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cbd oil for squamous cell carcinoma

Nabiximols (Sativex), a Cannabis extract with a 1:1 ratio of THC:CBD, is approved in Canada (under the Notice of Compliance with Conditions) for symptomatic relief of pain in advanced cancer and multiple sclerosis.[18] Nabiximols is an herbal preparation containing a defined quantity of specific cannabinoids formulated for oromucosal spray administration with potential analgesic activity. Nabiximols contains extracts from two Cannabis plant varieties. The extracts mixture is standardized to the concentrations of the psychoactive delta-9-THC and the nonpsychoactive CBD. The preparation also contains other, more minor cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenoids.[19] Canada, New Zealand, and most countries in western Europe also approve nabiximols for spasticity of multiple sclerosis, a common symptom that may include muscle stiffness, reduced mobility, and pain, and for which existing therapy is unsatisfactory.

A Cochrane meta-analysis of 23 RCTs reviewed studies conducted between 1975 and 1991 that investigated dronabinol or nabilone, either as monotherapy or as an adjunct to the conventional dopamine antagonists that were the standard antiemetics at that time.[41] The chemotherapy regimens involved drugs with low, moderate, or high emetic potential. The meta-analysis graded the quality of evidence as low for most outcomes. The review concluded that individuals were more likely to report complete absence of N/V when they received cannabinoids compared with placebo, although they were more likely to withdraw from the study because of an adverse event. Individuals reported a higher preference for cannabinoids than placebo or prochlorperazine. There was no difference in the antiemetic effect of cannabinoids when compared with prochlorperazine. The authors concluded that Cannabis-based medications may be useful for treating refractory chemotherapy-induced N/V; however, they cautioned that their assessment may change with the availability of newer antiemetic regimens.

Antiemetic Effects

No ongoing clinical trials of Cannabis as a treatment for cancer in humans were identified in a PubMed search. The only published trial of any cannabinoid in patients with cancer is a small pilot study of intratumoral injection of delta-9-THC in patients with recurrent glioblastoma multiforme, which demonstrated no significant clinical benefit.[25,26] In a trial (NCT02255292) conducted in Israel, oral CBD was investigated as a single salvage agent for recurrent solid tumors. The study was projected to be completed in 2015; however, no results have been published. A small exploratory phase IB study was conducted in the United Kingdom that used nabiximols, a 1:1 ratio of THC:CBD in a Cannabis-based medicinal extract oromucosal spray, in conjunction with dose-dense temozolomide in treating patients with recurrent glioblastoma multiforme.[27][Level of evidence: 1iA] Of the 27 patients enrolled, 6 were part of an open-label group and 21 were part of a randomized group (12 treated with nabiximols and 9 treated with placebo). Progression-free survival at 6 months was seen in 33% of patients in both arms of the study. However, 83.3% of the the patients who received nabiximols were alive at 1 year compared with 44.4% of the patients who recieved placebo (P = .042). The investigators cautioned that this early-phase study was not powered for a survival endpoint. Overall survival rates at 2 years continued to favor the nabiximols arm (50%) compared with the placebo arm (22%) (these rates included results for the 6 patients in the open-label group who received nabiximols).[27]

Although few relevant surveys of practice patterns exist, it appears that physicians caring for cancer patients in the United States who recommend medicinal Cannabis do so predominantly for symptom management.[3] A growing number of pediatric patients are seeking symptom relief with Cannabis or cannabinoid treatment, although studies are limited.[4] The American Academy of Pediatrics has not endorsed Cannabis and cannabinoid use because of concerns about brain development.

To assist readers in evaluating the results of human studies of integrative, alternative, and complementary therapies for people with cancer, the strength of the evidence (i.e., the levels of evidence) associated with each type of treatment is provided whenever possible. To qualify for a level of evidence analysis, a study must:

Never having been asked this before, a thorough review of the available literature was carried out, but sadly there have been absolutely no published clinical trials to date so it is impossible to recommend this treatment.

Cannabis oil is of course illegal in New Zealand so as a treatment option it is not valid in any case. Hemp oil contains cannabinoids but the concentration is much lower.

It is important to note that some of the cancers being illustrated as treated with the oil are of a type that can spread and potentially kill the patient. We feel that using a totally untrialled medication like cannabis oil in such circumstances is very unwise.

A patient recently asked if Cannabis oil might be used to cure a small skin cancer.

We feel that it is important to point out that there is also good evidence that smoking cannabis (as opposed to a topical application) significantly increases the risk of lung and head and neck cancer, whether or not it is used in combination with tobacco. Whilst there may in the future be a place for medicinal use of cannabinoids, at present the evidence very strongly suggests that in almost all cases the side effects outweigh the benefits.