Medical use of cannabis in Switzerland: analysis of approved exceptional licences

In recent years, the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) granted exceptional licenses for the medical use of cannabinoids, typically for 6 months with possible extensions. A systematic review of cannabinoids for medical use commissioned by the FOPH supports the use of cannabinoids for the treatment of chronic pain and spasticity. Exceptional licences for medical use of cannabinoids have increased substantially in Switzerland, with the programme including patients with a wide range of conditions.

Understanding Patients’ Process to Use Medical Marijuana: A Southern New Jersey Community Engagement Project

Given the necessity to better understand the process patients need to go through in order to seek treatment via medical marijuana, this study investigates this process to better understand this phenomenon. Specifically, Compassion Care Foundation (CCF) and Stockton University worked together to identify a solution to this problem.
Specifically, 240 new patients at CCF were asked to complete a 1-page survey regarding various aspects associated with their experience prior to their use of medicinal marijuana-diagnosis, what prompted them to seek treatment, level of satisfaction with specific stages in the process, total length of time the process took, and patient’s level of pain.

Pharmacology of Medical Cannabis

The Cannabis plant has been used for many of years as a medicinal agent in the relief of pain and seizures. It contains approximately 540 natural compounds including more than 100 that have been identified as phytocannabinoids due to their shared chemical structure. The legalization of cannabis for medicinal purposes and for recreational use in some regions will allow for much needed research on the pharmacokinetics and pharmocology of medical cannabis. This brief review focuses on the use of cannabis as a medicinal agent in the treatment of pain, epilepsy and neurodegenerative diseases. Despite the paucity of information, attention is paid to the mechanisms by which medical cannabis may act to relieve pain and seizures.

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. As MS symptoms are frequently unremitting and poorly responsive to conventional medical management, recent attention has been given to novel interventions for management of pain. Among these, medicinal cannabis therapy, targeted physical therapy, and neuromodulation offer promising results.

The Clinical Significance of Endocannabinoids in Endometriosis Pain Management

Patients with endometriosis often suffer from diffuse and poorly localized severe pain. The current pain management strategies include medical and hormonal therapy, as well as surgery. Medical management of pain is often insufficient and is associated with high rate of recurrence. Better pain management is therefore of urgent need.
Among the various candidates, the endocannabinoid system (ECS) has recently emerged as a relevant pharmacological target for the management of endometriosis-related pain.

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. The practical clinical pharmacology of cannabis as an analgesic, including the route of administration, safety and pharmacokinetics, are discussed to address the concerns, as well as possible solutions, of cannabis as a pain reliever.

[Medical cannabis: the opportunity versus the temptation]

The cannabis plant has been known to humanity for centuries as a remedy for pain, diarrhea, and inflammation. Current research has shown cannabis to be a useful remedy for many diseases, including multiple sclerosis, dystonia, and chronic pain. Cannabinoids are used to improve food intake in anorexia of AIDS patients and to prevent vomiting due to cancer chemotherapy. In inflammatory conditions cannabinoids improve pain in rheumatoid arthritis and pain and diarrhea in Crohn’s disease.

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 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.

Endocannabinoid System: A Multi-Facet Therapeutic Target

Cannabis sativa is also popularly known as marijuana. It has been cultivated and used by man for recreational and medicinal purposes since many centuries. Study of cannabinoids was at bay for very long time and its therapeutic value could not be adequately harnessed due to its legal status as proscribed drug in most of the countries. Presently, it is known that endocannabinoids has role in pathology of many disorders and they also serve “protective role” in many medical conditions. Several diseases like emesis, pain, inflammation, multiple sclerosis, anorexia, epilepsy, glaucoma, schizophrenia, cardiovascular disorders, cancer, obesity, metabolic syndrome related diseases, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and Tourette’s syndrome could possibly be treated by drugs modulating endocannabinoid system.