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Cannabinoids and Their Use for Chronic Pain – Cannabinoids as an Alternative to Opioids for Chronic Pain
Current Issue
Volume 3, 2018
Issue 5 (September)
Pages: 72-76   |   Vol. 3, No. 5, September 2018   |   Follow on         
Paper in PDF Downloads: 54   Since Sep. 1, 2018 Views: 212   Since Sep. 1, 2018
Jessica Coleman, Department of Internal Medicine, Ochsner Clinical School, University of Queensland, New Orleans, USA.
Study aim: To determine if the literature supports cannabinoids as an alternative treatment to chronic pain. Background: Chronic pain is a disabling, expensive, and prevalent condition. As one of the leading causes of disability worldwide, the burden on the healthcare system is high. Management normally includes opioids, which come with many risks for the patient. Cannabis, a more recent development in pain management, potentially mitigates the side effects normally accompanying pain management. Methods: A literature review was performed on chronic pain, opioid use, and cannabis. Exclusions included articles not in English and published between 2012-2017. Results: Recent studies have assessed the usefulness of cannabis and cannabinoids in chronic pain. The challenge of the majority of these studies is the small population subset, the varied types of pain analyzed, and general assessment of pain. Although cannabis can provide a route to avoid the chronic use of prescription opioids and reduce the tolerance and withdrawal from these medications, cannabis itself has side effects to be considered. Conclusion: The current opioid epidemic potentially could be remedied by medical cannabis but adverse effects should be adequately identified.
Cannabinoids, Chronic Pain, Analgesics, Opioids
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