Published in June 2022 in the journal Cureus, this retrospective study used data from June 2017 to June 2020. Patients were included if they had a diagnosis of cancer, were certified by a qualified practitioner in the New York Medical Marijuana Program, and received care at Upstate Medical University.
The study included 184 patients with an average age of 60, with 93 patients receiving at least one prescription from a New York licensed marijuana dispensary. The major types of cancer treated were gastrointestinal, lung, breast, and urinary/genital.
The most important result to us is that over 85% of the cancer patients experienced an improvement in at least 1 symptom (anxiety, nausea, pain, sleep, neuropathy, or appetite).
- "For patients who took at least one dose of medical marijuana, 48.14% experienced an improvement in pain, 44.95% used fewer opioids, and 85.11% had an improvement in at least one symptom. Adverse effects were low at 3.72%." Note: over 1/3 of the adverse effects were due to cost (financial adverse effects).
- "Medical marijuana has an important role in the palliation [reduction] of symptoms in advanced cancers with few adverse effects."
- "Our data demonstrated a dose-dependent relationship [more works better] on improvement of symptoms, although this may be skewed by the higher doses."
One disturbing conclusion was that the recommended therapeutic amount cost about $300 per month. Several patients stopped cannabis use due to cost. The average spent by patients was $119 per month.
The full text article is here at Cureus.com.