Australia: Cannabis oil failed to improve pain or quality of life in palliative care cancer patients, study shows

The Guardian reports

The first high quality study looking at the impact of cannabidiol oil on palliative care patients with advanced cancer found it did not improve their pain, depression, anxiety, or quality of life.

Palliative care is one of the conditions for which medicinal cannabis has been approved in Australia.

The trial, led by the Mater hospital and the University of Queensland, studied the effects of cannabidiol oil, also known as CBD, on the relief of pain, depression, anxiety and quality of life on 144 patients receiving palliative care for cancer. The trial was double-blinded, which meant neither the researchers nor the participants knew whether they were getting medicinal cannabis or a placebo.

All patients also received standard palliative care throughout the trial period.

“The trial found there was no detectable effect of CBD on change in physical or emotional functioning, overall quality of life, fatigue, nausea and vomiting, pain, dyspnoea or appetite loss,” lead author of the study and the director of palliative and supportive care at Mater, Prof Janet Hardy, said.

But she added that the study only examined the effect of CBD.

“The cannabis plant is very complex and contains a large number of cannabinoids and other compounds,” she said. “The two most prominent cannabinoids are CBD, which is cannabidiol, and THC, which is the one that makes you high when you smoke a joint.