Applications of Cannabinoids in Neuropathic Pain: An Updated Review

Crit Rev Ther Drug Carrier Syst. 2024;41(1):1-33. doi: 10.1615/CritRevTherDrugCarrierSyst.2022038592.


Neuropathic pain is experienced due to injury to the nerves, underlying disease conditions or toxicity induced by chemotherapeutics. Multiple factors can contribute to neuropathic pain such as central nervous system (CNS)-related autoimmune and metabolic disorders, nerve injury, multiple sclerosis and diabetes. Hence, development of pharmacological interventions to reduce the drawbacks of existing chemotherapeutics and counter neuropathic pain is an urgent unmet clinical need. Cannabinoid treatment has been reported to be beneficial for several disease conditions including neuropathic pain. Cannabinoids act by inhibiting the release of neurotransmitters from presynaptic nerve endings, modulating the excitation of postsynaptic neurons, activating descending inhibitory pain pathways, reducing neural inflammation and oxidative stress and also correcting autophagy defects. This review provides insights on the various preclinical and clinical therapeutic applications of cannabidiol (CBD), cannabigerol (CBG), and cannabinol (CBN) in various diseases and the ongoing clinical trials for the treatment of chronic and acute pain with cannabinoids. Pharmacological and genetic experimental strategies have well demonstrated the potential neuroprotective effects of cannabinoids and also elaborated their mechanism of action for the therapy of neuropathic pain.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Pain* / drug therapy
  • Cannabidiol* / pharmacology
  • Cannabidiol* / therapeutic use
  • Cannabinoids* / pharmacology
  • Cannabinoids* / therapeutic use
  • Cannabinol / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Neuralgia* / drug therapy


  • Cannabinoids
  • Cannabidiol
  • Cannabinol