To analyze available data related to the use of cannabinoids in medicine, with a special focus on pain management in cancer. The use of cannabis for medical purposes is growing but there are still numerous questions to be solved: effectiveness, safety, and specific indications. The endocannabinoid system is a potential therapeutic target. Cannabinoids may be considered as potential adjuvant in cancer-related pain management. Cannabidiol appears to be the drug of choice. Analgesic trial designs should evolve to get closer to real-life practice and to avoid biases.
Lately, the number of people using marijuana in the USA has dramatically increased. In 2018, many states have legalized marijuana use for both medical and recreational purposes, thus exploring the evidence behind medical marijuana use became essential. Many countries started to allow medicinal use of marijuana due to its beneficial effect in managing chronic pain, spasticity symptoms in multiple sclerosis, obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, fibromyalgia, and posttraumatic stress disorder. But literature lacks benefit-harm analysis for marijuana usage in medicine.
Cannabinoids have been used for hundred of years for medical purposes. To day, the cannabinoid delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and the cannabis extract nabiximols are approved for the treatment of nausea, anorexia and spasticity, respectively. In Tourette syndrome (TS) several anecdotal reports provided evidence that marijuana might be effective not only in the suppression of tics, but also in the treatment of associated behavioural problems.
Cannabis is a useful botanical with a wide range of therapeutic potential. Global prohibition over the past century has impeded the ability to study the plant as medicine. However, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has been developed as a stand-alone pharmaceutical initially approved for the treatment of chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting in 1986. The indication was expanded in 1992 to include treatment of anorexia in patients with the AIDS wasting syndrome.
Medicinal cannabis is an invaluable adjunct therapy for pain relief, nausea, anorexia, and mood modification in cancer patients and is available as cookies or cakes, as sublingual drops, as a vaporized mist, or for smoking. The objective of this study was to identify the safest way of using medicinal cannabis in immunosuppressed patients by finding the optimal method of sterilization with minimal loss of activity of cannabis.
Cannabis-based medications have been a topic of intense study since the endogenous cannabinoid system was discovered two decades ago. In 2011, for the first time, a cannabis extract was approved for clinical use in Germany. In Germany, a cannabis extract was approved in 2011 for the treatment of moderate to severe refractory spasticity in multiple sclerosis. It is commonly used off label for the treatment of anorexia, nausea, and neuropathic pain. Patients can also apply for government permission to buy medicinal cannabis flowers for self-treatment under medical supervision.
“Cannabinoid” is the collective term for a group of chemical compounds that either are derived from the Cannabis plant, are synthetic analogues, or occur endogenously. Although cannabinoids interact mostly at the level of the currently recognized cannabinoid receptors, they might have cross reactivity, such as at opioid receptors. Patients with malignant disease represent a cohort within health care that have some of the greatest unmet needs despite the availability of a plethora of guideline-driven disease-modulating treatments and pain and symptom management options
Unlike hospice, long-term drug safety is an important issue in palliative medicine. Opioids may produce significant morbidity. Cannabis is a safer alternative with broad applicability for palliative care. Yet the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) classifies cannabis as Schedule I (dangerous, without medical uses). Dronabinol, a Schedule III prescription drug, is 100% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the most psychoactive ingredient in cannabis.
Modulating the endocannabinoid pathway as treatment for peripheral neuropathic pain: a selected review of preclinical studies
Chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain is a distressing and commonly occurring side effect of many commonly used chemotherapeutic agents, which in some cases may prevent cancer patients from being able to complete their treatment. Cannabinoid based therapies have the potential to manage or even prevent pain associated with this syndrome.
Legal access to marijuana, most frequently as “medical marijuana,” is becoming more common in the United States, but most states do not specify sickle cell disease as a qualifying condition. Our findings and those of others create a rationale for research into the possible therapeutic effects of marijuana or cannabinoids, the presumed active constituents of marijuana, in sickle cell disease. Explicit inclusion of sickle cell disease as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana might reduce illicit marijuana use and related risks and costs to both persons living with sickle cell disease and society.