Cannabis has been widely used as a medicinal agent in Eastern medicine with earliest evidence in ancient Chinese practice dating back to 2700 BC. Over time, the use of medical cannabis has been increasingly adopted by Western medicine and is thus a rapidly emerging field that all pain physicians need to be aware of. While significant preclinical data have demonstrated the potential therapeutic benefits of cannabis for treating pain in osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and cancer, further studies are needed with randomized controlled trials and larger study populations to identify the specific strains and concentrations that will work best with selected coho.
Patterns of medicinal cannabis use, strain analysis, and substitution effect among patients with migraine, headache, arthritis, and chronic pain in a medicinal cannabis cohort
Medicinal cannabis registries typically report pain as the most common reason for use. It would be clinically useful to identify patterns of cannabis treatment in migraine and headache, as compared to arthritis and chronic pain, and to analyze preferred cannabis strains, biochemical profiles, and prescription medication substitutions with cannabis. Prospective studies are needed, but results may provide early insight into optimizing crossbred cannabis strains, synergistic biochemical profiles, dosing, and patterns of use in the treatment of headache, migraine, and chronic pain syndromes.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain syndrome, characterized by chronic musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and mood disturbances. There are nearly no data on the effect of medical cannabis (MC) treatment on patients with fibromyalgia. Data were obtained from the registries of 2 hospitals in Israel (Laniado Hospital and Nazareth Hospital) on patients with a diagnosis of fibromyalgia who were treated with MC. Medical cannabis treatment had a significant favorable effect on patients with fibromyalgia, with few adverse effects.
Preliminary evaluation of the efficacy, safety, and costs associated with the treatment of chronic pain with medical cannabis
Medical cannabis (MC) is commonly claimed to be an effective treatment for chronic or refractory pain. With interest in MC in the United States growing, as evidenced by the 29 states and 3 US districts that now have public MC programs, the need for clinical evidence supporting this claim has never been greater. This was a retrospective, mirror-image study that investigated MC’s effectiveness in patients suffering from chronic pain associated with qualifying conditions for MC in New York State. After 3 months treatment, MC improved quality of life, reduced pain and opioid use, and lead to cost savings. Large randomized clinical trials are warranted to further evaluate the role of MC in the treatment of chronic pain.
Health Authorities Data Collection of THC:CBD Oromucosal Spray (L’Agenzia Italiana del Farmaco Web Registry): Figures after 1.5 Years
In Italy, all prescriptions for THC:CBD oromucosal spray for treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS) spasticity are linked to the official Agenzia Italiana del Farmaco (AIFA) web-based registry, which tracks the effectiveness and tolerability of medications in a prospective and observational manner. The results of the AIFA e-registry analysis align with those of other THC:CBD observational projects and reaffirm the characteristics of this therapeutic option in the management of treatment-resistant MS spasticity, a frequently overlooked symptom.
Cannabis sativa L. preparations have been used in medicine for millenia. However, concern over the dangers of abuse led to the banning of the medicinal use of marijuana in most countries in the 1930s. Only recently, marijuana and individual natural and synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists and antagonists, as well as chemically related compounds, whose mechanism of action is still obscure, have come back to being considered of therapeutic value. Numerous diseases, such as anorexia, emesis, pain, inflammation, multiple sclerosis, neurodegenerative disorders (Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Tourette’s syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease), epilepsy, glaucoma, osteoporosis, schizophrenia, cardiovascular disorders, cancer, obesity, and metabolic syndrome-related disorders, to name just a few, are being treated or have the potential to be treated by cannabinoid agonists/antagonists/cannabinoid-related compounds.
Recently, many countries have enacted new cannabis policies, including decriminalization of cannabis possession as well as legalization of medical and recreational cannabis. In this context, patients and their physicians have had an increasing number of conversations about the risks and benefits of cannabis. As the number of patient requests for medical cannabis has been increasing, physicians must become knowledgeable on the science of medical cannabis and open to a discussion about why the patient feels that medical cannabis may be helpful.
Cannabis species have been used as medicine for thousands of years; only since the 1940s has the plant not been widely available for medical use. However, an increasing number of jurisdictions are making it possible for patients to obtain the botanical for medicinal use. Despite an absence of clinical trials, abundant anecdotal reports that describe patients having remarkable responses to cannabis as an anticancer agent, especially when taken as a high-potency orally ingested concentrate, are circulating.
In the early stages, prostate cancer is androgen‑ dependent; therefore, medical castration has shown significant results during the initial stages of this pathology. Despite this early effect, advanced prostate cancer is resilient to such treatment. Recent evidence shows that derivatives of Cannabis sativa and its analogs may exert a protective effect against different types of oncologic pathologies. Based on these results, we suggest that endocannabinoids may be a beneficial option for the treatment of prostate cancer that has become nonresponsive to common therapies.
Treatment-refractory epilepsy remains an important clinical problem. There is considerable recent interest by the public and physicians in using medical marijuana or its derivatives to treat seizures. The endocannabinoid system has a role in neuronal balance and ictal control. There is clinical evidence of success in diminishing seizure frequencies with cannabis derivatives, but also documentation about exacerbating epilepsy or of no discernible effect.