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.

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.

US Veterinarians’ Knowledge, Experience, and Perception Regarding the Use of Cannabidiol for Canine Medical Conditions

Due to the myriad of laws concerning cannabis, there is little empirical research regarding the veterinary use of cannabidiol (CBD). This study used the Veterinary Information Network (VIN) to gauge US veterinarians’ knowledge level, views and experiences related to the use of cannabinoids in the medical treatment of dogs. Overall, CBD was most frequently discussed as a potential treatment for pain management, anxiety and seizures.

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. A growing literature has been examining the complex effects cannabis has on pain relief and on opioid usage; whether it is a substitute for opioids or increases their use.

Perceived Efficacy of Medical Cannabis in the Treatment of Co-Occurring Health-Related Quality of Life Symptoms

For persons living with chronic conditions, health-related quality of life (HRQoL) symptoms, such as pain, anxiety, depression, and insomnia, often interact and mutually reinforce one another. There is evidence that medical cannabis (MC) may be efficacious in ameliorating such symptoms and improving HRQoL. As many of these HRQoL symptoms may mutually reinforce one another, we conducted an exploratory study to investigate how MC users perceive the efficacy of MC in addressing co-occurring HRQoL symptoms. Our results suggest that co-occurring pain, anxiety, and depression may be particularly amenable to treatment with MC.

Therapeutic potential of medicinal marijuana: an educational primer for health care professionals

This review is particularly important for primary care physicians whose patients may be interested in using as an alternative therapy. In response to increased interest in medicinal marijuana (MM), Health Canada released a document in 2013 for general practitioners (GPs) as an educational tool on the efficacy of MM in treating some chronic and acute conditions. The purpose of this paper is to offer physicians an educational tool that provides a necessary, evidence-based analysis of the therapeutic potential of MM and to ensure physicians are making decisions on the therapeutic use of MM in good faith.

Cannabidiol (CBD) Is a Novel Inhibitor for Exosome and Microvesicle (EMV) Release in Cancer

Exosomes and microvesicles (EMV) are lipid bilayer-enclosed structures, released by cells and involved in intercellular communication through transfer of proteins and genetic material. EMV release is also associated with various pathologies, including cancer, where increased EMV release is amongst other associated with chemo-resistance and active transfer of pro-oncogenic factors. Recent studies show that EMV-inhibiting agents can sensitize cancer cells to chemotherapeutic agents and reduce cancer growth in vivo. Cannabidiol (CBD), a phytocannabinoid derived from Cannabis sativa, has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, and displays anti-proliferative activity.

A Cross-sectional Survey of Health Professionals’ Attitudes toward Medicinal Cannabis Use as Part of Cancer Management

This study aimed to evaluate the attitudes of health professionals toward the use of medicinal cannabis as part of the management of patients with cancer. A prospective, cross-sectional study was conducted using an anonymous survey, emailed out to health professionals at a public metropolitan hospital in Australia. The results show that health professionals feel insufficiently informed about access to, and use of, medicinal cannabis as part of cancer management. More information and education are required for health professionals to consider medicinal cannabis as part of care provided to their patients with cancer.

Medical marijuana use in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma patients treated with radiotherapy

The purpose of the study was to better understand why patients with history of head and neck cancer (HNC) treated with radiotherapy are using medical marijuana (MM). Established HNC quality of life questionnaires and our own MM quality of life questionnaire were sent to 15 HNC patients treated at our institution who reported using MM. Patients are clinically disease free and currently using MM to manage long-term side effects after curative HNC treatment. HNC patients report MM use to help with long-term side effects of radiotherapy.