The use of cannabis for therapeutic benefit has risen exponentially over the past few years with strong public belief in its benefit.
This is despite very limited evidence of benefit and no clear guidance around which cannabinoid or combination to use for which indication and at what dose.
About the study
This phase II randomized clinical trial assessed whether pure cannabidiol (CBD) oil (without THC) can improve symptom burden compared with placebo in patients with advanced cancer receiving standard palliative care.
There was no significant difference between the two groups.
CBD oil had no significant effect on the quality of life, depression, or anxiety.
Of the 144 patients randomly assigned, the planned sample size of 58 participants on CBD and 63 on placebo.
No significant difference was seen between arms.
Similarly, there was no detected difference in proportion of responders (placebo: 37 of 63, CBD: 26 of 58.
All components of which were measured improved over time with no difference between arms.
The median dose of participant-selected CBD was 400 mg per day with no correlation with opioid dose.
There was no detectable effect of CBD on quality of life, depression, or anxiety.
Adverse events did not differ significantly between arms apart from dyspnea that was more common with CBD.
Most participants reported feeling better or much better at days 14 and 28.
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