Cannabis and Cannabinoids (PDQ®)–Health Professional VersionSource: Cancer.gov
This cancer information summary provides an overview of the use of Cannabis and its components as a treatment for people with cancer-related symptoms caused by the disease itself or its treatment.
• Cannabis has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years.
• By federal law, the possession of Cannabis is illegal in the United States, except within approved research settings; however, a growing number of states, territories, and the District of Columbia have enacted laws to legalize its medical use.
• The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved Cannabis as a treatment for cancer or any other medical condition.
• Chemical components of Cannabis, called cannabinoids, activate specific receptors throughout the body to produce pharmacologic effects, particularly in the central nervous system and the immune system.
• Commercially available cannabinoids, such as dronabinol and nabilone, are approved drugs for the treatment of cancer-related side effects.
• Cannabinoids may have benefits in the treatment of cancer-related side effects.
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