It has long been accepted that cannabis is very useful in helping cancer patients to manage their symptoms – pain, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, insomnia and others. For several decades, a synthetic version of THC, the active component of cannabis, has been available in the prescription drug, Marinol. Though now marketed as an appetite stimulant for AIDS patients, Marinol has also been used to treat cancer patients with nausea and vomiting.
As Dr. Donald Abrams, Chief of Oncology and Hematology for San Francisco General Hospital stated in an interview, “I can sit there and write [cancer patients] a prescription to cover each one of those symptoms, or I can recommend they try one medicine, and that’s cannabis.”
Though the medical establishment will require much needed clinical trials in order to be convinced, evidence has been mounting that the cannabinoids in cannabis – THC and CBD – are not just good for palliative care but also have a direct anti-tumor effect.