Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)

In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2024 Jan.


Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (also known as THC) is a medicinal compound utilized to manage and treat chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting and stimulate appetite. Naturally occurring THC is the principal psychoactive compound and 1 of the 113 cannabinoids identified within the class of cannabinoid medications. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved dronabinol, the synthetic formulation of THC, for managing chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, as well as for stimulating appetite in cases of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) anorexia. Another synthetic form of THC, nabilone, also received FDA approval for addressing chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. This activity reviews the indications, mechanisms of action, and contraindications of THC and its synthetic formulations as valuable agents in managing chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting and appetite stimulation in AIDS-related anorexia. This activity also highlights the off-label uses, pharmacodynamics, and adverse events when utilizing synthetic THC analogs. This information is relevant for interprofessional healthcare team members to enhance their competence when caring for patients with chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting or AIDS-related anorexia.

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