New study supports marijuana as a way to ease chemotherapy pain
Oct 10, 2011
People who are going through chemotherapy in an effort to combat breast cancer are frequently met with lots of pain and illness as a side effect from the treatment. Now, research published in the journal Anesthesia and Analgesia suggests that a chemical component that's found in marijuana could help prevent the pain that comes from chemotherapy, particularly for breast cancer patients.
"We found that cannabidiol completely prevented the onset of the neuropathic, or nerve pain caused by the chemo drug Paclitaxel, which is used to treat breast cancer," said the study's lead author Sara Jane Ward, who is also a research associate professor in Temple's Center for Substance Abuse Research.
The study's authors tested cannabidiol, which is the second most abundant compound found in the plant. Previous research has indicated that marijuana can help patients through their chemotherapy treatment, but they often come with psycho-active side effects such as an increased appetite or cognitive deficits. The study's authors suggest that cannabidiol is beneficial because it does not carry such side effects.