For the first time, a major scientific study has confirmed what cannabis advocates have known for decades: that cannabis can be a safe and effective palliative treatment in patients suffering from the debilitating effects of cancer.
The article, “Prospective Analysis Of Safety And Efficacy Of Medical Cannabis In Large Unselected Population Of Patients With Cancer” just published in the European Journal of Internal Medicine, studied thousands of cancer patients at Tikun Olam clinics in Israel. The patients were prescribed cannabis for their “malignancy-related symptoms,” mainly sleep problems, pain, nausea, and decreased appetite. All patients were prescribed one or more of Tikun Olam’s proprietary cannabis strains, which were developed to address specific symptoms. Overall, the study encompassed 2,970 cancer patients, with an average age of 60, and treated between the years 2015 and 2017.
Tikun Olam published the following: 95.9% of respondents reported an improvement in their condition through use of medical cannabis, leading the study’s authors to conclude that “Cannabis as a palliative treatment for cancer patients is a well-tolerated, effective and safe option.” In medical terms, palliative treatment in cancer patients is aimed mainly to alleviate pain and nausea.
The article also offers hope in the fight against the U.S. opioid epidemic. While opioids were the most consumed drugby patients at intake, at six months, 36% had stopped taking opioids entirely, and an additional 10% decreased their dosage. This is especially significant because 51% of the patients studied were suffering from Stage 4 cancers, and 52% reported their pain at an intense (8/10) level.
“The data establishes that cannabis is effective treatment for the most acute symptoms of cancer, such as pain, which often requires the use of opioids,” said Lihi Bar-Lev Schleider of Tikun Olam and lead author of the article.
Side effects were sparse and minor: the most common reported at one month were dizziness (8%), dry mouth (7.3%), increased appetite (3.6%), sleepiness (3.3%) and psychoactive effect (2.8%).
On the other hand, improvement was undisputed: at six months, 50.8% of respondents reported at least a significant improvement, 45.1% reported moderate or slight improvement and only 4.0% did not experience a positive effect.
Tikun Olam’s Pharmaceuticals division (TOP) along with its Canadian joint venture partner, Jay Pharma, as well as Israel’s Soroka University Medical Center, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem were proud to collaborate together for this unprecedented affirmation by the scientific community of the efficacy of medical marijuana.
“This study paves the way for TOP and Jay Pharma to conduct further clinical trials with pharmaceutical-grade medicine to address the adverse effects of chemotherapy and radiation, today’s dominant cancer therapy methods. These results demonstrate that, used together with traditional oncology therapies, specific cannabis strains are safe and effective with virtually no side effects,” said Sid Taubenfeld, Chief Executive Officer of TOP.
About Tikun Olam
Tikun Olam (“repair the world” in Hebrew) is a leading cannabis brand and globally recognized as the pioneer of modern medical cannabis. The company’s global mission is to research, develop and provide efficacious, data-based cannabis treatments to help sufferers. Operating as a commercial venture for over 10 years, Tikun Olam’s products have been used since 2010 in ongoing clinical trials in Israel’s regulated medical cannabis market, treating over 10,000 patients for a variety of symptoms of medical conditions such as Cancer, PTSD, AIDS, epilepsy, Crohn’s Disease/Colitis, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, chronic pain and neuropathy. Through this access to patients, medical personnel and data collection, Tikun Olam has developed multiple proprietary strains, including the first-ever, high-CBD, “high-less” strain Avidekel™. Tikun Olam’s U.S. operations, established in 2015 as T.O. Global LLC, is a joint venture with Tikun Olam Ltd. (Israel). Tikun Olam also operates similar partnerships in Canada (TSX: LEAF), Australia, United Kingdom and South Africa. Visit www.tikunolamusa.com, and follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
About TOP Pharmaceuticals
TO Pharmaceuticals (TOP) is a US-based biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing new drugs from its proprietary cannabinoid derivative product platform. TOP has a proprietary cannabinoid product platform consisting of an extensive library of internally generated cannabis plant strains that produce selected cannabinoids (or combinations/ratios of these cannabinoids). TOP has completed positive Phase ll studies in Crohn’s and Colitis and is currently enrolling patients in studies for two other indications.
About Jay Pharma
Jay Pharma is building a medical cannabis company focused on cancer by bringing together top oncology experts, academic centers and cannabis industry partners. A suite of proprietary enabling technologies and informatics data gathering systems underlies Jay’s Pharma evidence-based approach to care, which is designed to guide patient and clinician decision-making from intake and assessment to treatment planning and outcomes analysis.