Medical Marijuana Use in Oncology: A Review | History of Medicine | JAMA Oncology | JAMA Network
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    1 Comment for this article
    The Proper Scientific Term is Cannabis
    Duke Rodriguez | CEO and President, Ultra Health
    Thank you for writing about cannabis. I am concerned as to your use of the word \"marijuana\", especially in a scientific journal. Cannabis is the proper respectful and scientific term. The word \"marijuana\" or “marihuana” is an emotional, pejorative term (for many racially offensive) that has played a key role in creating a negative stigma with regard to the study and discovery of cannabis. Language is important because it defines our ideas, particularly in science. Simply inserting the word \"medical\" before marijuana is akin to referring to opioids as medical heroin. Research around the world (including published works by renowned scientist, Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, Hebrew University) properly frame the discussion with the appropriate terms such as 'cannabis', 'medical grade cannabis', or 'medical cannabis'. Continuing to use the \"M\" word (marijuana) only further trivializes the discovery and meaningful research being shared.
    May 2016

    Medical Marijuana Use in Oncology: A Review

    Author Affiliations
    • 1Medical student at University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester
    • 2Program in Women’s Oncology, Women and Infants’ Hospital, Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island
    JAMA Oncol. 2016;2(5):670-675. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2016.0155

    Importance  Medicinal marijuana use is currently legal in 23 states and the District of Columbia. As more states approve marijuana use for medical indications, physicians will be asked by their patients for more information regarding the risks and benefits of use. This article reviews the history, adverse effects, and proposed mechanisms of action of marijuana and summarizes the available literature regarding symptom relief and therapeutic value in patients with cancer.

    Observations  Marijuana in oncology may have potential for use as an antiemetic, for refractory cancer pain, and as an antitumor agent. However, much of the data are based on animal data, small trials, or are outdated.

    Conclusions and Relevance  More research is needed in all areas related to the therapeutic use of marijuana in oncology.