A prospective evaluation of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol as an antiemetic in patients receiving adriamycin and cytoxan chemotherapy

Cancer. 1981 Apr 1;47(7):1746-51. doi: 10.1002/1097-0142(19810401)47:7<1746::aid-cncr2820470704>3.0.co;2-4.


A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of oral and smoked delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) was performed in eight patients with resected soft tissue sarcomas who received adjuvant Adriamycin and Cytoxan chemotherapy. Each patient served as his own control. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, in comparison with a placebo, did not significantly reduce the number of vomiting and retching episodes, volume of emesis, degree of nausea, or duration of nausea. In contrast to a previous report where significant antiemetic effects of THC were observed in patients receiving high-dose methotrexate, THC did not effectively reduce emesis induced by Adriamycin and Cytoxan. These findings suggest that the antiemetic properties of THC are effective only against specific chemotherapeutic drugs.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antiemetics / therapeutic use*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Cyclophosphamide / adverse effects*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Doxorubicin / adverse effects*
  • Dronabinol / blood
  • Dronabinol / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nausea / chemically induced
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vomiting / chemically induced
  • Vomiting / drug therapy


  • Antiemetics
  • Dronabinol
  • Doxorubicin
  • Cyclophosphamide