Although the rate of cannabis use by older adults is increasing more quickly than all other age groups, little is known about the reasons why older adults use cannabis and the outcomes they experience. Between June and November 2017, we conducted 17 focus groups in senior centers, health clinics, and cannabis dispensaries in 15 Colorado cities. Older adults want more information about cannabis and desire to communicate with their healthcare providers. Older adults who used cannabis for medical purposes reported positive outcomes but highlighted difficulties in accessing medical cannabis. Older adults in Colorado also revealed how a stigma continues to be attached to using cannabis.
I can also remember how uplifted I felt, opening that bathroom door and feeling the cool morning air on my face. The world was crisp and new, I could see every leaf on every tree, and my third eye was fully open. It felt right. I didn’t know it at the time, but cannabis would become my remedy for what ails me for life.
In Minnesota, medical cannabis was approved for use in 2014. From July 2015 to February 2019, our center certified 103 pediatric and young adult patients for the use of medical cannabis under the qualifying conditions of cancer and treatment-related symptoms. Despite requesting certification, a subset (24%) never had medical cannabis dispensed. In our experience, pediatric and young adult oncology patients are interested in medical cannabis to help manage treatment-related symptoms. Ongoing analysis of this data will identify the therapeutic efficacy of medical cannabis.
Growing evidence suggests that medical marijuana laws have harm reduction effects across a variety of outcomes related to risky health behaviors. This study investigates the impact of medical marijuana laws on self-reported health using data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System from 1993 to 2013. Subsample analyses reveal strong improvements in health among non-white individuals, those reporting chronic pain, and those with a high school degree, driven predominately by whether or not the state had active and legally protected dispensaries.
Cancer cachexia (CC) is common in advanced cancer and is accompanied by negative effects on health-related quality of life (HRQOL). However, methods to identify the impact of CC on HRQOL are limited. Single questionnaire items may provide insight on the effect of CC on HRQOL. Specifically, the use of “feeling of wellbeing” (FWB) on the Edmonton Symptom Assessment System (ESAS) questionnaire and the Distress Thermometer (DT) have been explored. Future research should validate both multidimensional and single-item tools to measure HRQOL in patients at different stages of CC. Improvement of HRQOL via appetite stimulation, may be achieved through a multi-disciplinary approach, which includes cannabinoid therapy.
The endocannabinoid system is a complex and nearly ubiquitous network of endogenous ligands, enzymes, and receptors that can also be stimulated by exogenous compounds such as those derived from the marijuana plant, Cannabis sativa. This review seeks to summarize the current, and rapidly expanding field of research on the broad potential uses of cannabinoids in inflammatory and neoplastic diseases of the skin.
Cannabis for cancer – illusion or the tip of an iceberg: a review of the evidence for the use of Cannabis and synthetic cannabinoids in oncology
A flowering plant of variegated ingredients and psychoactive qualities, Cannabis has long been used for medicinal and recreational purposes. Regulatory approvals have been gained across a broad range of palliative and therapeutic indications, and in some cases, included in standard treatment guidelines. Sufficient evidence supports the use of Cannabis for palliative indications in oncology; however, patients should be carefully selected, guided and followed. Promising research suggests the potent antineoplastic activity, but more data must be accrued before conclusions can be drawn.
Interest in the medicinal use of cannabis and cannabinoids is mounting worldwide. Fueled by enthusiastic media coverage, patients perceive cannabinoids as a natural remedy for many symptoms. Cannabinoid use is of particular interest for older individuals who may experience symptoms such as chronic pain, sleep disturbance, cancer-related symptoms and mood disorders, all of which are often poorly controlled by current drug treatments that may also incur medication-induced side effects
Oncology Clinicians and the Minnesota Medical Cannabis Program: A Survey on Medical Cannabis Practice Patterns, Barriers to Enrollment, and Educational Needs
Medical cannabis has been available in the State of Minnesota since July 2015 through the Minnesota Medical Cannabis Program (MMCP). Our study aimed to delineate oncology providers’ views on medical cannabis, identify barriers to patient enrollment, and assess clinicians’ interest in a clinical trial of medical cannabis in patients with stage IV cancer. Although support for cannabis use in the cancer setting is growing, significant barriers remain. This study illustrates a clear need to give clinicians both data and education to guide their discussions about the benefits, risks, and cost considerations of using medical cannabis for cancer-related symptoms.
Cannabinoids have demonstrated utility in the management of cancer, obesity, and neurologic disease. More recently, their immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory properties have been identified for the treatment of several dermatologic conditions. This review thus assesses the therapeutic potential of phytocannabinoids, endoocannabinoids, and chemically synthetic cannabinoids in the management of cutaneous disease.