Insufficient management of cancer-associated chronic and neuropathic pain adversely affects patient quality of life. Patients who do not respond well to opioid analgesics, or have severe side effects from the use of traditional analgesics are in need of alternative therapeutic op-tions.
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.
What Cancer Patients Actually Know Regarding Medical Cannabis? A Cross-Sectional Survey With a Critical Analysis of the Current Attitudes
Background: In Italy medical cannabis is a prescription drug since 1998. Even though it could not be considered a therapy as such, it is indicated as a symptomatic treatment also in cancer patients, to cure iatrogenic nausea/vomiting and chronic pain.
Cannabis (marijuana) is undergoing extensive regulatory review in many global jurisdictions for medical and nonmedical access. Cannabis has potential impact on the health of athletes as well as on performance in both training and in competition
There are conflicting interpretations of the evidence regarding the efficacy, tolerability, and safety of cannabinoids in pain management and palliative medicine.
Medical cannabis is increasingly used as a treatment or adjunct treatment with different levels of efficacy in several neurological disorders or related symptoms (such as multiple sclerosis, autism, Parkinson and Alzheimer disease, Tourette’s syndrome, Huntington’s disease, neuropathic pain, epilepsy, headache), as well as in other medical conditions (e.g. nausea and vomiting, glaucoma, appetite stimulation, cancer, inflammatory conditions, asthma).
Cannabis sativa has long been used for medicinal purposes. To improve safety and efficacy, compounds from C. sativa were purified or synthesized and named under an umbrella group as cannabinoids. Currently, several cannabinoids may be prescribed in Canada for a variety of indications such as nausea and pain.
This review illustrates some brief considerations of the medical use of cannabis recently issued in Italy. History and uses of cannabis throughout centuries and different countries are illustrated together with a description of botany and active phytocannabinoids.
The policies and practices related to medical cannabis are currently in flux. These changes have been associated with many controversies, and there is a lack of consensus within the medical community regarding medical cannabis practices.
The aim of this review is to discuss cannabinoids from a preclinical and clinical oncological perspective and provide the audience with a concise, retrospective overview of the most significant findings concerning the potential use of cannabinoids in cancer treatment. A large number of cannabinoid compounds have been discovered, developed, and used to study the effects of cannabinoids on cancers in model systems. However, few clinical trials have been conducted on the use of cannabinoids in the treatment of cancers in humans. Further studies require extensive monitoring of the effects of cannabinoids alone or in combination with standard anticancer strategies. With such knowledge, cannabinoids could become a therapy of choice in contemporary oncology.