Prospective Analysis of Safety and Efficacy of Medical Cannabis in Large Unselected Population of Patients with Cancer

European Journal of Internal Medicine, 2019

This study analyzed the data routinely collected as part of the treatment program of cancer patients treated with medical cannabis between 2015 and 2017. The most frequent types of cancer were breast (20.7%), lung (13.6%), pancreatic (8.1%) and colorectal (7.9%), and 51.2% of patients were at Stage 4. The main symptoms requiring therapy were sleep problems (78.4%), pain (77.7%; median intensity 8/10), weakness (72.7%), nausea (64.6%) and lack of appetite (48.9%). The study concluded that cannabis is a well-tolerated, effective and safe option to help patients cope with cancer-related symptoms.

Key Results:

  • 95.9% of patients reported an improvement in their condition

  • Prior to treatment, 52.9% of patients reported their pain in the 8-10 interval; after six months, only 4.6% of patients reported this intensity

  • Prior to treatment, only 18.7% of patients reported good quality of life; after six months, 69.5% of patients reported good quality of life

  • The most improved symptoms were nausea and vomiting (91%), sleep disorders (87.5%), restlessness (87.5%), anxiety and depression (84.2%), pruritus (82.1%) and headaches (81.4%)

  • 35.1% of patients decreased their drug consumption, including analgesics, sedatives, corticosteroids, and opioids

  • 36% of patients stopped taking opioids