Chemotherapy-induced nausea can be quite disruptive for cancer patients who are currently undergoing chemotherapy. Not only can nausea be detrimental to a patient's physical health, it can also impact their social and family life.
Nausea is a common side effect of chemotherapy. Anti-nausea drugs have seen significant developments over the past decade. However, a third of patients receiving powerful chemotherapy still suffer from nausea and vomiting. Despite a widespread belief that cannabis is effective in relieving these chemotherapy side-effects, scientists say that this belief actually doesn't have strong enough backing.
Thus, there was a need for more studies to see if cannabis can indeed work against the side effects of cancer treatment. Researchers wanted to see if cannabis pills can reduce nausea and vomiting in patients currently undergoing chemotherapy. Since existing research on the effectiveness of cannabis is quite lacking, it's therefore necessary to delve into the capabilities of cannabis even deeper.
This lack of strong evidence doesn't necessarily mean that it's cannabis itself that's lacking. The studies themselves may be the problem. A number of studies on the effectiveness of using cannabis to treat chemotherapy-induced nausea are lacking in one way or another. Some, for example, had design flaws and therefore their findings weren't as strong as they could be.
The problem with using medical cannabis to treat chemotherapy-related conditions is that some things remain unclear. Scientists aren't sure about the proper formulation and administration of the drug. They are also unsure of what the side effects of the drugs may be, if there will be any. We're still not sure about a lot of other important things about cannabis medication. This means that using this kind of medication may not be totally safe as of yet.
In light of this, researchers have been looking into creating a new kind of cannabis medication. Oncologists at the Chris O`Brien Lifehouse cancer hospital in Australia are conducting clinical trials that are looking into the effects of cannabis medication on the side effects of chemotherapy, specifically nausea.
Older cannabis medication, like Dronabinol or Nabilone, contain synthetic tetrahydrocannabidiol (THC). THC is the chemical that makes people “stoned” when they consume cannabis. Medication like Dronabinol or Nabilone contains certain levels of THC. This may cause a number of side effects and isn't even that effective. Thus, scientists are developing a new cannabis medication that contains an equal amount of THC and cannabidiol (CBD).
Researchers believe that medication with equal amounts of THC and CBD will induce fewer side effects than older medication. Another study has found that equal amounts of THC and CBD lessened chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in cancer patients. Researchers are now repeating this study to confirm its findings in clinical trials in Australia. They are using capsules with equal amounts of THC and CBD in the trials to confirm the effectiveness of this formulation.
Perhaps with these trials, oncologists will be able to come up with effective cannabis medication with minimal side effects. There may soon be cannabis pills that can be effective against chemotherapy-induced nausea and other conditions.
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