Study: Cannabis Use Mitigates Chemotherapy-Induced Neuropathy

Tel Aviv, Israel: Cannabis use mitigates chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain according to data published in the journal Therapeutic Advances in Medical Oncology.

A team of Israeli investigators assessed the effect of cannabis on chemotherapy-induced neuropathy in a cohort of 513 patients taking oxaliplatin for gastrointestinal malignancies. Two-hundred and forty-eight of the participants received cannabis treatment and 265 subjects served as controls. 

Authors reported that the use of cannabis both mitigated, and in some instances, prevented oxaliplatin-induced neuropathy. Researchers noted that pain mitigation was “more significant in patients who received cannabis prior to treatment with oxaliplatin, suggesting a protective effect.”

They concluded: “Oxaliplatin-induced neurotoxicity is a profound adverse effect which, according to the results of our investigation, may be mitigated and prevented by cannabis treatment. A randomized placebo-controlled trial of cannabis use in the setting of oxaliplatin chemotherapy is being planned to further investigate its potentially important neuroprotective effect.”

Several prior clinical trials – such as those here, here, here, and here – have previously documented that cannabis mitigates neuropathic pain in various patient populations, including those with HIV and/or refractory pain conditions.

Full text of the study, “Effect of cannabis on oxaliplatin-induced peripheral neuropathy among oncology patients: A retrospective analysis,” appears in Therapeutic Advances in Medical Oncology. Additional information on cannabinoids and chronic pain is available from NORML.