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Rates of Cannabis Use in Patients With Cancer

A comprehensive assessment of cannabis use by patients with cancer has not previously been reported. In this study, we aimed to characterize patient perspectives about cannabis and its use.

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Abstract

Background: A comprehensive assessment of cannabis use by patients with cancer has not previously been reported. In this study, we aimed to characterize patient perspectives about cannabis and its use.

Methods: An anonymous survey about cannabis use was offered to patients 18 years of age and older attending 2 comprehensive and 2 community cancer centres, comprising an entire provincial health care jurisdiction in Canada (ethics id: hreba-17011).

Results: Of 3138 surveys distributed, 2040 surveys were returned (65%), with 1987 being sufficiently complete for analysis (response rate: 63%). Of the respondents, 812 (41%) were less than 60 years of age; 45% identified as male, and 55% as female; and 44% had completed college or higher education.Of respondents overall, 43% reported any lifetime cannabis use.

That finding was independent of age, sex, education level, and cancer histology. Cannabis was acquired through friends (80%), regulated medical dispensaries (10%), and other means (6%). Of patients with any use, 81% had used dried leaves.Of the 356 patients who reported cannabis use within the 6 months preceding the survey (18% of respondents with sufficiently complete surveys), 36% were new users. Their reasons for use included cancer-related pain (46%), nausea (34%), other cancer symptoms (31%), and non-cancer-related reasons (56%).

Conclusions: The survey demonstrated that prior cannabis use was widespread among patients with cancer (43%). One in eight respondents identified at least 1 cancer-related symptom for which they were using cannabis.

Source: Pubmed

K Martell 1A Fairchild 2B LeGerrier 2R Sinha 1S Baker 2H Liu 3A Ghose 4I A Olivotto 1M Kerba 1

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    What Cancer Patients Actually Know Regarding Medical Cannabis? A Cross-Sectional Survey With a Critical Analysis of the Current Attitudes

     In Italy medical cannabis is a prescription drug since 1998. Even though it could not be considered a therapy as such, it is indicated as a symptomatic treatment also in cancer patients, to cure iatrogenic nausea/vomiting and chronic pain.

    The post What Cancer Patients Actually Know Regarding Medical Cannabis? A Cross-Sectional Survey With a Critical Analysis of the Current Attitudes appeared first on Weed World Magazine.

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    Abstract

    Background: In Italy medical cannabis is a prescription drug since 1998. Even though it could not be considered a therapy as such, it is indicated as a symptomatic treatment also in cancer patients, to cure iatrogenic nausea/vomiting and chronic pain.

    Patients and methods: We conducted a knowledge survey about medical cannabis among cancer patients referred to two outpatient cancer care centers and a home care service.

    Results: From February to April 2018, 232 patient were enrolled; 210 patients were on active disease-oriented treatment (90.5%), while 22 (9.5%) not. Eighty-one percent of the patients have heard about medical cannabis, but only 2% from healthcare professionals. Thirty-four percent of responders thought about using cannabis to treat one or more of their own health problems, especially pain (55%). Despite that, 18% of the participants believe that medical cannabis could have negative effects on their own symptoms. Patients with high educational level better knew cannabis (odds ratio = 3.52; 95% confidence interval: 1.07-11.53), and medical cannabis (odds ratio = 3.21; 95% confidence interval: 1.48-6.98), when compared to patient with low educational level. Patients who were on active disease-oriented treatment better knew medical cannabis (odds ratio = 3.91; 95% confidence interval: 1.26-12.11) compared to “out of treatment” patients. Metastatic patients were less informed about medical cannabis compared to patients on adjuvant treatment.

    Conclusions: Our survey shows that most of Italian cancer patients know medical cannabis and a third of them have considered using cannabis to treat one (or more) of their own health problems. In the same time, they are poorly informed and do not tend to ask for information about medical cannabis to healthcare professionals.

    Source: pubmed

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      Why are so many countries now saying cannabis is OK?

      Around the world attitudes towards the use of cannabis are shifting.

      Mexico’s new government plans to legalise recreational cannabis use, as does the incoming government of Luxembourg. Meanwhile, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is considering a referendum on what its approach should be.

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      Around the world attitudes towards the use of cannabis are shifting.

      Mexico’s new government plans to legalise recreational cannabis use, as does the incoming government of Luxembourg. Meanwhile, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is considering a referendum on what its approach should be.

      As public opinion – and that of governments – changes, it seems increasingly likely that other countries will follow, raising questions about how they work together to manage the use and supply of cannabis.

      What has led one country after another to move towards a relaxation of their laws and, in many cases, outright legalisation?

      War on drugs

      It was only in 2012 that Uruguay announced it would be the first country in the world to legalise recreational cannabis use. In large part, the move was aimed at replacing links between organised crime and the cannabis trade with more accountable state regulation.

      Later the same year, voters in Washington State and Colorado became the first in the US to support legalisation of the drug for non-medical use.

      Under President Barack Obama, a critic of the US-led war on drugs, the US government stepped back from enforcing federal laws and effectively gave states a green light to explore alternatives.

      Eight more states and Washington DC have since supported the legalisation of recreational cannabis and penalties are softening elsewhere. The use of the drug for medical reasons is allowed in 33 of the 50 states.

      In many ways the jury is still out on the effects of legalisation on society and individuals’ health, but there is no question that public opinion and government policy has softened.

      • Health risks of recreational cannabis
      • Cannabis debate: What you need to know
      • Does UK export the most legal cannabis?

      The tide has crept across the Americas, with Canada legalising the sale, possession and recreational use of cannabis nationwide in October.

      That Mexico will legalise marijuana seems a virtual certainty. The new government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador has introduced a bill that would legalise its medical and recreational use, while the country’s supreme court recently ruled an absolute ban on recreational use unconstitutional.

      Other countries are pushing ahead. Although the sale of cannabis remains illegal, possession of small amounts is no longer a crime in countries including Brazil, Jamaica and Portugal. In Spain it is legal to use cannabis in private, while the drug is sold openly in coffee shops in the Netherlands. Still more countries allow the use of medicinal cannabis.

      Around the world, there are many more countries where change is under way:

      • In the UK, doctors have been allowed to prescribe cannabis products since November
      • South Korea has legalised strictly-controlled medical use, despite prosecuting residents for recreational use overseas
      • A death sentence given to a young man selling cannabis oil has stirred debate about legalisation in Malaysia
      • South Africa’s highest court legalised the use of cannabis by adults in private places
      • Lesotho became the first African country to legalise the cultivation of marijuana for medicinal purposes
      • Lebanon is considering the legalisation of cannabis production for medical purposes, to help its economy

      Sick children

      In many countries, the move towards legalisation started with a softening of public attitudes.

      In the US and Canada, images of sick children being denied potentially life-changing medicines had a tremendous impact on public opinion – a concern that brought forward legalisation for medical purposes.

      A similar softening of attitudes has been seen in the UK.

      In June, 12-year-old Billy Caldwell, who has severe epilepsy, was admitted to hospital after his medical cannabis oil was confiscated. A month later, a special licence to use cannabis oil was granted to seven-year-old Alfie Dingley, who has a rare form of epilepsy.

      Following high-profile campaigns, the UK government changed the law to allow doctors to prescribe cannabis products.

      As US states such as California found in the 1990s and 2000s, familiarity with medical cannabis can soften attitudes towards recreational use.

      But in the UK, the Home Office says the recreational use of cannabis will remain banned, although senior figures, including former Conservative leader William Hague, have suggested a rethink.

      Mexico has also had cases of children being denied medical cannabis, but it has also been motivated by the extraordinary violence of its drugs war.

      Although marijuana makes up a relatively small share of drug cartel revenues, continuing to ban it is seen as increasingly at odds with reality.

      Mexican diplomats warned the US it was difficult to enforce the fight against cannabis when the neighbouring American state of California legalised recreational use.

      The cannabis market

      With countries worldwide moving towards some form of legalisation, others are rushing to catch up.

      Often, as in many parts of Latin America, governments want their farmers to have access to the potentially lucrative medicinal cannabis markets that are developing.

      Corporations have also expressed interest. For example, Altria, which owns cigarette brands including Marlboro, has made a $1.86bn (£1.46bn) investment in a Canadian cannabis company.

      Over time, as the US demonstrates, it is quite possible that the medical trade could quite easily morph into recreational sales – potentially opening up an even bigger market.

      One immediate obstacle is that cannabis for recreational purposes cannot be traded across borders. Countries can only import and export medicinal cannabis under a licensing system supervised by the International Narcotics Control Board.

      Farmers in countries such as Morocco and Jamaica may have a reputation for producing cannabis, but they can’t access markets that domestic producers sometimes struggle to supply – as happened in Canada following legalisation.

      Source: bbc news

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      Pharmacy Students’ Knowledge and Attitudes Regarding Medical Marijuana

      To determine pharmacy students’ knowledge of and attitudes toward medical marijuana and to determine if pharmacy students need additional education on the topic.
      Pharmacy students were asked to complete a survey on medical marijuana that assessed their knowledge of, medical uses of, adverse effects with, and attitudes toward medical marijuana through 23 Likert-scale questions. With an increasing number of states adopting medical marijuana use, pharmacy schools need to evaluate the adequacy of medical marijuana education in their curriculum.

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      Pharmacy Students’ Knowledge and Attitudes Regarding Medical Marijuana

      Abstract

      OBJECTIVE:

      To determine pharmacy students’ knowledge of and attitudes toward medical marijuana and to determine if pharmacy students need additional education on the topic.

      METHODS:

      Pharmacy students were asked to complete a survey on medical marijuana that assessed their knowledge of, medical uses of, adverse effects with, and attitudes toward medical marijuana through 23 Likert-scale questions.

      RESULTS:

      Three hundred eleven students completed the survey. Fifty-eight percent of the students felt that medical marijuana should be legalized in all states. However, the majority of students did not feel comfortable answering consumers’ questions regarding efficacy, safety, or drug interactions related to the substance. Accurate responses for diseases or conditions for permitted medical marijuana use was low, with only cancer (91%) and glaucoma (57%) identified by more than half the students.

      CONCLUSION:

      With an increasing number of states adopting medical marijuana use, pharmacy schools need to evaluate the adequacy of medical marijuana education in their curriculum.

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

      Source:Pubmed

       

      PMID: 26430272 PMCID: PMC4584377 DOI: 10.5688/ajpe79685

       

       

      Moeller KE1Woods B1.

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