Because cannabinoid receptors, unlike opioid receptors, are not located in the brainstem areas controlling respiration, lethal overdoses from Cannabis and cannabinoids do not occur.[1,2,3,4] However, cannabinoid receptors are present in other tissues throughout the body, not just in the central nervous system, and adverse effects include tachycardia, hypotension, conjunctivalinjection, bronchodilation, muscle relaxation, and decreased gastrointestinal motility.
Anxiety and distress can affect the quality of life of patients with cancer and their families.
Patients living with cancer feel many different emotions, including anxiety and distress.
Anxiety is fear, dread, and uneasiness caused by stress.
Distress is emotional, mental, social, or spiritual suffering. Patients who are distressed may have a range of feelings from vulnerability and sadness to depression, anxiety, panic, and isolation.
Anxiety and distress may affect a patient's...
Although cannabinoids are considered by some to be addictive drugs, their addictive potential is considerably lower than that of other prescribed agents or substances of abuse. The brain develops a tolerance to cannabinoids.
Withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, insomnia with sleep electroencephalogram disturbance, restlessness, hot flashes, and, rarely, nausea and cramping have been observed. However, these symptoms appear to be mild compared with withdrawal symptoms associated with opiates or benzodiazepines, and the symptoms usually dissipate after a few days.
Unlike other commonly used drugs, cannabinoids are stored in adipose tissue and excreted at a low rate (half-life 1-3 days), so even abrupt cessation of cannabinoid intake is not associated with rapid declines in plasma concentrations that would precipitate severe or abrupt withdrawal symptoms or drug cravings.
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Grotenhermen F, Russo E, eds.: Cannabis and Cannabinoids: Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Therapeutic Potential. Binghamton, NY: The Haworth Press, 2002.
Sutton IR, Daeninck P: Cannabinoids in the management of intractable chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting and cancer-related pain. J Support Oncol 4 (10): 531-5, 2006 Nov-Dec.