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Perception of Benefits and Harms of Medical Cannabis among Seriously Ill Patients in an Outpatient Palliative Care Practice

Abstract



Introduction:
 Patients
with
serious
illness
often
have pain,
uncontrolled
symptoms,
and
poor
quality
of
life.
Evidence
continues
to
evolve
regarding
the
role
of cannabis to
treat
chronic pain,
nausea,
and
anorexia.
Little
is
known
about
how
patients
with
serious
illness
perceive
its
benefits
and
harms.
Given
that
an
increasing
number
of
clinicians
across
the
United
States
are
treating
patients
with medical
cannabis
,
it
is
important
for
providers
to
understand
patient
beliefs
about
this
modality.
We
assessed
patient
perceptions
of
benefits
and
harms
of cannabis who
obtained
medical
cannabis
 card
within
an
ambulatory
palliative
care
(APC)
practice. Methods: We
recruited
patients
with
medical
cannabis
 card,
allowing
for
legal
possession
of cannabis oil,
from
an
APC
practice
in
Georgia.
All
participants
reported
using cannabis products.
Patients
completed
an
online
survey
that
included
questions
about
their cannabis use,
concurrent
opiate
or
controlled
medication
use,
and
perceptions
of
benefits
and
harms
of cannabisResults: All
101
patients
invited
to
participate
completed
the
survey.
A
majority
had
cancer
(76%)
and
were
married
(61%),
disabled
or
retired
(75%),
older
than
50
years
of
age
(64%),
and
men
(56%).
Most
patients
ingested
(61%)
or
vaporized
(49%) cannabis products.
A
majority
of
respondents
perceived cannabis to
be
important
for
their pain (96%)
management.
They
reported
that
side
effects
were
minimally
bothersome,
and
drowsiness
was
the
most
commonly
reported
bothersome
harm
(28%).
A
minority
of
patients
reported cannabis withdrawal
symptoms
(19%)
and
concerns
for
dependency
(14%).
The
majority
of
patients
were
using
concurrent
prescription
opioids
(65%).
Furthermore,
a
majority
of
cancer
patients
reported cannabis as
being
important
for
cancer
cure
(59%). Conclusion: Patients
living
with
serious
illnesses
who
use cannabis in
the
context
of
a
multidisciplinary
APC
practice
use cannabis for
curative
intent
and
for pain and
symptom
control.
Patients
reported
improved pain,
other
symptoms,
and
a
sense
of
well-being
with
few
reported
harms.

Copyright
©
2018
Elsevier
B.V.
All
rights
reserved.

 

PMID: 31539298 DOI: 10.1089/jpm.2019.0211

 


Zarrabi
AJ
1Welsh
JW
2Sniecinski
R
3Curseen
K
1Gillespie
T
4Baer
W
2McKenzie-Brown
AM
3Singh
V
3.

About the author

saskbusiness@hotmail.com

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