Palliative Care – Cannabis Research

Palliative Care Research Dashboard


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CannaKeys has 35 studies associated with Palliative Care.

Here is a small sampling of Palliative Care studies by title:

Components of the Palliative Care Research Dashboard

  • Dosing information available for Palliative Care
  • Chemotype guidance for treating Palliative Care with cannabis
  • Synopsis of cannabis research for Palliative Care
  • Individual study details for Palliative Care

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Overview - Palliative Care

Description of Palliative Care

Hospice care is focused on the quality of life of patients in their last stage of life where death is expected and near (two physicians have certified that patient has less than 6 month to live). The key idea here is to make their last months or days as comfortable as possible. However, many end-of-life patients are challenged by the limitations of available orthodox treatment options. For instance, in some cases patients have developed a tolerance that even the strongest analgesics (e.g. opioids) do not work anymore at non-fatal dosages. Or, they may still produce pain relief but the nausea, vomiting, constipation, and other adverse effects are so severe that patients simply opt out and choose pain over the adverse effects leaving them between a rock and a hard place. Palliative care similarly shares the goal of hospice in minimizing physical and mental-emotional symptoms and distress. However, the scope of palliative care includes also caring for patients with chronic and serious illnesses and not just end-of-life care. There are a number of patient setting that can use a palliative approach including the family or patients home, convalescent or rest-homes, hospitals, clinics, and of course hospice settings. Patient populations that commonly benefit from palliative care include those with chronic degenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, MS, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, cancer care, congestive heart failure, or emphysema for example.

Disease Classification

Condition: Palliative Care
Disease Family:
Organ System: Cardiovascular System, Digestive System, Endocrine System, Immune System, Integumentary System, Mental/Emotional System, Muscular System, Nervous System, Reproductive System, Respiratory System, Skeletal System, Urinary System
ICD-10 Chapter: Encounter for Other Aftercare and Medical Care
ICD-10 Code: Z51.5

Palliative Care Symptoms:

Hard to manage pain, emotional distress, depression, anxiety

Also known as:

Hospice Care, End of Life Care, Comfort care only status

Drug Interactions

THC Interaction with Pharmaceutical Drugs

  • THC can enhance the effects of drugs that cause sedation and depress the central nervous system, such as benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and alcohol, for example. 
  • THC is metabolized by and an inhibitor of a number of enzymatic liver pathways referred to as cytochrome P450. There are more than 50 enzymes belonging to this enzyme family, a number of which are responsible for the breakdown of common drugs such as antidepressants (e.g. amitriptyline, doxepine, fluvoxamine), antipsychotics (haloperidol, clozapine, stelazine), beta-blockers (e.g. propranolol), bronchodilators (e.g. theophylline), or bloodthinners (e.g. warfarin).  Thus patients taking these classes of medication may find that THC increases the concentration and effects of these drugs as well as the duration of their effects.
  • Clinical observation suggests no likely interactions with other pharmaceuticals at a total daily dose of up to 20mg THC.

CBD Interaction with Pharmaceutical Drugs

  • CBD may alter action on metabolic enzymes (certain drug-transport mechanisms), and as such may alter interactions with other drugs, some of which may produce therapeutic or adverse effects. For instance, CBD interacts with the enzyme cytochrome P450 3A4 and cytochrome P450 2C19, increasing the bioavailability of anti-epileptic drugs such as clobazam (a benzodiazepine). This makes it possible to achieve the same results at significantly lower dosages, reducing treatment costs and risks of adverse effects. 
  • Groups of drugs affected include: anti-epileptic drugs, psychiatric drugs, and drugs affecting metabolic enzymes, for example.
  • Clinical observations suggest no likely interactions with other pharmaceuticals at a total daily dose of up to 100mg CBD

Dosing Considerations

THC Dosage Considerations

  • THC micro dose:  0.1 mg to 0.4 mg
  • THC low dose:  0.5 mg to 5 mg
  • THC medium dose:  6 mg to 20 mg
  • THC high dose:  21 mg to 50+ mg

CBD Dosage Considerations

  • CBD low dose:  0.4 mg to 19 mg
  • CBD medium dose: 20 mg to 99 mg
  • CBD high dose:  100 mg to 800+ mg (upper limits tested ~1,500mg)

Disclaimers: Information on this site is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional. You should not use the information contained herein for diagnosing a health problem or disease. If using a product, you should read carefully all product packaging. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, promptly contact your health care provider.

Information on this site is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over-the-counter medication is also available. Consult your physician, nutritionally oriented health care practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications.