Patients and physicians are interested in alternative treatments for chronic pain. Cannabis derivatives, or cannabinoids, including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), may have analgesic properties. This systematic review investigated the benefits and harms of cannabinoids for treating chronic pain. The authors of the accompanying editorial discuss the limitations and strength of the available evidence and share their own advice for engaging with patients interested in using cannabis to treat chronic pain.
- Watch the animated video summarizing the systematic review.
- Review the various cannabinoids and what is known about their potential therapeutic effects, adverse effects, and addiction potential. This In the Clinic review provides useful information.
- Have you cared for patients who use cannabis as therapy for medical conditions? What conditions do your patients use it for? Do patients report benefit?
- Review cannabis-related laws in the state your health system serves. Is medical cannabis legal?
- If medical cannabis is legal in the state your health system serves, how can clinicians refer patients for treatment?
Annals of Internal Medicine is the premier internal medicine academic journal published by the American College of Physicians (ACP). It is one of the most widely cited and influential specialty medical journals in the world.