URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v01.n1307.a07.html Newshawk: Martin Cooke Pubdate: Sat, 6 Jul 2001 Source: Irish Examiner (Ireland) Copyright: Examiner Publications Ltd, 2001 Contact: exam_letters@examiner.ie Website: http://www.examiner.ie/ Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/144 Author: John von Radowitz


CANNABIS chemicals are better than conventional drugs at controlling sickness caused by cancer treatments, a study showed yesterday.

But researchers found that cannabinoids, the compounds responsible for the "high" obtained from cannabis, could have serious side-effects. These ranged from feelings of euphoria and drowsiness, to dizziness, depression and hallucinations.

A second investigation by the same team of British and Swiss researchers found that cannabinoids were no better than codeine for controlling acute and chronic pain.

Both reports appeared yesterday in the British Medical Journal.

The sickness study, led by Martin Tramer at the Hopitaux Universitaires Geneva, reviewed 30 trials involving more than 1,300 patients undergoing chemotherapy.

Three different cannabinoids were taken either as tablets or by injection.

Across all the trials, the cannabis substances were more effective than conventional anti-sickness drugs, although no difference was found for patients receiving very low or very high doses of chemotherapy.

Most patients said they preferred the cannabis treatments to normal drugs.

However, patients also reported more side-effects from cannabinoids.

The most harmful included depression, hallucinations, paranoia, and low blood pressure.

Pubdate: Wed, 11 Apr 2001 - STRAIGHT DOPE ON THE MUNCHIES