Chronic pain is a common complaint among patients, and rheumatic diseases are a common cause for chronic pain. Current pharmacological interventions for chronic pain are not always useful or safe enough for long-term use. Cannabis and cannabinoids are currently being studied due to their potential as analgesics. In this review we will discuss current literature regarding cannabinoids and cannabis as treatment for rheumatic diseases. Fibromyalgia is a prevalent rheumatic disease that causes diffuse pain, fatigue, and sleep disturbances. Treatment of this syndrome is symptomatic, and it has been suggested that cannabis and cannabinoids could potentially alleviate some of the symptoms associated with fibromyalgia. In this review we cite some of the evidence that supports this claim. However, data on long-term efficacy and safety of cannabinoid and cannabis use are still lacking. Cannabinoids and cannabis are commonly investigated as analgesic agents, but in recent years more evidence has accumulated on their potential immune-modulatory effect, supported by results in animal models of certain rheumatic diseases. While results that demonstrate the same effect in humans are still lacking, cannabinoids and cannabis remain potential drugs to alleviate the pain associated with rheumatic diseases, as they were shown to be safe and to cause limited adverse effects.
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Efficacy, Tolerability and Safety of Cannabinoids in Chronic Pain Associated With Rheumatic Diseases (Fibromyalgia Syndrome, Back Pain, Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis): A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled TrialsMA Fitzcharles et al. Schmerz 30 (1), 47-61. PMID 26767993. - ReviewCurrently, there is insufficient evidence for recommendation for any cannabinoid preparations for symptom management in patients with chronic pain associated with rheumat …
Efficacy, Tolerability, and Safety of Cannabinoid Treatments in the Rheumatic Diseases: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled TrialsMA Fitzcharles et al. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken) 68 (5), 681-8. PMID 26548380. - ReviewExtremely small sample sizes, short study duration, heterogeneity of rheumatic conditions and products, and absence of studies of herbal cannabis allow for only limited c …
Cannabinoids for FibromyalgiaB Walitt et al. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 7 (7), CD011694. PMID 27428009. - ReviewWe found no convincing, unbiased, high quality evidence suggesting that nabilone is of value in treating people with fibromyalgia. The tolerability of nabilone was low in …
Cannabinoids in the Treatment of Rheumatic Diseases: Pros and ConsP Sarzi-Puttini et al. Autoimmun Rev 18 (12), 102409. PMID 31648042. - ReviewMedical cannabis is being increasingly used in the treatment of rheumatic diseases because, despite the paucity of evidence regarding its safety and efficacy, a growing n …
Cannabinoids and Pain: New Insights From Old MoleculesS Vučković et al. Front Pharmacol 9, 1259. PMID 30542280. - ReviewCannabis has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. The prohibition of cannabis in the middle of the 20th century has arrested cannabis research. In rec …