Cannabis may help chemo patients

A compound from cannabis could be developed into promising anti-nausea treatments for cancer patients on chemotherapy, suggests a new research paper by University of Guelph scientists.

The study is the first to show the specific trigger for nausea – a common symptom of many diseases and a distressing side effect of chemotherapy that is not effectively treated by current drugs – and its suppression by cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive compound in cannabis.

“This work may lead to a host of potential therapeutic benefits,” says Linda Parker, a U of G psychology professor who has studied the pharmacological properties of cannabinoids on brain behaviours for almost two decades.

This includes better anti-nausea therapies using cannabis as well as a novel drug that elevates a natural cannabinoid (2-AG) in the brain region responsible for the sensation of nausea. The study was supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.