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Could Marijuana Help Alleviate CLL Treatment Side Effects?

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Published on January 30, 2018

What do the experts say about using marijuana to combat CLL treatment side effects? Dr. Jeff Sharman, from the US Oncology Network, explains the role of THC in cancer care and what the latest research shows on its effect on CLL cells.

Provided by CLL Global Research Foundation, which received support from AbbVie Inc., Gilead Sciences, TG Therapeutics, Pharmacyclics LLC and Janssen Biotech, Inc., and Genentech. Produced by Patient Power in collaboration with The US Oncology Network, Compass Oncology, and Willamette Valley Cancer Institute and Research Center.

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Transcript | Could Marijuana Help Alleviate CLL Treatment Side Effects?

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That's how you’ll get care that's most appropriate for you.

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you. 

Andrew Schorr:

What is the role of any of the components of marijuana where you could get it with a medical card, or whatever it is in some of the states? Increasingly, I think 25 states, a bunch of states now, what is the role of whether, would it help with nausea if you were going through certain treatments, or what’s its role?

Dr. Sharman:       

For a long time, we have had prescription THC, a drug called dronabinol (Marinol) that is available and able to be prescribed. In the state of Oregon, we don’t prescribe marijuana, but we can verify that someone has a cancerous condition that can enable them to get that. THC, there's no question, does have some impacts. I mean, it is a drug, but it is not the same drug that it was 30 years ago. It’s a very different drug—a lot more potent in a lot of the marijuana strains right now. We do know that there are cannabinoid receptors on CLL cells. 

We don’t know what they do. There's very limited biologic insight. I don't know if it’s good or bad. I probably get asked two to three times a day about Rick Simpson oil and various marijuana derivatives, because there must be some really fabulous Internet sources that claim that it cures everything. I have yet to see that.

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.