Cannabis for Chronic Pain: Challenges and Considerations.

Link to article at PubMed

Cannabis for Chronic Pain: Challenges and Considerations.

Pharmacotherapy. 2018 Apr 10;:

Authors: Romero-Sandoval EA, Fincham JE, Kolano AL, Sharpe B, Alvarado-Vázquez PA

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has found substantial evidence that cannabis (plant) is effective for the treatment of chronic pain in adults, and moderate evidence that oromucosal cannabinoids (extracts, especially nabiximols) improve short-term sleep disturbances in chronic pain. The paradoxical superiority of the cannabis plant over cannabinoid molecules represents a challenge for the medical community and the established processes that define modern pharmacy. The expanding and variable legalization of cannabis in multiple states nationwide represents an additional challenge for patients and the medical community because recreational and medicinal cannabis are irresponsibly overlapped. Cannabis designed for recreational use (containing high levels of active ingredients) is increasingly available to patients with chronic pain who do not find relief with current pharmacologic entities, which exposes patients to potential harm. This article analyzes the available scientific evidence to address controversial questions that the current state of cannabis poses for health-care professionals and chronic pain patients, and sets the basis for a more open discussion about the role of cannabis in modern medicine for pain management. A critical discussion on these points, the legal status of cannabis, and considerations for healthcare providers is presented. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

PMID: 29637590 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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