Dr. Valerie Herbert
Sponsoring Academic Department
School of Nursing
The use of medical marijuana has been a trending topic in recent years. As marijuana and THC become legalized in numerous states, there has been more consideration for providers to prescribe THC to patients. One specific population that benefits from the use of medical THC are patients in chemotherapy because of the nausea these patients experience. The question arises: does medical marijuana edibles consumed before IV chemotherapy treatment decrease or eliminate the need for nausea medication such as Zofran in adults over 18 years of age? A literature search was conducted on CINAHL, OneSearch, and Nursing Reference Center Plus using the following search terms: chemotherapy, cancer, marijuana, nausea, medication, zofran, vomit*. Our initial search gave us a total of 19 articles, but only 12 articles met the inclusion criteria. Exclusion criteria included anyone under 18 years of age, marijuana that was not ingested, and any treatments that were not IV chemotherapy. The literature found that medical marijuana was an effective tool to help reduce the nausea experienced by chemotherapy in adult patients as compared to Zofran. The literature supports the use of medical marijuana to treat nausea for patients receiving IV chemotherapy, but the evidence highlights several limitations. First, anyone below 18 was not included in our review. Second, the medication had to be ingested and could not be given intravenously. Thirdly, in states where marijuana is not recreationally legal, patients would need to obtain a medical marijuana card in order to access this medication. This might be a barrier to patients receiving this medication. Lastly, marijuana is not federally funded which may impact the cost and availability of this medication. Based on these findings, there is strong support for providers to prescribe edible medical marijuana to patients receiving intravenous chemotherapy treatment.
Miller, Katelyn R.; Harder, Katie; Timms, Angie; and Pothier, Mia, "Reducing Nausea with Medical Marijuana in Adult Patients Receiving IV Chemotherapy" (2023). Non-Thesis Student Work. 34.
pre-print (i.e. pre-refereeing)