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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 84

of 'Prevention and treatment of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in adults'

Antiemetic effect of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol in patients receiving cancer chemotherapy.
Sallan SE, Zinberg NE, Frei E 3rd
N Engl J Med. 1975;293(16):795.
Anecdotal accounts suggested that smoking marihuana decreases the nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapeutic agents. Oral delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol was compared with placebo in a controlled, randomized, "double-blind" experiment. All patients were receiving chemotherapeutic drugs known to cause nausea and vomiting of central origin. Each patient was to serve as his own control to determine whether tetrahydrocannabinol had an antiemetic effect. Twenty-two patients entered the study, 20 of whom were evaluable. For all patients an antiemetic effect was observed in 14 of 20 tetrahydrocannabinol courses and in none of 22 placebo courses. For patients completing the study, response occurred in 12 of 15 courses of tetrahydrocannabinol and in none of 14 courses of placebo (P less than 0.001). No patient vomited while experiencing a subjective "high". Oral tetrahydrocannabinol has antiemetic properties and is significantly better than a placebo in reducting vomiting caused by chemotherapeutic agents.