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עמוד בית
Fri, 24.05.24

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May 2023
Walid Shalata MD, Motaz Abo Abod MD, Mitchell Golosky MD, Liora Boehm Cohen MD, Michael Kassirer MD, Iris Kamenev MD, Yael Raviv MD

In September 2020, a 37-year-old man without significant medical history or medication use presented to the emergency department with shortness of breath. The patient denied any history of shortness of breath, travel history, recent sick contacts, or history of lung disease. On arrival, the patient was afebrile with a respiratory rate of 26 breaths per minute (b/m), oxygen saturation 82% on ambient air, blood pressure 130\80 mmHg, and heart rate 130 beats per minute (bpm). He was started on three liters per minute oxygen therapy, which improved his saturation to 90%. Physical examination was remarkable for tachypnea and diffuse bilateral inspiratory lung crackles. Electrocardiogram revealed sinus tachycardia.

April 2023
Avishag Laish-Farkash MD PhD, Lubov Vasilenko MD, Noy Moisa BSc, Daniel Vorobiof MD

Background: Cannabis consumption is suspected of causing arrhythmias and potentially sudden death.

Objectives: To investigate prevalence and temporal relationships between cannabis use and onset of symptomatic arrhythmias among cancer patients using Belong.life, a digital patient powered network application.

Methods: Real-world data (RWD) were obtained through Belong.Life, a mobile application for cancer patients who use cannabis routinely. Patients replied anonymously and voluntarily to a survey describing their demographics, medical history, and cannabis use.

Results: In total, 354 cancer patients (77% female, 71% 50–69 years of age) replied: 33% were smokers and 49% had no co-morbidities. Fifteen had history of arrhythmias and two had a pacemaker; 64% started cannabis before or during chemotherapy and 18% had no chemotherapy. Cannabis indication was symptom relief in most patients. The mode of administration included oil, smoking, or edibles; only 35% were prescribed by a doctor. Cannabis type was delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol > 15% in 43% and cannabidiol in 31%. After starting cannabis, 24 patients (7%) experienced palpitations; 13 received anti-arrhythmic drugs and 6 received anticoagulation. Eleven needed further medical investigation. Three were hospitalized. One had an ablation after starting cannabis and one stopped cannabis due to palpitations. Seven patients (2%) reported brady-arrhythmias after starting cannabis, but none needed pacemaker implantation.

Conclusions: RWD showed that in cancer patients using cannabis, the rate of reported symptomatic tachy- and brady-arrhythmias was significant (9%) but rarely led to invasive treatments. Although direct causality cannot be proven, temporal relationship between drug use and onset of symptoms suggests a strong association.

June 2022
Shir Rubinstein Levy B Med Sc, Gilad Halpert PhD, and Howard Amital MD MHA

Cannabis and cannabinoids have been known for thousands of years for their promising potential as analgesics. Chronic pain is a common complaint among many patients with rheumatic conditions. These disorders have revisited the medical approach toward cannabis and its potential role in pain relief. In addition, in recent years, information has mounted about the immunomodulatory effects of cannabis. In this review we discuss findings on the benefits cannabis may have in rheumatic and autoimmune disorders.

January 2021
Uriel Levinger MD, Shoshana Hadar MD, and George Habib MD
May 2020
April 2020
Amir Jarjou'i MD and Gabriel Izbicki MD

Background: With the increased use of cannabis in the medicinal and recreational domains, it is becoming more important for physicians to better understand its harmful and beneficial effects. Although medical cannabis comes in several forms, the preferred route of administration is smoking or inhalation. After caring for three asthmatic patients who were treated with medical cannabis and who reported improvement in their symptoms, we decided to review the available data on the effects of medical cannabis on asthmatic patients.

Objectives: To review the known effects of medical cannabis on asthmatic patients.

Methods: A thorough search was conducted of the MEDLINE and PubMed databases as well as the internet for publications about the effects of medical cannabis on asthmatic patients.

Results: Cannabis has a bronchodilator effect on the airways and might have an anti-inflammatory effect on asthmatic patients. However, harmful effects on the lungs are mainly attributed to smoking and include airway irritation and the development of chronic bronchitis symptoms.

Conclusions: Cannabis has some benefit, yet there are many harmful effects on the lungs. Additional research is needed to determine the harmful effects of vaporizers as well as inhalers.

November 2019
Yuval Zolotov PhD, Sharon Sznitman PhD and Simon Vulfsons MD

Background: The policies and practices related to medical cannabis are currently in flux. These changes have been associated with many controversies, and there is a lack of consensus within the medical community regarding medical cannabis practices.

Objectives: To validate clinical vignettes that can be used to examine and improve medical cannabis practices.

Methods: Ten physicians participated in a Delphi survey of two consequent rounds in which they quantified the eligibility of medical cannabis therapy for six clinical vignettes describing both chronic pain and cancer patients.

Results: Higher consensus was achieved for the vignettes of cancer patients, which were additionally rated as more eligible for medical cannabis therapy. The highest level of consent (4.3 out of 5) was achieved regarding a vignette of a metastatic cancer patient. While in some cases physicians consolidated their ratings toward the group's average, in other cases they remained stable in their responses.

Conclusions: While controversies related to medical cannabis are expected to remain rampant, the validated vignettes may facilitate assessment of clinical practices, which is essential for a successful implementation of medical cannabis policies. These vignettes may additionally be used in medical training for appropriate patient selection for medical cannabis authorization.

June 2019
Mark Kheifets MD, Eli Karniel MD, Daniel Landa MD, Shelly Abigail Vons MD, Katya Meridor MD and Gideon Charach MD

Background: Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS) is under-recognized by clinicians. It is characterized by nausea, severe abdominal pain, and cyclical vomiting in the context of chronic cannabis use. Oral benzodiazepine is a proposed treatment for CHS. It decreases activation of Cannabinoid Type 1 Receptor (CB1) in the frontal cortex, has a sedative and hypnotic effect and reduces the anticipation of nausea and vomiting. These effects on the central nervous system (CNS) might explain its beneficial antiemetic effect for this syndrome.

Objectives: To increase the index of suspicion for CHS, a unique syndrome that requires a unique treatment with benzodiazepines and not antiemetics.

Methods: We describe a series of four patients with documented cannabis use, who were admitted to an internal medicine department of Meir Medical Center due to symptoms consistent with abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. They were initially treated with conventional antiemetics and proton pump inhibitors without response. Intensive investigations were conducted to exclude common and sometimes urgent gastrointestinal or CNS syndromes.

Results: After excluding urgent gastrointestinal and CNS origins for the vomiting, we suspected CHS. All four patients experienced similar symptoms and failure of conventional treatment with antiemetics and proton pump inhibitors. They experienced relief after administration of benzodiazepines.

Conclusions: A high index of suspicion for CHS allows for rapid, appropriate treatment with benzodiazepines, which in turn may lead to cessation of the debilitating symptoms caused by this syndrome.

March 2019
Ana Rita Nogueira MD, Yehuda Shoenfeld MD FRCP MaACR and Howard Amital MD MHA
February 2017
Itay Katz, Daphna Katz, Yehuda Shoenfeld MD FRCP and Bat Sheva Porat-Katz MD
Ilit Turgeman MD and Gil Bar-Sela MD

A flowering plant of variegated ingredients and psychoactive qualities, cannabis has long been used for medicinal and recreational purposes. Currently, cannabis is approved in several countries for indications of symptomatic alleviation. However, limited knowledge on the benefits and risks precludes inclusion of cannabis in standard treatment guidelines. This review provides a summary of the available literature on the use of cannabis and cannabinoid-based medicines in palliative oncology. Favorable outcomes are demonstrated for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting and cancer-related pain, with evidence of advantageous neurological interactions. Benefit in the treatment of anorexia, insomnia and anxiety is also suggested. Short- and long-term side effects appear to be manageable and to subside after discontinuation of the drug. Finally, cannabinoids have shown anti-neoplastic effects in preclinical studies in a wide range of cancer cells and some animal models. Further research is needed before cannabis can become a part of evidence-based oncology practice.

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