Despite Feeling Unequipped, Many Oncologists Recommend Medical Marijuana for Patients

Marijuana, also called pot, grass, cannabis, weed, hemp, hash, ganja, and a multitude of other names, has been used in herbal remedies for centuries. There are a number of biologically active compounds in marijuana, which are called cannabinoids. The two most-studied compounds in marijuana are:

  • delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which causes marijuana’s high
  • cannabidiol (CBD), which doesn’t cause a high

While marijuana is federally illegal in the United States, more than half of the states, as well as the District of Columbia, have passed laws legalizing the use of marijuana to treat certain medical conditions.

A survey of U.S. oncologists has found that most talked to their patients about medical marijuana and almost half recommended it, but only 30% of oncologists felt sufficiently informed about medical marijuana.

The research was published online on May 10, 2018 by the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Read the abstract of “Medical Oncologists’ Beliefs, Practices, and Knowledge Regarding Marijuana Used Therapeutically: A Nationally Representative Survey Study.”

It’s important to know that marijuana is NOT a treatment for breast cancer. It is used to ease the side effects of treatment and pain caused by the cancer. Still, because marijuana is federally illegal, research on medical marijuana is limited. Anecdotal evidence suggests that marijuana may ease pain, nausea, hot flashes, loss of appetite, and anxiety caused by a breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.

In this study, the researchers mailed a survey on medical marijuana to a random representative sample of 400 medical oncologists in the United States; 237 completed the survey. Of the oncologists who responded to the survey:

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