MAR 09, 2021 3:30 PM PST

Cannabis Alleviates Neuropathic Pain from Chemotherapy

WRITTEN BY: Annie Lennon

Neuropathic pain from oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy regimens occurs in up to 90% of patients, and continued exposure to the regimen leads to chronic neuropathy in 31% of patients. Now, researchers from Tel Aviv, Israel, have found that cannabis use may be effective in reducing neuropathic pain brought on by chemotherapy. 

Oxaliplatin is a platinum-based chemotherapy commonly used to treat gastrointestinal malignancies. When used with other medicines such as fluorouracil and leucovorin, it is also used to treat advanced colorectal cancer. 

For the study, the researchers examined 513 patients who were treated with oxaliplatin and 5-fluorouracil-based chemotherapy regimens. The patients were split into two groups- one treated with cannabis and the other treated without. Of the patients treated with cannabis, 116 received cannabis before their chemotherapy regimen, while 132 patients received cannabis afterward. 

All in all, the researchers found that rates of neuropathy from chemotherapy were reduced among patients treated with both cannabis and oxaliplatin when compared to controls. In particular, however, they noted that the reduction was more significant among those who received cannabis before chemotherapy than during. 

While 75% of those who received cannabis prior to chemotherapy no longer experienced neuropathic pain, the same was true for just 46.2% of those who took cannabis after starting chemotherapy. This discrepancy suggests that cannabis may have a protective effect against neuropathic pain from chemotherapy. 

While interesting results, the researchers say that their conclusions have some limitations. For example, they were unable to compare the amount of licensed cannabis or types and indications for its use. Moreover, neuropathy was assessed retrospectively and relied on doctors' records of patients' complaints and physical examinations. As such, to make their results more robust, the researchers have now planned a larger trial to study the same mechanism. 

 

Sources: High TimesMedical Oncology

 

About the Author
  • Science writer with a keen interest in behavioral biology, consciousness medicine and technology. Her current focus is how the interplay of these fields can create meaningful interactions, products and environments.
You May Also Like
JAN 09, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
Over 50% on Medical Cannabis Experience Withdrawal Symptoms
JAN 09, 2021
Over 50% on Medical Cannabis Experience Withdrawal Symptoms
A new study has found that over half of people who use medical cannabis products for pain relief experience multiple wit ...
FEB 11, 2021
Health & Medicine
Post-EVALI Investigation by Leafly Reveals Inadequate Cannabis Vape Controls
FEB 11, 2021
Post-EVALI Investigation by Leafly Reveals Inadequate Cannabis Vape Controls
Cannabis website Leafly has published the results of their probe into vape rules following the EVALI (e-cigarette or vap ...
MAR 05, 2021
Health & Medicine
Vaping Marijuana Worse for Teenagers Than Cigarettes or E-Cigarettes
MAR 05, 2021
Vaping Marijuana Worse for Teenagers Than Cigarettes or E-Cigarettes
Concerns over the potentially harmful effects of vaping have been growing recently and the results of a new study do lit ...
MAY 20, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
Cannabis Improves Symptoms in Over Half of Patients with Parkinson's Disease
MAY 20, 2021
Cannabis Improves Symptoms in Over Half of Patients with Parkinson's Disease
Researchers from the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf in Germany have found that cannabis products may produc ...
MAY 29, 2021
Health & Medicine
No Uptick in Students of High School Age Using Cannabis
MAY 29, 2021
No Uptick in Students of High School Age Using Cannabis
It’s a startling statistic: In 2019, about 22 percent of students in grades 9–12 reported that illegal drugs ...
JUN 10, 2021
Health & Medicine
Medical Cannabis Use Correlates with Reduced Cigarette Use
JUN 10, 2021
Medical Cannabis Use Correlates with Reduced Cigarette Use
  Here’s a bonus effect of using medical cannabis — you’re more likely to give up smoking accordi ...
Loading Comments...