By LeeWEpstein

January 30, 2020


There is considerable interest in the use of cannabinoids for symptom control in palliative care, but there is little high-quality evidence to guide clinical practice.

The purpose of this study available by clicking this link was to assess the feasibility of using measures of overall symptom burden to evaluate response to medicinal cannabis, determine median tolerated doses of cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and document adverse events. So it was conducted by a team of researchers from the Department of Palliative and Supportive Care at Mater Misericordiae in Brisbane, Australia.

The study indeed involved 21 palliative care patients who were given increasing doses of CBD or THC. The patients showed promising results in improving health and well-being. In fact , participants had advanced cancer and cancer-related symptoms in this Australian palliative care service.

Of the 21 participants (16 for CBD and 5 for THC), 18 completed the primary outcome measure on day 14 while 8 on day 28. The median maximum tolerated doses were 300 mg CBD per day (100 to 600 mg) and 10 mg THC per day (5 to 30 mg). 9 of 21 patients showed a response to treatment. However , drowsiness was the most common adverse event.

Trials of medicinal cannabis in advanced cancer patients undergoing palliative care are feasible. The doses of THC and CBD used in this study were generally well tolerated and the measurement of total symptom distress as a measure of overall symptom benefit is promising.

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