Cannabis oil comes from the flowers, leaves and stalks of the cannabis plant. Cannabis oil often contains high levels of the psychoactive ingredient THC. Cannabis oil is illegal in the UK.
A drug called dexanabinol which is a man made form of a chemical similar to that found in cannabis has been trialled in a phase 1 trial. This is an early trial that tries to work out whether or not the drug works in humans, what the correct dose is and what the side effects might be. The results are not available yet. You can read about the trial on our clinical trials database.
Word of caution
Scientists also discovered that cannabinoids can:
Artist Jason Naylor, whose self-described mission is to “spread color and positivity across the globe”, heard about Stephen’s plight through social media and made him the “Love” painting, which he hand-delivered to the couple, that hangs above Stephen and Wade’s bed.
I was lying face down when I first heard about Stephen Schulman. I’d been feeling sorry for myself, complaining of an aching wrist and back – the vestiges of an age-inappropriate roller-skating accident – while my massage therapist Elisa worked to soothe my pain.
Eventually, our conversation turned to her friend Stephen. At only 41, just months after marrying the love of his life, Stephen had gone to the doctor complaining of stomach pains and the inability to keep anything down. He re-emerged with a diagnosis: stage-3 pancreatic cancer, inoperable due to a very large tumor wrapping itself around a major artery in his abdomen.
Stephen describes the current state of his disease; “Stage 3-pancreatic cancer without the possibility of the Whipple procedure because of the placement of the tumor. They do a CT scan every three months and determine the next steps based on those results. A very risky surgery – I believe it’s only performed by one doctor in the US at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota – is my only option and we’re hoping to make that happen. But insurance has, so far, refused to pay for it or the chemotherapy I’ll need beforehand, and it is astronomically expensive.”
Wade is a freelance hairstylist. Once in a while, he sits Stephen down in the chair in his home salon and treats him to a haircut, shave and facial mask.
The use of marijuana and cannabinoid drugs for medicinal purposes, such as controlling pain and stimulating appetite in cancer patients, have been and continue to be studied in the lab and in clinics. Consequently, conflicting information has been reported in clinical studies using cannabinoids as pain relievers or appetite stimulants for cancer patients.
Cancer patients have reported finding pain relief and appetite stimulation from the use of medical marijuana, also known as cannabis. In fact, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s (PanCAN) Patient Services, which provides free, in-depth and personalized resources and information about pancreatic cancer, has received many questions about the use and effects of medical marijuana. For example, how is marijuana derived and how can it be used by cancer patients?
Marijuana is a plant that contains substances called cannabinoids. The cannabinoids found in marijuana plants may help treat the symptoms and side effects caused by cancer and cancer treatments. In addition to the naturally occurring cannabinoids found in marijuana plants, cannabinoid drugs have been developed in laboratories for use in helping to treat side effects and symptoms of cancer and cancer treatments.
This map shows U.S. states and territories where marijuana is legal for medical purposes.
(Image courtesy of the National Cancer Institute.)
Some studies have reported that patients regained appetite and sense of taste, while others reported cannabinoids are no more helpful than other prescription appetite stimulant medications. Likewise, some studies about pain relief report promising results, while others have shown cannabinoids are no more helpful than prescription medications for controlling pain.