December, 2020

  • Interest in the use of Cannabis and cannabinoids to treat chronic pain is growing. The desire to reduce opioid use is leading patients with chronic pain to seek other treatment options, including medical Cannabis.
  • The endocannabinoid system modulates pain through the activation of cannabinoid (CB) receptors. Activation of CB1 receptors influences pain perception and inflammation. It also has CNS effects on behavior, memory, and appetite. CB2 receptors play a role in slowing down inflammatory processes and modulating chronic pain.
  • Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is the main component of Cannabis that provides pain relief. Cannabidiol (CBD) has pain and inflammation reducing proerties; however, there is little clinical evidence supporting its use alone for treatment of chronic pain conditions.
  • The types of chronic pain that may benefit from the use of Cannabis are chronic non-cancer pain, neuropathy, fibromyalgia, and refractory pain due to multiple sclerosis.
  • When helping patients with Cannabis use, providers are encouraged to use conservative doses and consider individual patient factors, including potential drug interactions.

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