It is easy to find success stories on the internet of patients with cancer who seem to benefit from using cannabis products. However, scientific substantiation is usually lacking. Therefore, there are critical questions among clinicians and other healthcare providers about the potential of cannabis products in cancer care. In this article, we aim to give direction for making choices about the responsible use of cannabis products in oncology by addressing the following questions: How does cannabis work? What is medicinal cannabis? What kind of cannabis products are in use? What is their legal status? Is there evidence for therapeutic effects in patients with cancer? What is the risk–benefit balance in terms of adverse effects, (potential) drug interactions, symptom management and antitumour activity? May cannabis products provide added value in the treatment of patients with cancer? We end up with an outlook and perspective determining the place of cannabis products in oncology.
Some patients diagnosed with cancer use medical cannabis to self-manage undesirable symptoms, including nausea and pain. To improve patient safety and oncological care quality, the routes of administration for use of medical cannabis, patients’ reasons, and prescribed indications must be better understood.
Authors Joshua Aviram, Gil M. Lewitus, Yelena Vysotski, Anton Uribayev, Shiri Procaccia, Idan Cohen, Anca Leibovici, Mahmud Abo-Amna, Luiza Akria, Dmitry Goncharov, Neomi Mativ, Avia Kauffman, Ayelet Shai, Or Hazan,…