The Effectiveness and Safety of Medical Cannabis for Treating Cancer Related Symptoms in Oncology Patients

Joshua Aviram, Gil M. Lewitus, Yelena Vysotski, Mahmoud Abu Amna, Anton Ouryvaev, Shiri Procaccia, Idan Cohen, Anca Leibovici, Luiza Akria, Dimitry Goncharov, Neomi Mativ, Avia Kauffman, Ayelet Shai, Gil Bar-Sela, David Meiri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The use of medical cannabis (MC) to treat cancer-related symptoms is rising. However, there is a lack of long-term trials to assess the benefits and safety of MC treatment in this population. In this work, we followed up prospectively and longitudinally on the effectiveness and safety of MC treatment. Oncology patients reported on multiple symptoms before and after MC treatment initiation at one-, three-, and 6-month follow-ups. Oncologists reported on the patients' disease characteristics. Intention-to-treat models were used to assess changes in outcomes from baseline. MC treatment was initiated by 324 patients and 212, 158 and 126 reported at follow-ups. Most outcome measures improved significantly during MC treatment for most patients (p < 0.005). Specifically, at 6 months, total cancer symptoms burden declined from baseline by a median of 18%, from 122 (82–157) at baseline to 89 (45–138) at endpoint (−18.98; 95%CI= −26.95 to −11.00; p < 0.001). Reported adverse effects were common but mostly non-serious and remained stable during MC treatment. The results of this study suggest that MC treatment is generally safe for oncology patients and can potentially reduce the burden of associated symptoms with no serious MC-related adverse effects.

Original languageEnglish
Article number861037
JournalFrontiers in Pain Research
StatePublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The study was funded by the Evelyn Gruss Lipper Charitable Foundation. This sponsor had no role or influence on the research or this submission.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2022 Aviram, Lewitus, Vysotski, Amna, Ouryvaev, Procaccia, Cohen, Leibovici, Akria, Goncharov, Mativ, Kauffman, Shai, Bar-Sela and Meiri.


  • cancer
  • cannabis
  • medical use
  • oncology
  • phytocannabinoids
  • prospective

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'The Effectiveness and Safety of Medical Cannabis for Treating Cancer Related Symptoms in Oncology Patients'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this