Interest in the medicinal use of cannabis and cannabinoids is mounting worldwide.
Medical cannabis in the treatment of cancer pain and spastic conditions and options of drug delivery in clinical practice
The use of cannabis for medical purposes has been recently legalised in many countries including the Czech Republic. As a result, there is increased interest on the part of physicians and patients in many aspects of its application. This mini review briefly covers the main active substances of the cannabis plant and mechanisms of action.
The use of medical marijuana in cancer care presents a dilemma for both patients and physicians. The scientific evidence is evolving, yet much of the known information is still insufficient to adequately inform patients as to risks and benefits. In addition, evidence-based dosing and administration information on medical marijuana is lacking.
Purpose of review: An increasing number of patients are turning to cannabis and cannabinoids for management of their palliative and nonpalliative cancer pain and other cancer-related symptoms. Canadians have a legal framework for access to medical cannabis, which provides a unique perspective in a setting lacking robust clinical evidence. This review seeks to delineate the role of cannabis and cannabinoids in cancer pain management and offers insight into the Canadian practice.
Cannabinoid compounds include phytocannabinoids, endocannabinoids, and synthetics. The two primary phytocannabinoids are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), with CB1 receptors in the brain and peripheral tissue and CB2 receptors in the immune and hematopoietic systems.
Purpose: New regulations are in place at the federal and provincial levels in Canada regarding the way medical cannabis is to be controlled. We present them together with guidance for the safe use of medical cannabis and recent clinical trials on cannabis and pain.