Medical Cannabis Associated with Pain Mitigation, Reduced Reliance on Opioids in Cancer Patients

Syracuse, NY: Patients with advanced cancer respond favorably to medical cannabis, according to data published in the journal Cureus.

Investigators affiliated with Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse, New York evaluated cancer patients’ use of cannabis for palliative purposes. All of the participants in the trial were enrolled in the state’s medical cannabis registry.


Consistent with prior data, the majority of subjects (85 percent) reported symptom improvements following their use of cannabis – with nearly half reporting reductions in their pain. Also consistent with prior studies, a significant percentage (45 percent) of subjects reported decreasing their use of opioid pain medications. Very few participants (less than four percent) experienced adverse effects from their use of medical cannabis products.


“Medical marijuana appears to have an important role in the palliation of symptoms in advanced cancers with few adverse effects,” authors concluded. “Prospective studies examining this treatment modality should be prioritized.”


Full text of the study, “Experience with medical marijuana for cancer patients in the palliative setting,” appears in Cureus. Additional information is available from NORML’s fact sheet, ‘Relationship Between Marijuana and Opioids.’