Cancer cachexia anorexia syndrome (CACS) is a common phenomenon in cancer patients. Cannabis has been suggested to stimulate appetite, but research on this issue has yielded mixed results.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of controlled-dose cannabis capsules on CACS in patients with advanced cancer and anorexia. It was conducted by the Bethesda Metro Center in the United States. You can consult it by clicking on this link.
Anorexia & cannabis
Carried out on 11 cancer patients, capsules containing an oily cannabis preparation resulted in significant weight gain:
The cannabis capsules used in this study contained two fractions of lipid compounds. The planned treatment was 2 x 9.5 mg THC and 2 x 0.5 mg CBD per day for six months. If patients experienced adverse events, the dosage was reduced to 5 mg × 2 per day (4.75 mg THC, 0.25 mg CBD).
Participants were weighed at each visit to the doctor. The main objective of the study was weight gain ≥ 10% compared to baseline.
11 patients received the capsules for more than two weeks.
Three of the six patients who completed the study period met the primary objective of increasing their weight by at least 10%.
The remaining three patients had stable weights. Patients reported less loss of appetite after cannabis treatment.
According to patient self-assessment, improved appetite and mood, as well as reduced pain and fatigue, have been demonstrated.
Despite various limitations, this preliminary study showed an increase in weight of at least 10% in 3 out of 17 patients (17.6%) receiving doses of 5 mg per day or 5 mg per day, without significant side effects. The results justify a larger study with controlled-dose cannabis capsules in the CACS.