Clinical Studies and Case Reports

On this site you will find clinical studies with cannabis or single cannabinoids in different diseases and case reports on the use of cannabis by patients.
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TitleRandomized double blind comparison of delta-9-tetrahydroicannabinol (THC) and marijuana as chemotherapy antiemetics.
Author(s)Levitt M, Faiman C, Hawks R, Wilson A
Journal, Volume, IssueProceedings of the American Society for Clinical Oncology 1984;3:91
Major outcome(s)9 patients no preference; 7 preferred oral THC, 4 preferred marijuana cigarettes (double-blind, double dummy crossover study)
IndicationNausea/vomiting;Cancer;Cancer chemotherapyAbstract

The antiemetic efficacy and pharmacokinetics of ingested Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinaol (THC) vs smoked marijuana (MAR) were compared. Twenty chemotherapy-naïve cancer patients received as “study drug” in random order either 15 mg THC for ingestion & placebo MAR cigarets or active standard NIDA cigarets and placebo THC respectively with their first and second consecutive identical courses of chemotherapy. Study drug was given at times 0,4,8, & 12 hours with chemotherapy 2 hours after the first dose of study drug. Smoking was closely supervised to quantitatively follow an established technique. Mean age of the patients was 54.5 (range 28-78): 15 were male; 14 had bronchogenic carcinoma; all received either 2 or 4 chemotherapeutic agents including adriamycin (17), cyclophosphamide (15), and cisplatinum (12). Emesis occurred in 15 and nausea in 17.Nine had no preference for either study drug (5 treatment failures and 4 equivalent benefits): 7 preferred THC and 7 MAR (chi^2=1.9, P>0.1). 7 had distortions of time perception or hallucinations (5 with THC an 3 with MAR –1 with both). Preliminary (Partial n=10) radio-immunoassay results of serum THC & 11-NOR-9-COOH-Delta-9-THC (NTC) ng/ml showed:

Time/mins: 15, 30, 45, 60, 120, 360, 24hrs
MAR/THC: 3.5; 2.0; 2.0; 2.1; 1.4; 0.9; 1.2
MAR/NTC: 2.8; 2.5; 2.1; 3.0; 1.9; 2.5; 6.0
THC/THC: 1.7; 1.7; 8.3; 6.7; 13.4; 12.1; 4.8
THC/NTC: 0.7; 0.6; 8.9; 22.8; 54.7; 64.2; 49.3

The trends indicating greater potency of THC over MAR therapeutically and with respect to mild psychological side effects is consistent with the observed pharmacokinetics.

Dose(s)oral dronabinol 15 mg or marijuana cigarette every 4 h starting 2 h before chemotherapy
Duration (days)
Participants20 chemotherapy-naïve patients
DesignControlled study
Type of publication
Address of author(s)
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