Cannabis-based medicines for chronic pain management: current and future prospects

The medicinal use of cannabis has recently become the focus of much medical, as well as political, attention. The endocannabinoid system is undoubtedly a new and exciting pharmaceutical target for chronic pain management, but transition from preclinical to clinical studies has so far proved difficult. Although it is reasonable to consider cannabinoids for otherwise unresponsive pain, care should be taken in frail clinical populations. As this has become a socioeconomic and political issue in which agendas often take precedence over due diligence, there is a pressing need for unbiased empirical data and high quality evidence to better inform prescribers and patients.

Cannabis and intractable chronic pain: an explorative retrospective analysis of Italian cohort of 614 patients

Despite growing interest in the therapeutic use of cannabis to manage chronic pain, only limited data that address these issues are available. In recent years, a number of nations have introduced specific laws to allow patients to use cannabis preparations to treat a variety of medical conditions. In 2015, the Italian government authorized the use of cannabis to treat several diseases, including chronic pain generally, spasticity in multiple sclerosis, cachexia and anorexia among AIDS and cancer patients, glaucoma, Tourette syndrome, and certain types of epilepsy. We present the first snapshot of the Italian experience with cannabis use for chronic pain over the initial year of its use.

Pharmacotherapeutic considerations for use of cannabinoids to relieve pain in patients with malignant diseases

The aim of this review was to assess the efficacy of cannabis preparations for relieving pain in patients with malignant diseases, through a systematic review of randomized controlled trials (RCTs), which were predominantly double-blind trials that compared cannabis preparation to a placebo. Fifteen of the 18 trials demonstrated a significant analgesic effect of cannabinoids as compared to placebo. The most commonly reported adverse effects were generally well tolerated, mild to moderate. There is evidence that cannabinoids are safe and modestly effective in neuropathic pain and also for relieving pain in patients with malignant diseases.

Medical Cannabis for Older Patients

Interest in the medicinal use of cannabis and cannabinoids is mounting worldwide. Fueled by enthusiastic media coverage, patients perceive cannabinoids as a natural remedy for many symptoms. Cannabinoid use is of particular interest for older individuals who may experience symptoms such as chronic pain, sleep disturbance, cancer-related symptoms and mood disorders, all of which are often poorly controlled by current drug treatments that may also incur medication-induced side effects

Medicinal Cannabis: A Survey Among Health Care Providers in Washington State

Washington State allows marijuana use for medical (since 1998) and recreational (since 2012) purposes. The benefits of medicinal cannabis (MC) can be maximized if clinicians educate patients about dosing, routes of administration, side effects, and plant composition. However, little is known about clinicians’ knowledge and practices in Washington State. The potential of MCs to benefit some patients is hindered by the lack of comfort of clinicians to recommend it. Training opportunities are badly needed to address these issues.

The prescription of medical cannabis by a transitional pain service to wean a patient with complex pain from opioid use following liver transplantation: a case report

The purpose of this case report is to describe a patient with a preoperative complex pain syndrome who underwent liver transplantation and was able to reduce his opioid consumption significantly following the initiation of treatment with medical cannabis. Reductions in opioid consumption were achieved with the administration of medical cannabis in a patient with acute postoperative pain superimposed on a chronic pain syndrome and receiving high doses of opioids. Concurrent benefits of initiating medical cannabis may include improvements in pain profile and functional status along with reductions in opioid-related side effects. This highlights the potential for medical cannabis as an adjunct medication for weaning patients from opioid use.

Safety and Efficacy of Medical Cannabis in Fibromyalgia

Chronic pain may be treated by medical cannabis. Yet, there is scarce evidence to support the role of medical cannabis in the treatment of fibromyalgia. The aim of the study was to investigate the characteristics, safety, and effectiveness of medical cannabis therapy for fibromyalgia. Medical cannabis appears to be a safe and effective alternative for the treatment of fibromyalgia symptoms. Standardization of treatment compounds and regimens are required.

Cannabis, pain, and sleep: lessons from therapeutic clinical trials of Sativex, a cannabis-based medicine

Cannabis sativa L. has been utilized for treatment of pain and sleep disorders since ancient times. This review examines modern studies on effects of Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) on sleep. It goes on to report new information on the effects on sleep in the context of medical treatment of neuropathic pain and symptoms of multiple sclerosis, employing standardized oromucosal cannabis-based medicines containing primarily THC, CBD, or a 1 : 1 combination of the two (Sativex).

Medical cannabis for chronic pain: can it make a difference in pain management?

Globally, chronic pain is a major therapeutic challenge and affects more than 15% of the population. As patients with painful terminal diseases may face unbearable pain, there is a need for more potent analgesics. Although opioid-based therapeutic agents received attention to manage severe pain, their adverse drug effects and mortality rate associated with opioids overdose are the major concerns. Evidences from clinical trials showed therapeutic benefits of cannabis, especially delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabinoids reduced neuropathic pain intensity in various conditions.