Cannabis and nausea: plant controls chemotherapy side effects – Dr.Cannabis Blog


Nausea and vomiting are some of the side effects that cause the most discomfort in patients who are undergoing cancer treatment through chemotherapy and also in people who are suffering from some type of HIV infection. But is there any relationship between cannabis and nausea to help control these unwanted effects and provide better quality of life for these people during the treatment of these diseases?

The answer is yes!

Canada is one of the pioneers in this type of treatment. Since 2001, the country has officially allowed the use of medicinal cannabis in cases of severe nausea caused by cancer, AIDS and HIV infections. The guideline is part of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Law that regulates medical access to the plant.

In 2020, the America Society of Clinical Oncology Cancer Therapy Advisor conference took place. It presents the results of phase 2 of 3 of a study designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of an oral formulation of an extract of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) in the secondary prevention of patients with chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.

According to the results, most patients preferred treatment with cannabis extract compared to placebo. The study involved adult patients with cancer of any type or stage being treated with moderately or highly emetogenic chemotherapy who reported significant vomiting and/or nausea in the previous course of chemotherapy despite receiving antiemetic therapy according to guidelines.

Those who have the HIV virus and are taking antiretroviral medication can also benefit from using cannabis to alleviate treatment side effects, which include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite and weight loss.

A study by US researchers examined the use of cannabis to treat pain and other symptoms in patients with HIV seen at a large clinic. A total of 523 volunteers participated in the survey to answer an anonymous cross-sectional questionnaire.

Up to a third (27%, 143/523) reported using cannabis to treat symptoms, with 93% of patients reporting improvement in nausea with the use of the plant.

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