Module 2: Basic Pharmacology of Controlled Drugs and Substances

Lesson 2

Cannabinoids – Common indications and dosages

THC and other cannabis constituents have been used to relieve symptoms associated with the following medical conditions: nausea and vomiting secondary to chemotherapy, chronic pain, wasting syndrome, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, glaucoma, and AIDS-related anorexia associated with weight loss (Canadian Pharmacists Association, 2014).

While evidence is not conclusive, cannabis has been used to treat the nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy, AIDS related anorexia, and more recently for chronic pain management.

Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiol oromucosal spray is indicated in treatment of neuropathic pain and spasticity in multiple sclerosis in adults, and is for buccal use only. Most patients require 5 to 12 sprays per day (Canadian Pharmacists Association, 2014).

Nabilone (Cesamet) is indicated in adults for the management of severe nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy. The usual dose is 1-2 mg PO bid. The first dose should be given the night before initiating chemotherapy. The second dose is usually administered 1-3 hours before chemotherapy. If required, administration can be continued up to 24 hours after the chemotherapy is received. The maximum daily dose is 6 mg in divided doses (Canadian Pharmacists Association, 2014).

Related Resource:


  • Canadian Pharmacists Association. (2014). E-Therapeutics. Ottawa, ON: Author.