New Research Finds Medical Cannabis Safe and Effective for Cancer Pain Treatment

A large new study by Israeli researchers looking at the use of medical cannabis for pain management in cancer patients finds that:

“MC [medical cannabis] treatment is generally safe for oncology patients and can potentially reduce the burden of associated symptoms with no serious MC-related adverse effects.”

The research was published in the pain research journal Frontiers of Pain on May 20, 2022. The study followed 324 cancer patients using medical cannabis to treat their pain and found that, overall patients reported an average drop of 18% in total cancer symptoms burden.

Cancer associated symptoms can include:

  • pain
  • anxiety
  • depression 
  • insomnia
  • decreased quality of life 
  • increased disability, and
  • negative effects on sexuality

According to the study, it is these accompanying symptoms that are the main drivers of suffering and disability when patients are undergoing treatment for cancer. Many of these symptoms are treated with opioid-based pain killers, which previous research has found that “the quality of evidence in favor of opioid treatment is poor” and:

“That is probably one of the reasons why most oncologists perceive opioid treatment as hazardous and alternative therapies are required.”

The researchers state that a possible alternative to opioid treatment for cancer-related pain could be medical cannabis, however to date there has been little research done on this. 

They found in this 6-month research study that, “the most frequent AEs [adverse effects] are memory impairment, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting and xerostomia (dry mouth). Cannabinoid treatment for cancer-related pain is generally recognized as safe.”

If you are interested in learning more about medical cannabis, or think it might help you, please consider getting a free medical cannabis consultation with our partners at Hello MD. You can talk to a healthcare expert online, confidentially in the comfort of your home and learn more about whether medical cannabis is right for you.

Click here to book a free online consultation with our medical cannabis team at Hello MD.