Medical cannabis research has become quite extensive, with indications ranging from glaucoma to chemotherapy-induced nausea. Despite increased interest in cannabis’ potential medical uses, research barriers, cannabis legislation, stigma, and lack of dissemination of data contribute to low adoption for some medical populations. Many who support the use of cannabis in palliative care do not recommend it as a treatment. These data suggest recommendations for healthcare providers and palliative care organizations.
Clinical research regarding the therapeutic benefits of cannabis (“marijuana”) has been almost non-existent in the United States since cannabis was given Schedule I status in the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. In order to discover the benefits and adverse effects perceived by medical cannabis patients, especially with regards to chronic pain, we hand-delivered surveys to one hundred consecutive patients who were returning for yearly re-certification for medical cannabis use in Hawai’i. Cannabis has shown extreme promise in the treatment of numerous medical problems and deserves to be released from the current Schedule I federal prohibition against research and prescription.
Neurodegenerative diseases are increasing in parallel to the lengthening of survival. The management of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other dementias, Parkinson’s disease (PD) and PD-related disorders, and motor neuron diseases (MND), is mainly targeted to motor and cognitive impairment, with special care for vital functions such as breathing and feeding. Emerging evidences on the possible anti-nociceptive effects of cannabis or botulinum toxin might be available soon. Expert commentary: Pain needs to be better evaluated and fully considered in the global management of neurodegenerative disease because a more focused treatment may have a positive impact on the global burden of these devastating disorders.
The onset of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in children is rising. Current treatment options are based on immunomodulatory therapy. Alternative treatment options are upcoming since they appear to be effective in individual patients. More research is needed on the efficacy and safety of cannabis in pediatric IBD. Studies are well underway, but until then the use of cannabis in pediatric IBD cannot be recommended.
Cannabinoid compounds include phytocannabinoids, endocannabinoids, and synthetics. The two primary phytocannabinoids are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), with CB1 receptors in the brain and peripheral tissue and CB2 receptors in the immune and hematopoietic systems. Gold standard clinical trials are limited; however, some studies have thus far shown evidence to support the use of cannabinoids for some cancer, neuropathic, spasticity, acute pain, and chronic pain conditions.
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. We must not be blind to the opportunity offered to us by medical cannabis just because it is an illicit drug, nor should we be temped by the quick response of patients to the central effect of cannabis. More research is warranted to explore the full potential of cannabis as medicine.
Cannabis has been used to treat pain for thousands of years. However, since the early part of the 20th century, laws restricting cannabis use have limited its evaluation using modern scientific criteria. Over the last decade, the situation has started to change because of the increased availability of cannabis in the United States for either medical or recreational purposes, making it important to provide the public with accurate information as to the effectiveness of the drug for joint pain among other indications.
Preferences for Medical Marijuana over Prescription Medications Among Persons Living with Chronic Conditions: Alternative, Complementary, and Tapering Uses
Despite expanded legalization and utilization of medical cannabis (MC) internationally, there is a lack of patient-centered data on how MC is used by persons living with chronic conditions in tandem with or instead of prescription medications. This study describes approaches to use of MC vis-à-vis prescription medications in the treatment of selected chronic conditions. MC appears to serve as both a complementary method for symptom management and treatment of medication side-effects associated with certain chronic conditions, and as an alternative method for treatment of pain, seizures, and inflammation in this population.
Preliminary evaluation of the efficacy, safety, and costs associated with the treatment of chronic pain with medical cannabis
Medical cannabis (MC) is commonly claimed to be an effective treatment for chronic or refractory pain. With interest in MC in the United States growing, as evidenced by the 29 states and 3 US districts that now have public MC programs, the need for clinical evidence supporting this claim has never been greater. After 3 months treatment, MC improved quality of life, reduced pain and opioid use, and lead to cost savings. Large randomized clinical trials are warranted to further evaluate the role of MC in the treatment of chronic pain.
Cannabis (marijuana) is undergoing extensive regulatory review in many global jurisdictions for medical and non-medical access. Medical and non-medical cannabis use among athletes reflects changing societal and cultural norms and experiences. Although cannabis use is more prevalent in some athletes engaged in high-risk sports, there is no direct evidence of performance-enhancing effects in athletes. The potential beneficial effects of cannabis as part of a pain management protocol, including reducing concussion-related symptoms, deserve further attention.