THC, Found In Marijuana, May Improve Appetite For Chemotherapy Patients

Studies show THC may improve appetite functions for chemotherapy patients

New studies explain that patients who have experienced chemotherapy and have difficulties eating may not notice those difficulties much longer. The active ingredient in marijuana, THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, has been shown to drastically increase appetite levels and help individuals enjoy the idea of eating once again.

While marijuana has been used in the past to treat various cancers including glaucoma, this study evaluates properties outside of pain relief and relaxation.

When enduring chemotherapy, many patients experience the inability to taste and smell, specifically in food, and that in itself makes the idea of consuming food undesirable to many.

The study can be found online in the Annals of Oncology.

For the study, 21 patients were randomly instructed to consume a THC supplement or a placebo for 18 days.

Researchers noticed that individuals who were taking the THC supplement noticed increases in the ability to taste and consumed more protein. Additionally, those in the supplement group explained being more relaxed and slept better than those on the placebo. However, the THC supplement did not appear to increase overall caloric intake.

While some experts have explained this study could benefit many individuals, they do not believe it will be offered for this reason. However, cancer patients may be able to legally receive marijuana prescriptions, and researchers explain smoking marijuana may provide similar benefits for chemotherapy patients.