Medical Cannabis: A Review from the American Society of Pain and Neuroscience

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“Cannabinoids have recently gained a renewed interest due to their potential applicability to various medical conditions, specifically the management of chronic pain conditions.

Unlike many other medications, medical cannabis is not associated with serious adverse events, and no overdose deaths have been reported.

However, both safety and efficacy data for medical cannabis treatment of chronic, nonmalignant pain conditions are lacking. Therefore, representatives from the American Society of Pain and Neuroscience summarize the evidence, according to level and grade, for medical cannabis treatment of several different pain conditions. Treatment of cancer-related pain has prospective evidentiary support for the use of medical cannabis. Although 3 large and well-designed randomized controlled trials investigated cannabis treatment of cancer-related pain, the evidence yielded only a grade D recommendation. Neuropathic pain has been investigated in prospective studies, but a lack of high-quality evidence renders cannabis treatment for this indication a grade C recommendation. Both safety and efficacy data are lacking for use of medical cannabis to treat chronic nonmalignant pain conditions.”

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