Outcomes of THC Enriched in Advanced Staged Cancer Patients
Keywords:Advanced stage cancer, Cannabinoids, Cannabis, Palliative care
Background : Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) derivatives have been used in pain management for palliative cancer care, unfortunately there was only few data in the efficacy of enriched THC cannabis oil (THC 0.5 mg/ drop) for this indication.
Objective : To determine the outcomes (safety, efficacy, and adverse drug reactions) of the medical grade enriched THC cannabis oil for quality of life (QOL) improvement in advanced stage cancer.
Method : The retrospective descriptive study of the advanced stage cancer patients who treated medical grade cannabis oil produced by the Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO) under the Special Access Scheme (SAS) during 1st March - 31st July 2020 in Medical Cannabis Clinic, Department of Medical Services (DMS-6) was conducted. All patients have been started with 0.5 mg THC per day sub-lingually and gradually titrated as needed. There were 63 patients who completed follow up for 30 days. The quality of life was evaluated by the Edmonton Symptom Assessment System (ESAS).
Result : The average age were 60 years and 55.6% female. The most common cancer was colon cancer. The daily used of THC were 0.5 - 5 mg. The severity of symptoms significantly improved in pain, tiredness, nausea, depression, anxiety, lack of appetite and insomnia while drowsiness, wellbeing and shortness of breath were not different. We also found the improvement of sleep (65.1%), pain reduction (50.8%) and appetite gained (42.9%) respectively. There were 19.1% adverse effects, however, most of them were mild symptoms suchas dry mouth or throat (17.5%). Nausea & vomiting (1.6%) and dizziness (1.6%).
Conclusion : Our findings suggested that THC enriched cannabis oil (0.5 mg/ drop) might be safe and potentially enhance the quality of life in advanced stage cancer patients especially the sleep quality, pain relief and appetite stimulation. However, the randomized controlled trial should be further investigated to warrant this hypothesis.
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