Pot Use Among Cancer Patients Is A Lot More Common Than You’d Think

Almost one-quarter of cancer patients in a study said they used medical marijuana in the past year.

Link textPot Use Among Cancer Patients Is A Lot More Common Than You’d Think

Sara G. Miller LiveScience | huffingtonpost.com

One of the most well-known purported uses for medical marijuana is to alleviate symptoms related to cancer treatment, and a new study finds that use of the drug among cancer patients is not uncommon.

In the study, which included more than 900 cancer patients in Seattle, nearly one-quarter reported using medical marijuana in the past year. In addition, almost all the participants said they wanted to learn more about medical marijuana, according to the study, published today (Sept. 25) in the journal Cancer.

But existing research on marijuana’s effects on cancer-related symptoms is limited, the researchers said. Indeed, the study underscores the need for more research into the risks and benefits of marijuana use among cancer patients, lead study author Dr. Steven Pergam, a researcher at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, said in a statement.

Cancer patients want information about marijuana use during their treatment, but they aren’t getting this information from their doctors, Pergam said. Because of this, patients instead seek information from “alternate, nonscientific sources,” he said. [Marijuana Could Treat These 5 Conditions]

In the study, the researchers surveyed cancer patients at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, a cancer treatment center. The survey included questions about marijuana use among cancer patients, as well as questions about the patients’ beliefs surrounding the drug.

The researchers found that 24 percent of the patients in the study were “active users,” meaning that they had used marijuana in the past year for cancer-related symptoms, and 21 percent reported using the drug in the past month. These rates are more than double those reported in national surveys of any type of marijuana user, the researchers said.

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