Cannabis Use in Patients With Cancer: A Clinical Review

JCO Oncol Pract. 2022 Nov;18(11):743-749. doi: 10.1200/OP.22.00080. Epub 2022 Jun 24.


Cannabis use and interest continues to increase among patients with cancer and caregivers. High-quality research remains scant in many areas, causing hesitancy or discomfort among most clinical providers. Although we have limitations on hard outcomes, we can provide some guidance and more proactively engage in conversations with patients and family about cannabis. Several studies support the efficacy of cannabis for various cancer and treatment-related symptoms, such as chemotherapy-induced nausea and cancer pain. Although formulations and dosing guidelines for clinicians do not formally exist at present, attention to tetrahydrocannabinol concentration and understanding of risks with inhalation can reduce risk. Conflicting information exists on the interaction between cannabis and immunotherapy as well as estrogen receptor interactions. Motivational interviewing can help engage in more productive, less stigmatized conversations.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cannabis*
  • Caregivers
  • Dronabinol / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Nausea / chemically induced
  • Nausea / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms* / complications
  • Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms* / epidemiology


  • Dronabinol