Pharmacology of Medical Cannabis

The Cannabis plant has been used for many of years as a medicinal agent in the relief of pain and seizures. It contains approximately 540 natural compounds including more than 100 that have been identified as phytocannabinoids due to their shared chemical structure. The legalization of cannabis for medicinal purposes and for recreational use in some regions will allow for much needed research on the pharmacokinetics and pharmocology of medical cannabis. This brief review focuses on the use of cannabis as a medicinal agent in the treatment of pain, epilepsy and neurodegenerative diseases. Despite the paucity of information, attention is paid to the mechanisms by which medical cannabis may act to relieve pain and seizures.

Advances in the Understanding and Management of Chronic Pain in Multiple Sclerosis: a Comprehensive Review

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disorder of the central nervous system that can lead to severe physical, cognitive, and neurological deficits that often manifest in young adults. Central neuropathic pain is a common presenting symptom, often prompting patients to seek treatment with opioids, NSAIDS, antiepileptics, and antidepressants despite minimal effectiveness and alarming side-effect profiles. Additionally, spasticity occurs in more than 80% of MS patients and is an important consideration for further study in treatment. As MS symptoms are frequently unremitting and poorly responsive to conventional medical management, recent attention has been given to novel interventions for management of pain. Among these, medicinal cannabis therapy, targeted physical therapy, and neuromodulation offer promising results.

The Clinical Significance of Endocannabinoids in Endometriosis Pain Management

Patients with endometriosis often suffer from diffuse and poorly localized severe pain. The current pain management strategies include medical and hormonal therapy, as well as surgery. Medical management of pain is often insufficient and is associated with high rate of recurrence. Better pain management is therefore of urgent need.
Among the various candidates, the endocannabinoid system (ECS) has recently emerged as a relevant pharmacological target for the management of endometriosis-related pain.

Perspectives on cannabis as a substitute for opioid analgesics

With the opioid epidemic reaching new heights in the USA, it has become critical to find suitable alternatives to opioids. Cannabis, an antinociceptive, is a strong contender to help patients reduce their opioid usage. The practical clinical pharmacology of cannabis as an analgesic, including the route of administration, safety and pharmacokinetics, are discussed to address the concerns, as well as possible solutions, of cannabis as a pain reliever.

[Medical cannabis: the opportunity versus the temptation]

The cannabis plant has been known to humanity for centuries as a remedy for pain, diarrhea, and inflammation. Current research has shown cannabis to be a useful remedy for many diseases, including multiple sclerosis, dystonia, and chronic pain. Cannabinoids are used to improve food intake in anorexia of AIDS patients and to prevent vomiting due to cancer chemotherapy. In inflammatory conditions cannabinoids improve pain in rheumatoid arthritis and pain and diarrhea in Crohn’s disease.