Use of Medical Cannabis in Glioma Patients

This week, KannAInsight features a study on perceived beneficial effects of medical cannabis in glioma patients. 

Approximately 33 percent of all brain tumors are gliomas, making them the most common central nervous system malignancy. Glioma symptoms vary by tumor type, size, location and rate of growth, making symptoms difficult to manage. However, some anecdotal evidence of possible therapeutic benefit of cannabis-based products has emerged. 

In a recent survey study, researchers investigated the prevalence of cannabis use (both physician recommended and self-medication) and its perceived risks and benefits in glioma patients. Of the approximately 75 patients surveyed, more that 70% reported having considered using medical cannabis. One third of all participants also reported using cannabis-based products after their glioma diagnosis. Most patients received recommendations from family/friends rather than a medical provider, with only half of the surveyed users having a physician’s recommendation. Users generally reported perceived symptom relief.  

Although the results of this survey suggest that cannabis may provide some benefit, clinical research is necessary to determine if cannabis-based products are safe and effective for patients with glioma. 

Citation: Reblin M, Sahebjam S, Peeri NC, Martinez YC, Thompson Z, Egan KM. Medical cannabis use in glioma patients treated at a comprehensive cancer center in Florida. J Palliative Medicine. 2019 May 13. 

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