Cannabis buds and extracts as well as synthetic cannabinoids have been available on prescription to patients with severe diseases since March 2017, with the costs covered by health insurance companies.The prescription of medical marihuana is not restricted to specific symptoms and is therefore also valid for patients with Parkinson’s disease. From a legal perspective, patients who are seriously ill even have the right to be treated with cannabis if standard treatment methods are unsuccessful or result in unbearable side effects. This also applies even if only a slight chance of noticeable improvement is predicted as a result of the cannabis treatment.
Second-Hand Exposure of Staff Administering Vaporised Cannabinoid Products to Patients in a Hospital Setting
In many health settings, administration of medicinal cannabis poses significant implementation barriers including drug storage and safety for administering staff and surrounding patients. Different modes of administration also provide different yet potentially significant issues. One route that has become of clinical interest owing to the rapid onset of action and patient control of the inhaled amount (via breath timing and depth) is that of vaporisation of cannabinoid products. Although requiring a registered therapeutic device for administration, this is a relatively safe method of intrapulmonary administration that may be particularly useful for patients with difficulty swallowing, and for those in whom higher concentrations of cannabinoids are needed quickly. Research results are reassuring for hospital and clinical trial practices with staff administering vaporised cannabinoid products, and helpful to ethics committees wishing to quantify risk.
Cannabinoids appear to possess many potential medical uses, which may extend to pain control. A narrative review of the literature has found a variety of studies testing botanical and synthetic cannabinoids in different pain syndromes (acute pain, cancer pain, chronic noncancer pain, fibromyalgia pain, migraine, neuropathic pain, visceral pain, and others). Results from these studies are mixed; cannabinoids appear to be most effective in controlling neuropathic pain, allodynia, medication-rebound headache, and chronic noncancer pain. A great deal more remains to be elucidated about cannabinoids which may emerge to play an important role in the treatment of neuropathic and possibly other painful conditions. There remains a great deal more to learn about the role of cannabinoids in pain management.
Cannabis Use is Associated with Lower Odds of Prescription Opioid Analgesic Use Among HIV-Infected Individuals with Chronic Pain
We conducted a secondary data analysis of screening interviews conducted as part of a parent randomized trial of financial incentives to improve HIV outcomes among drug users. In a convenience sample of people with HIV and chronic pain, we collected self-report data on demographic characteristics. Our data suggest that new medical cannabis legislation might reduce the need for opioid analgesics for pain management, which could help to address adverse events associated with opioid analgesic use.
A retrospective chart review was performed on patients certified for medical cannabis use for blepharospasm from September 2015 to May 2016. Ten patients were certified for medical cannabis use. Five met the inclusion criteria, which was any patient with a diagnosis of BEB receiving standard botulinum toxin treatment who had started medical cannabis treatment by a registered distributor within the state, and was contactable by phone. Four patients discontinued use. Three out of four patients (75%) reported symptomatic improvement. Medical cannabis is an accepted therapy for muscle spastic disorders.
Cannabis has been used to treat pain for thousands of years. However, since the early part of the 20th century, laws restricting cannabis use have limited its evaluation using modern scientific criteria. Over the last decade, the situation has started to change because of the increased availability of cannabis in the United States for either medical or recreational purposes, making it important to provide the public with accurate information as to the effectiveness of the drug for joint pain among other indications. Preclinical and human data that do exist indicate that the use of cannabis should be taken seriously as a potential treatment of joint pain.
CBD improves cognition in multiple preclinical models of cognitive impairment, including models of neuropsychiatric (schizophrenia), neurodegenerative (Alzheimer’s disease), neuro-inflammatory (meningitis, sepsis and cerebral malaria) and neurological disorders (hepatic encephalopathy and brain ischemia). The efficacy of CBD to improve cognition in schizophrenia cannot be elucidated due to lack of clinical evidence; however, given the ability of CBD to restore cognition in multiple studies of impairment, further investigation into its efficacy in schizophrenia is warranted. Potential mechanisms underlying the efficacy of CBD to improve cognition are discussed.
Addiction remains a major public health concern, and while pharmacotherapies can be effective, clinicians are limited by the paucity of existing interventions. Endocannabinoid signaling is involved in reward and addiction, which raises the possibility that drugs targeting this system could be used to treat substance use disorders. This review discusses findings from randomized controlled trials evaluating cannabinergic medications for addiction. Current evidence suggests that pharmacotherapies containing delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, such as dronabinol and nabiximols, are effective for cannabis withdrawal. Dronabinol may also reduce symptoms of opioid withdrawal. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled “A New Dawn in Cannabinoid Neurobiology”.
Despite its controversial nature, the use of medical marijuana and cannabis-derived medicinal products grows more popular with each passing year. As of November 2016, over 40 states have passed legislation regarding the use of either medical marijuana or cannabidiol products. This review will deliver the history of marijuana use and legislation in the United States in addition to the currently available medical literature to equip pediatric health care providers with resources to provide patients and their parents the best recommendation for safe and appropriate use of cannabis-containing compounds.
Medical marijuana continues to gain acceptance and become legalized in many states. Various species of the marijuana plant have been cultivated, and this plant can contain up to 100 active compounds known as cannabinoids. Two cannabinoids seem the most clinically relevant: Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which tends to produce the psychotropic effects commonly associated with marijuana, and cannabidiol (CBD), which may produce therapeutic effects without appreciable psychoactive properties. Although there is still a need for randomized controlled trials, preliminary studies have suggested that medical marijuana and related cannabinoids may be beneficial in treating people with chronic pain, inflammation, spasticity and other conditions.