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The lack of guidance for palliative physicians on the efficacy and dosage of cannabis products in the context of their emerging popularity is a challenge for palliative physicians. 25% of patients in a palliative clinic used THC and CBD.

A study was conducted by doctors at Halifax Health Hospice in Florida, USA. It is available by clicking here.

The purpose of this study was to describe the early patterns of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) use in Florida after the state’s first medical marijuana law was passed.

The scientists report on the perceived benefits, side effects, and patients’ beliefs in one academic palliative health care practice.

A cross-sectional survey was conducted with a sample of patients who attended a university outpatient palliative medicine clinic over 3 months.

A total of 24% (14/58) of respondents reported using THC, with half using THC daily. Patients reported improvements in pain, appetite, and nausea.

A total of 71% (10/14) began using THC after the diagnosis of their chronic condition, and the most common form of use was vaporization.

A total of 24% (14/58) of patients reported using CBD.

Patients reported improvement in pain and the most common form of use was topical application.

None of the patients had used CBD before the onset of their chronic disease.

In total, 21% (3/14) of THC users and 21% (3/14) of CBD users thought their substance helped to cure their disease. Individually reported side effects in both groups were minimal.

About one-quarter of ambulatory palliative care patients use THC or CBD, often daily. Palliative care providers need to be aware of the frequency, diversity of use and beliefs underlying the use of cannabis products in this patient population.

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