Cannabis has been widely used as a medicinal agent in Eastern medicine with earliest evidence in ancient Chinese practice dating back to 2700 BC. Over time, the use of medical cannabis has been increasingly adopted by Western medicine and is thus a rapidly emerging field that all pain physicians need to be aware of.
Background: In Italy medical cannabis is a prescription drug since 1998. Even though it could not be considered a therapy as such, it is indicated as a symptomatic treatment also in cancer patients, to cure iatrogenic nausea/vomiting and chronic pain.
Cannabis (marijuana) is undergoing extensive regulatory review in many global jurisdictions for medical and nonmedical access. Cannabis has potential impact on the health of athletes as well as on performance in both training and in competition
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There are conflicting interpretations of the evidence regarding the efficacy, tolerability, and safety of cannabinoids in pain management and palliative medicine.
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Pain in cancer therapy is a common condition and there is a need for new options in therapeutic management. While phytochemicals have been proposed as one pain management solution, knowledge of their utility is limited. The objective of this study was to perform a systematic review of the biomedical literature for the use of phytochemicals for management of cancer therapy pain in human subjects. The average relative risk of phytochemical versus control was 1.03 [95% CI 0.59 to 2.06]. In other words (although not statistically significant), patients treated with phytochemicals were slightly more likely than patients treated with control to obtain successful management of pain in cancer therapy.
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Marijuana has been proposed as treatment for a widening spectrum of medical conditions. Marijuana is a substance with many properties that may be applicable to the management of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). These include analgesia, muscle relaxation, bronchodilation, saliva reduction, appetite stimulation, and sleep induction.
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