Synthetic Cannabinoids - Chronic Pain Treatment | cannabisMD

Synthetic Cannabinoids for Chronic Pain Treatment in Cancer Patients

Synthetic Cannabinoids for Chronic Pain

Cannabinoids are a collection of compounds that are situated in the marijuana plant (cannabis sativa). Cannabidiol (CBD) is the main chemical within the cannabis plant and it is said by the wide scientific company that it has anti inflammatory effects when induced into animal cells. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is another one of these chemicals and it is said to have a psychotropic effect. Cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) are located in the endocannabinoid system and gives cannabinoids power to bind and thrive in the body. This paper will look at synthetic cannabinoids and their role in the treatment of chronic pain with people with cancer.

Here is the full scientific article if you wish to download it.

Main Points

  • Synthetic cannabinoids can have a therapeutic effect
  • Synthetic cannabinoids can be a good ‘add-on’ drug to cancer patients

Synthetic cannabinoids can have a therapeutic effect

Patients with severe cancer who have pain syndromes that responds poorly to opioid therapy pose a clinical challenge. Nabiximols, a synthetic cannabinoid, is undergoing investigation as a long term therapy for cancer patients with acute pain, nausea and vomiting. In an experiment, patients with developed cancer were treated with nabiximols at a low dose (1–4 sprays/day), medium dose (6–10 sprays/day), or high dose (11–16 sprays/day). The method in this experiment: Average pain, worst pain and sleep disruption were measured daily during 5 weeks of treatment; other questionnaires measured quality of life and mood. A total of 360 patients were randomized; 263 completed.. Adverse events were dose-related and only the high-dose group was not effective. This experiment supports the effectiveness and safety of nabiximols at the lower-dose levels and gives us important dose information for future trials. Nabiximols, a novel cannabinoid formulation, may be a useful add-on therapeutic for patients with chronic neuropathic pain.

Synthetic cannabinoids can be a good ‘add-on’ drug to cancer patients

The realising that nabiximols have a therapeutic effectiveness as add-on drug for pain from severe cancer that is poorly responsive to opioid therapy has great potential clinical relevance. Although numerous therapeutic strategies exist, such as opioid rotation, better side effect management, and the use of nonpharmacological approaches, the simplest and most acceptable treatment may be the addition of another drug capable of providing additive benefit to the opioid. The availability of a novel agent for which there is high quality evidence of effectiveness and safety would be a major breakthrough. Based on the conclusion of this experiment, nabiximols in a manageable dose range may prove to offer advantages to people with refractory pain. Clinical trials have confirmed the therapeutic effectiveness of a cannabinoid as a drug for pain related to severe cancer may give scientists an opportunity to address a significant clinical challenge.

Jonathan Neilly
Jonathan Neilly
Jonathan Neilly is registered with the British Psychological Society, breaking the taboo on mental health issues is one of the driving forces in his life. His background in biomedicine gives him additional understanding of the factors that work together to influence the human condition.

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