.C. Kush. Platinum GSC. Blueberry Cookies. Blue Sapphire. Death Bubba. Oregon Golden Coat. Those are just some of the many, many types of marijuana available for purchase. Yet, according to newly published research from UBC Okanagan, many strains of cannabis have virtually identical levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) despite their unique street names.” https://globalnews.ca/news/4533548/ubc-okanagan-study-thc-amounts-identical-in-most-cannabis-strains/
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Association of Cannabinoid Administration With Experimental Pain in Healthy Adults A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

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“Patients have reliably endorsed the belief that cannabis is helpful in alleviating pain.

Cannabinoids (the collective term for all of the drugs examined in this study, including plant-based cannabis, which can contain multiple compounds) have long been considered effective for reducing pain and are frequently proposed as treatment options in pain management.

Cannabinoid drugs may prevent the onset of pain by producing small increases in pain thresholds but may not reduce the intensity of experimental pain already being experienced; instead, cannabinoids may make experimental pain feel less unpleasant and more tolerable, suggesting an influence on affective processes.

Cannabis-induced improvements in pain-related negative affect may underlie the widely held belief that cannabis relieves pain.”

“Cannabinoid drugs make pain feel ‘less unpleasant, more tolerable'”  https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/09/180919111454.htm

“Medical marijuana increases pain threshold for patients”  https://www.upi.com/Health_News/2018/09/19/Medical-marijuana-increases-pain-threshold-for-patients/1771537292969/?rc_fifo=1

“Study reveals cannabinoid drugs make pain feel ‘less unpleasant, more tolerable'”  https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-09-reveals-cannabinoid-drugs-pain-unpleasant.html

“Cannabinoid drugs reduce perceived unpleasantness of painful stimuli and increase tolerance” https://www.news-medical.net/news/20180919/Cannabinoid-drugs-reduce-perceived-unpleasantness-of-painful-stimuli-and-increase-tolerance.aspx

“Cannabinoids appear to increase pain tolerability”  https://www.healio.com/psychiatry/practice-management/news/online/%7B7626bb3f-ce35-4968-99bc-50ecdaac79b7%7D/cannabinoids-appear-to-increase-pain-tolerability

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At 70, Singer Olivia Newton-John​ Using Cannabis To Treat Cancer.

“At 70, Singer Olivia Newton-John​ Using Cannabis To Treat Cancer. Olivia Newton-John says she has been diagnosed with cancer for the third time in three decades. Newton-John says she’s “treating it naturally and doing really well.” The “Grease” star says she is taking cannabis oil, made from marijuana her husband John Easterling grows on their ranch in Santa Barbara. She said, “I believe I will win over it.”” https://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2018/09/10/olivia-newton-john-cannabis-cancer/

“Grease star Olivia Newton-John is battling her breast cancer with cannabis. Grease star Olivia Newton-John is offering an update on her third battle with cancer and revealing how cannabis has become a key component in her treatment plan.”   http://www.digitalspy.com/showbiz/news/a865881/grease-olivia-newton-john-battling-breast-cancer-with-cannabis/

Olivia Newton-John Says She’s Managing Breast Cancer with Cannabis. Newton-John explained that she uses cannabis oil to treat the pain and help her sleep, much of which her husband John Easterling (who runs Amazon Herb Company) grows for her. “I’m very lucky that I live in a state where it’s legal and that I have a husband who is a plant medicine man,” she said. “How lucky is that?” Newton-John also advocated for legalizing cannabis in her home country of Australia, adding, “My dream is that it will be available to all the cancer patients or people going through cancer or any kind of disease that causes pain.” Newton-John turns 70 on September 26.” http://exclaim.ca/music/article/olivia_newton-john_says_shes_managing_breast_cancer_with_cannabis

“Olivia Newton-John diagnosed with cancer for a third time but believes she ‘will win’ health battle with homegrown cannabis treatment. The Grease actress is using homegrown cannabis as part of her treatment to fight the disease. She drinks a cannabis mixture made by her herbalist husband to control the illness.” https://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/olivia-newton-john-diagnosed-cancer-13220595

“Olivia Newton-John uses medical marijuana to treat cancer”  https://www.buzz.ie/celebs/olivia-newton-john-drinks-cannabis-extract-numb-pain-cancer-253796

“Olivia Newton-John reveals marijuana helping her beat cancer”   http://www.9news.com.au/national/2017/09/03/08/58/olivia-newton-john-backs-medicinal-cannabis

“Olivia Newton-John’s cancer battle is going well… Thanks to cannabis oil!”  https://closeronline.co.uk/celebrity/news/olivia-newton-john-daughter-chloe-lattanzi-cannabis-oil-cancer/ 

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Olivia Newton-John ‘Feeling Great’ as Source Denies ‘False’ Report Her Cancer Has Spread Further. “This is just false,” a source close to Newton-John tells PEOPLE. “She’s feeling and looking great. Everything that’s being reported about her diagnosis is the same news she released last year.” https://people.com/music/olivia-newton-john-denies-false-report-cancer-spread/

“Olivia Newton-John Reveals Secret Cancer Battle in 2013: ‘I Just Decided to Keep It to Myself.” Last year, Newton-John announced she’d been diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer that had metastasized to her back, but the 69-year-old actress has been treating the illness with natural wellness therapies, including medicinal marijuana. A source close to Newton-John tells PEOPLE that she’s been feeling fine and healthy as of late.” https://people.com/music/olivia-newton-john-secret-cancer-battle-decided-keep-myself/

Olivia Newton-John: It’s not just cancer sufferers needing help, carers do too. The mum-of-one discovered she had a tumour in the base of her spine last year. She had previously overcome breast cancer in 1992 after undergoing surgery and chemo, before secretly beating the disease again in 2013. Praising both husband John and her daughter Chloe, Olivia said: “Of course they’ve been a huge support, I think it’s hard for people on the outside – the care takers – because they have to be taken care of too sometimes, because it is hard for them.” John grows cannabis plants for Olivia, as she has chosen natural therapies such as cannabis oil to help ease her pain from the disease, instead of opioids and other drugs such as chemo this time round. He grows the plants in California where the couple live, as it is legal there.” https://startsat60.com/entertainment/tv-movies/olivia-newton-john-cancer-sufferers-carers-husband-john-help

“‘I use cannabis’: Olivia Newton-John talks cancer treatment” https://startsat60.com/health/i-use-cannabis-olivia-newton-john-opens-up-on-cancer-treatment

“Olivia Newton-John using cannabis oil as she battles cancer for the third time”  https://www.hellomagazine.com/healthandbeauty/health-and-fitness/2018091162192/olivia-newton-john-using-cannabis-oil-battles-cancer-third-time/

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“Olivia Newton-John Is Using Cannabis Oil To Treat Her Cancer”  https://www.inverse.com/article/32780-cannabis-oil-cancer-treatment-cannabinoid-chemotherapy

“Olivia Newton John’s cannabis oil for cancer treatment” https://www.msn.com/en-nz/health/medical/olivia-newton-johns-cannabis-oil-for-cancer-treatment/ar-AAoTvE3

“‘I believe I will win’: Olivia Newton-John, 69, reveals the tragic cancer diagnosis she kept secret… as she fights the disease for a third time with the help of her husband” https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-6148177/Olivia-Newton-John-69-reveals-tragic-cancer-diagnosis-kept-secret.html

“Olivia’s husband grows her medical marijuana”  https://au.be.yahoo.com/entertainment/celebrity/a/37038356/john-easterling-home-grows-olivia-newton-johns-medical-marijuana/

“Olivia Newton-John Admits to Using Home-Grown Medical Marijuana to Battle Cancer” http://popculture.com/2017/09/11/olivia-newton-john-medical-marijuana-breast-cancer/

“Olivia Newton-John Reveals She Was Unable to Walk After Cancer Relapse – and She’s Using Marijuana to Ease Pain. The 68-year-old said that the “hardest thing” has been her pain level, admitting that trying to do shows was “really agonizing.” Now, she’s been treating the pain with medical marijuana her husband John Easterling grows. “I’ll be fine,” said Newton-John.” https://people.com/music/olivia-newton-john-cancer-update-couldnt-walk-australian-60-minutes/

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“Olivia Newton-John on Being a Cancer ‘Thriver’ and Using Weed to Cope with Her Relapse: It’s a ‘Healing Plant’. The actress also shared that she’s been treating the pain with medical marijuana her husband John Easterling grows. “People have this vision from the ’60s of people just sitting around and getting stoned,” she said. “It’s not about that. This plant is a healing plant. I think we need to change the vision of what it is because it helped me greatly and it helps with pain and inflammation.”” https://people.com/music/olivia-newton-john-cancer-relapse-weed/

Olivia Newton-John reveals she is on medical cannabis for cancer” https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-6171365/Olivia-Newton-John-reveals-medical-cannabis-breast-cancer.html

“‘It’s a magical miracle plant:’ Olivia Newton-John reveals husband John Easterling grows marijuana to aid her breast cancer battle” https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-4869940/Olivia-Newton-John-benefits-medical-marijuana.html

“‘It’s really important and should be available’: Olivia Newton-John speaks about how ‘medical cannabis’ is helping her beat breast cancer” https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-4846664/Olivia-Newton-John-talks-cannabis-use-time.html

“Olivia Newton-John voices her support for medical marijuana after revealing her husband grows the plant to aid her breast cancer battle” https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-4891760/Olivia-Newton-John-voices-support-medical-marijuana.html

“‘Medical cannabis has helped me a lot’: Olivia Newton-John speaks candidly about the ‘healing remedies’ that have helped CURE her pain during her agonising cancer battle” https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-5181401/Olivia-Newton-John-speaks-candidly-medical-cannabis.html

“Let’s Get Physical! Olivia Newton-John beams in green as she dazzles Melbourne crowds at charity walk to raise funds for her cancer research centre… after speaking candidly about her attempts to ‘win over’ the disease” https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-6172857/Olivia-Newton-John-beams-green-dazzles-crowds-cancer-research-charity-walk.html

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Olivia Newton-John leads the biggest ever Wellness Walk and Research Run! With participant numbers up by over 50 per cent from last year, the beautiful grounds at La Trobe University were filled with a vibe of family, community, love and hope. Olivia Newton-John was an enthusiastic participant enjoying the sunshine, along with her husband John Easterling, her niece Tottie Goldsmith (herself an ONJ Centre Goodwill Champion) and other family members. She was grateful for the large crowd of people who were there to support her ONJ Centre.“It’s very moving actually, to see so many people turn out,” says Olivia. “It looks like there are more people than last year which is fantastic, people with their dogs and their children and their friends. It’s wonderful.”” https://www.onjcancercentre.org/news/article/2018/09/18/biggest-ever-wellness-walk-and-research-run

“Well over half a million dollars has been raised so far and while the event itself is over for this year, fundraising is still open until the 30 September. You can continue to support family and friends by donating to their page, or you can donate to Olivia’s page here: https://secure.artezpacific.com/registrant/FundraisingPage.aspx?registrationID=1213890&langPref=en-CA

“The Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre is at the frontier of cancer medicine, with over 200 ongoing clinical trials.” https://www.onjcancercentre.org/patients-family/clinical-trials

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http://www.thctotalhealthcare.com/olivia-newton-john-champions-the-use-of-magical-miracle-medicinal-cannabis/

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Joint culpability: The effects of medical marijuana laws on crime

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization

“Most U.S. states have passed medical marijuana laws. In this paper, we study the effects of these laws on violent and property crime. We first estimate models that control for city fixed effects and flexible city-specific time trends. To supplement this regression analysis, we use the synthetic control method which can relax the parallel trend assumption and better account for heterogeneous policy effects.

Both the regression analysis and the synthetic control method suggest no causal effects of medical marijuana laws on violent or property crime at the national level. We also find no strong effects within individual states, except for in California where the medical marijuana law reduced both violent and property crime by 20%.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S016726811830180X?via%3Dihub

“Legalising medical marijuana shows no effect on crime rates in US states”  https://theconversation.com/legalising-medical-marijuana-shows-no-effect-on-crime-rates-in-us-states-102030

“Study shows that medical cannabis use does not lead to rise in rate of crimes committed” https://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=12130350

“Study shows that medical marijuana use DOES NOT lead to a significant increase in the rate of crimes committed” https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6197313/Study-shows-medical-marijuana-use-DOES-NOT-lead-significant-increase-crime-rate.html

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Effect of Cannabidiol on Medial Temporal, Midbrain, and Striatal Dysfunction in People at Clinical High Risk of Psychosis: A Randomized Clinical Trial.

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“Cannabidiol (CBD) has antipsychotic effects in humans, but how these are mediated in the brain remains unclear.

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the neurocognitive mechanisms that underlie the therapeutic effects of CBD in psychosis.

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE:

Cannabidiol may partially normalize alterations in parahippocampal, striatal, and midbrain function associated with the CHR state. As these regions are critical to the pathophysiology of psychosis, the influence of CBD at these sites could underlie its therapeutic effects on psychotic symptoms.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30167644

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/fullarticle/2697762

“Psychosis: Cannabis extract normalizes brain function” https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322926.php
“Cannabis extract helps reset brain function in psychosis” https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-08-cannabis-reset-brain-function-psychosis.html
“Cannabis extract helps reset brain function in psychosis” https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-08/kcl-ceh082818.php
Cannabidiol Reduces Symptoms of Psychosis. A new study found that the chemical extracted from cannabis has antipsychotic effects.” https://www.usnews.com/news/health-care-news/articles/2018-08-29/one-dose-of-cannabidiol-reduces-symptoms-of-psychosis
“MEDICAL MARIJUANA: CANNABIS EXTRACT CBD USED TO SUCCESSFULLY TREAT PSYCHOSIS.” https://www.newsweek.com/cannabidiol-cannabis-extract-could-treat-symptoms-psychosis-1094353

 “Single dose of the cannabis compound CBD reduces psychotic symptoms by normalising brain activity” http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-6110591/Single-dose-cannabis-compound-CBD-reduces-psychotic-symptoms-normalising-brain-activity.html

“British scientists have unraveled how a non-intoxicating component of cannabis acts in key brain areas to reduce abnormal activity in patients at risk of psychosis, suggesting the ingredient could become a novel anti-psychotic medicine.” https://www.theglobeandmail.com/cannabis/article-scientists-unravel-how-cannabis-component-may-fight-psychosis/

“Science proves component in weed actually helps fight psychosis” https://nypost.com/2018/08/29/science-proves-component-in-weed-actually-helps-fight-psychosis/
“We Now Have Evidence That a Marijuana Compound Can Help People With Psychosis” https://futurism.com/cbd-psychosis/
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Cannabidiol modulates serotonergic transmission and prevents allodynia and anxiety-like behavior in a model of neuropathic pain.

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“Clinical studies indicate that cannabidiol (CBD), the primary non-addictive component of cannabis that interacts with the serotonin (5-HT) 1A receptor, may possess analgesic and anxiolytic effects. However, its effects on 5-HT neuronal activity, as well as its impact in models of neuropathic pain are unknown.

Seven days of treatment with CBD reduced mechanical allodynia, decreased anxiety-like behavior, and normalized 5-HT activity. Anti-allodynic effects of CBD were fully prevented by capsazepine (10 mg/kg/day, s.c., for 7 days) and partially prevented by WAY 100635 (2 mg/kg/day, s.c., for 7 days), while the anxiolytic effect was blocked only by WAY.

Overall, repeated treatment with low-dose CBD induces analgesia predominantly via TRPV1 activation, reduces anxiety via 5-HT1A receptor activation, and rescues impaired 5-HT neurotransmission under neuropathic pain conditions.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30157131

https://insights.ovid.com/crossref?an=00006396-900000000-98870

“Cannabis pain relief without the ‘high’. Canadian researchers pinpoint the mechanism of cannabidiol for safe pain relief without side effects”  https://eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-10/muhc-cpr102418.php

“Effective dose of cannabidiol for safe pain relief without the typical ‘high'”  https://www.news-medical.net/news/20181025/Effective-dose-of-cannabidiol-for-safe-pain-relief-without-the-typical-high.aspx

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Medical marijuana laws and workplace fatalities in the United States

International Journal of Drug Policy

“The aim of this research was to determine the association between legalizing medical marijuana and workplace fatalities.

To date, 29 states and the District of Columbia have legalized the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. Although there is increasing concern that legalizing medical marijuana will make workplaces more dangerous, little is known about the relationship between medical marijuana laws (MMLs) and workplace fatalities.

 

Findings

Legalizing medical marijuana was associated with a 19.5% reduction in the expected number of workplace fatalities among workers aged 25–44 (incident rate ratio [IRR], 0.805; 95% CI, .662–.979). The association between legalizing medical marijuana and workplace fatalities among workers aged 16–24, although negative, was not statistically significant at conventional levels. The association between legalizing medical marijuana and workplace fatalities among workers aged 25–44 grew stronger over time. Five years after coming into effect, MMLs were associated with a 33.7% reduction in the expected number of workplace fatalities (IRR, 0.663; 95% CI, .482–.912). MMLs that listed pain as a qualifying condition or allowed collective cultivation were associated with larger reductions in fatalities among workers aged 25–44 than those that did not.

Conclusions

The results provide evidence that legalizing medical marijuana improved workplace safety for workers aged 25–44. Further investigation is required to determine whether this result is attributable to reductions in the consumption of alcohol and other substances that impair cognitive function, memory, and motor skills.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0955395918301968

“Workplace Deaths Drop After States Legalize Medical Marijuana”  https://www.marijuanamoment.net/workplace-deaths-drop-after-states-legalize-medical-marijuana/

“Medical Marijuana States Have Lower Rates Of Workplace Death, According To New Study” https://www.civilized.life/articles/medical-marijuana-states-have-lower-rates-of-workplace-death-according-to-new-study/

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Association of Marijuana Use With Psychosocial and Quality of Life Outcomes Among Patients With Head and Neck Cancer

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“Is there a difference in quality of life and psychosocial outcomes between marijuana users and nonusers who have newly diagnosed head and neck cancer?

In this case-matched cohort study, 74 patients with newly diagnosed head and neck cancer who were marijuana users appeared to have quality of life differences compared with 74 who did not use marijuana, including decreased anxiety, pain, and depression and increased appetite and generalized feelings of well-being on the Edmonton Symptom Assessment System and the EuroQol-5D questionnaires.

Recreational marijuana use potentially improves quality of life and psychosocial symptoms among patients with newly diagnosed head and neck cancer.

Recreational use of C sativa potentially alleviates anxiety, depression, pain, and nausea and improves general well-being in patients with newly diagnosed HNC.”

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaotolaryngology/fullarticle/2688527

“Cannabis Tied to QOL Benefits in Head and Neck Cancer. Patients on marijuana reported better depression and anxiety scores”  https://www.medpagetoday.com/hematologyoncology/othercancers/74387

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