Medical Cannabis in Palliative Care for Infectious Diseases

Medical Cannabis in Palliative Care for Infectious Diseases

Extensive Review of Applications

Medical cannabis has a burgeoning role in palliative care, particularly in managing symptoms such as pain, nausea, appetite loss, anxiety, and depression. Despite its potential benefits, medical cannabis remains underutilized and poorly understood in the context of palliative care.

Pain Control

Cannabis, particularly CBD and THC, has shown promise in pain management. Both compounds interact with the endocannabinoid system, reducing inflammation and modulating pain signals1.

Nausea and Appetite Loss

Cannabinoids can be particularly effective in combating nausea and vomiting, often side effects of chemotherapy or antiretroviral therapies. THC stimulates the appetite by interacting with CB1 receptors in the brain2.

Anxiety and Depression

CBD has shown promise as an anxiolytic and antidepressant by modulating serotonin levels3.

Lack of Awareness

In recent history, most clinicians in palliative care are unaware of the potential benefits of cannabis-based treatments. This results in a scenario where patients self-experiment, risking adverse effects at a vulnerable time. The expertise of medical providers like Dr. Caplan at CED Clinic can guide patients to safer, more effective symptom management.

Comparison Table

SymptomMechanism of ActionBest Suited FormulationsDuration in Body
PainAnti-inflammatory, analgesicOral, Inhalation, Topical2-6 hours
NauseaAnti-emeticOral, Sublingual4-8 hours
Appetite LossStimulation of CB1 receptorsOral, Inhalation2-6 hours
AnxietySerotonin modulationSublingual, Oral4-8 hours
DepressionSerotonin modulationSublingual, Oral4-8 hours

Precautionary Note

Patients with the following conditions should consult Dr. Caplan at CED Clinic for more specialized, evidence-based guidance:

  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Liver disorders
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding
  • History of substance abuse


  1. Russo, E. B. (2016). Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain. Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management, 4, 245-259.
  2. Parker, L. A., et al. (2015). Regulation of nausea and vomiting by cannabinoids. British Journal of Pharmacology, 163, 1411–1422.
  3. Blessing, E. M., et al. (2015). Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders. Neurotherapeutics, 12(4), 825–836.

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Cover of The Doctor-Approved Cannabis Handbook featuring a green medical plus symbol
Unlock the world of medical cannabis with The Doctor-Approved Cannabis Handbook.

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