Medical Marijuana Study in Israel Lights Way for Cancer Treatments

Here in California, we have more than 20 years of anecdotal evidence of the ways medical marijuana can be used to treat a variety of ailments. Thanksmedical marijuana to the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, patients have been reaping the benefits of cannabis for everything from glaucoma to anxiety and chronic pain. Unfortunately, the research that would help independently establish these things has largely been stifled in the U.S., owing largely to the federal policy that classifies marijuana as a Schedule I narcotic. Meanwhile, as reported by U.S. News & World Report, Israel has become a leader in marijuana research – and one of the latest findings of Israeli researchers underscores the medicinal properties of marijuana for cancer patients.

Published in the European Journal of Internal Medicine, the study analyzes the effects of cannabis on symptoms related to cancer and cancer treatments. These include nausea, vomiting, headaches, weakness, pain, and more. According to the study, 1,046 out of 1,742 reported success in overcoming these symptoms after six months. This total did not include participants who passed away, switched cannabis providers, or did not respond to questionnaires. The study looked mostly at patients who were at an advanced stage of cancer and on average 60-years-old. These factors meant a quarter of patients died before the study was over, but even many of those patients reported having the pain of their condition eased by cannabis.

“Success” was determined by those who ranked their symptoms as having moderate or significant improvement and who did not have any adverse side effects. Patients with different cancers reported varying effectiveness, with renal cancer patients reporting the highest benefits and melanoma cancer patients the lowest.

Because marijuana is effective at alleviating multiple cancer symptoms, patients can take fewer drugs, which means less chance of negative drug interactions. It’s also not addictive, so patients can relieve pain without worrying about getting hooked. Study authors noted cannabis has been used medically and recreationally for thousands of years. 

Our long-time Los Angeles medical marijuana lawyers know there have been decades of pointed political efforts to disparage any effort to use marijuana as medicine, much of it relying on the drug’s federal classification Schedule I narcotic (per Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812). Under that classification, the drug has is considered dangerous, with “no currently accepted medical use in treatment.” It’s nearly impossible for scientific institutions in the U.S. to conduct medical research with any illegal substance of this classification, which meant we lost decades of research advancement on this front.

In Israel, medical marijuana was legalized in 1997. It is mostly used the ease symptoms associated with cancer and chemotherapy. Thankfully, we can now share in their findings as we continue to expand cannabis-based treatments across the U.S. and begin to officially educate medical students. And as we continue to conduct more studies like this one, it will be more difficult for federal officials to continue to deny the power of pot.

In the meantime, our skilled team is here to defend the rights of medical marijuana patients, as well as dispensary owners, and operators all along the supply chain.

The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients, defendants, workers and those facing criminal marijuana charges. Call us at 714-937-2050.

Additional Resources:

For Cancer, Cannabis Has Many Virtues, Says Large Study, March 19, 2018, By Nick Mulcahey, Medscape

More Blog Entries:

Cancer Patient Claims Illegal Medical Marijuana Healed Him, Feb. 28, 2016, Medical Marijuana Lawyers Blog