That’s the conclusion of the first study by Israel’s Health Ministry of patients who have used cannabis for pain relief and other symptoms.
The results were culled from two years of interviews with 399 patients, 78 of whom had cancer. (Medical cannabis has been legal in Israel for over ten years.) Nearly all chose to use cannabis when more conventional drugs proved ineffective or produced unacceptable side effects.
Most (over 77%) experienced at least mildly undesirable side effects with cannabis, all of which may be familiar to experienced cannabis users, including increased appetite, fatigue, dry mouth, drowsiness and feeling “high.” However, only 7% discontinued cannabis due to side effects or from determining the treatment was ineffective.
The remaining 93% of patients in the study reported that cannabis had provided relief for a range of symptoms, including pain, nausea and anxiety.
The results of the study were presented at the International Jerusalem Conference on Health Policy, in May of this year. The study was headed by Professor Pesach Shvartzman of Ben-Gurion University.