“Cannabinoids (the active constituents of Cannabis sativa) and their derivatives have got intense attention during recent years because of their extensive pharmacological properties. Cannabinoids first developed as successful agents for alleviating chemotherapy associated nausea and vomiting. Recent investigations revealed that cannabinoids have a wide range of therapeutic effects such as appetite stimulation, inhibition of nausea and emesis, suppression of chemotherapy or radiotherapy-associated bone loss, chemotherapy-induced nephrotoxicity and cardiotoxicity, pain relief, mood amelioration, and last but not the least relief from insomnia. In this exploratory review, we scrutinize the potential of cannabinoids to counteract chemotherapy-induced side effects. Moreover, some novel and yet important pharmacological aspects of cannabinoids such as antitumoral effects will be discussed.”
“Advocates are fighting to legalize marijuana. The University of Mississippi has the only legally grown marijuana crop in the nation.Faculty members and student researchers have now developed a new patch that could potentially provide help to patients who need it.
The patch developed at Ole Miss could help patients overcome problems associated with taking the drug in pill form. The patch is placed above the gum line.
“In addition to pain, it will include things like reducing intraocular pressure and therefore would be good for glaucoma. [It] will be good for alleviating the nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy; it would also be good for appetite stimulation for patients suffering from the syndrome, anti-inflammatory activity, anti-anxiety,” explains Dr. ElSohly.”
“The antiemetic efficacy of im levonantradol, a synthetic cannabinoid, given at a dose of 1 mg every 4 hours, was compared to oral delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) given at a dose of 15 mg every 4 hours in a double-blind crossover study. Twenty-six patients receiving emetogenic cancer chemotherapy were evaluated. For each drug, 28% of treated patients had no nausea. The median number of emetic episodes with levonantradol was 2.0 versus 3.0 for THC (P = 0.06). Side effects occurred in 91.7% and 97.3% of levonantradol and THC patients, respectively, with drowsiness and dizziness most commonly seen. Side effects were generally well-tolerated, with only 13.9% of levonantradol and 21.6% of THC patients discontinuing treatment because of side effects. Levonantradol appears to be at least as effective an antiemetic as THC and is the only cannabinoid available for parenteral use.”
“Twenty patients with cancer previously unresponsive to antiemetic treatment of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting were treated with the new tetrahydrocannabinoid Levonantradol. 15 patients experienced substantial relief and 10 of them preferred the drug for further courses. These observations suggest that Levonantradol can be beneficial to patients refractory to conventional antiemetic therapy.”
“Fifty-five patients harboring a variety of neoplasms and previously found to have severe nausea or emesis from antitumor drugs were given antiemetic prophylaxis in a double-blind, randomized, crossover fashion. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), prochlorperazine, and placebo were compared. Nausea was absent in 40 of 55 patients receiving THC, eight of 55 patients receiving prochlorperazine, and five of 55 in the placebo group.
The antiemetic effect of THC appeared to be more efficacious for cyclophosphamide, fluorouracil, and doxorubicin hydrochloride, and less so for mechlorethamine hydrochloride and the nitrosureas.
Tetrahydrocannabinol appears to offer significant control of nausea in most patients and exceeding by far that provided by prochlorperazine.”
“The antinausea and antivomiting effects of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in children receiving cancer chemotherapy were compared with those of metoclopramide syrup and prochlorperazine tablets in two double-blind studies. THC was found to be a significantly better antinausea and antivomiting agent… In some patients, THC enhanced appetite during a course of chemotherapy. In two patients, a “high” associated with THC administrationwas reported. Drowsiness was reported significantly more frequently with THC.”
“Despite progress in anti-emetic treatment, many patients still suffer from chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV). This is a pilot, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase II clinical trial designed to evaluate the tolerability, preliminary efficacy, and pharmacokinetics of an acute dose titration of a whole-plant cannabis-based medicine (CBM) containing delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol, taken in conjunction with standard therapies in the control of CINV.”
“Compared with placebo, CBM added to standard antiemetic therapy was well tolerated and provided better protection against delayed CINV. These results should be confirmed in a phase III clinical trial.”
“A systematic review of 30 clinical trials involving orally administered synthetic cannabinoids (nabilone and dronabinol) showed that they were superior to dopamine receptor antagonists in preventing CINV. Both are approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for use in CINV refractory to conventional anti-emetic therapy, but some authors have questioned the appropriateness of orally administered cannabinoids due to the variability in their gastrointestinal absorption, low bioavailability, long half-lives and the difficulties for an adequate self titration of the dose.”
“Animal studies suggest that the combined administration of different cannabinoids may enhance some of the therapeutic effects of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This might explain why some patients preferred marihuana to synthetic cannabinoids in clinical trials.”
“Purpose/Objectives: To synthesize the research to determine whether oral delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and smoked marijuana are effective treatments for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) and to evaluate side effects and patient preference of these treatments.Data Sources: Original research, review articles, and other published articles in CINAHL(R), MEDLINE(R), and Cochrane Library databases.Data Synthesis: Cannabinoids are effective in controlling CINV, and oral THC and smoked marijuana have similar efficacy. However, smoked marijuana may not be accessible or safe for all patients with cancer. Also, these drugs have a unique side-effect profile that may include alterations in motor control, dizziness, dysphoria, and decreased concentration.Conclusions: This synthesis shows that cannabinoids are more effective than placebo and comparable to antiemetics such as prochlorperazine and ondansetron for CINV.Implications for Nursing: Nurses should feel supported by the literature to recommend oral synthetic THC as a treatment for CINV to their patients and physician colleagues. Nurses should be cognizant of the side-effect profile for this medication and provide appropriate patient education.”
“Marijuana has been used for over 2 centuries. Its major psychoactive constituent, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) was isolated in 1964 and first used to control nausea and vomiting during chemotherapy in the 1970s. THC has cardiovascular, pulmonary and endocrinological effects as well as actions on the central nervous system. Alterations in mood, memory, motor coordination, cognitive ability, sensorium, spatial- and self-perception are commonly experienced. The precise antiemetic mechanism is unknown. THC and nabilone act at a number of sites within the central nervous system. Cannabinoids have also been shown to inhibit prostaglandin synthesis in vitro. In controlled clinical trials, THC is superior to placebo and prochlorperazine in antiemetic effectiveness. Effectiveness of THC correlates to a ‘high’ experienced by the patient. A variety of chemotherapy regimens respond to THC including high-dose methotrexate and the doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, fluorouracil combination. Cisplatin is more resistant. Side effects are generally well tolerated but may limit THC use in the elderly or when high doses are administered. Nabilone, a synthetic cannabinoid, is also an effective antiemetic which is more active than prochlorperazine in preventing chemotherapy-induced emesis, including cisplatin-containing regimens. Side effects are similar to THC and may be dose-limiting. Levonantradol, another synthetic cannabinoid, is an effective antiemetic. It may provide more flexibility in the outpatient setting since it can be administered orally or intramuscularly. Most side effects are mild except for dysphoria which may be dose-limiting.”
“This paper aims to evaluate the anti-emetic efficacy of cannabinoids in cancer patients receiving chemotherapy using a systematic review of literature searched within electronic databases such as PUBMED, EMBASE, PSYCINFO, LILACS, and ‘The Cochrane Collaboration Controlled Trials Register’. Studies chosen were randomized clinical trials comprising all publications of each database until December 2006. From 12 749 initially identified papers, 30 fulfilled the inclusion criteria for this review, with demonstration of superiority of the anti-emetic efficacy of cannabinoids compared with conventional drugs and placebo. The adverse effects were more intense and occurred more often among patients who used cannabinoids. Five meta-analyses were carried out: (1) dronabinol versus placebo [n=185; relative risk (RR)=0.47; confidence interval (CI)=0.19-1.16]; (2) Dronabinol versus neuroleptics [n=325; RR=0.67; CI=0.47-0.96; number needed to treat (NNT)=3.4]; (3) nabilone versus neuroleptics (n=277; RR=0.88; CI=0.72-1.08); (4) levonantradol versus neuroleptics (n=194; RR=0.94; CI=0.75-1.18); and (5) patients’ preference for cannabis or other drugs (n=1138; RR=0.33; CI=0.24-0.44; NNT=1.8). The superiority of the anti-emetic efficacy of cannabinoids was demonstrated through meta-analysis.”