August 23, 2022

Comparing Cannabis-Based Products for Chronic Pain

The Annals of Internal Medicine recently published a systematic review of 18 placebo-controlled trials and seven cohort studies to assess the benefits and harms of different cannabis products for the management of chronic pain.

Cannabis products were categorized by THC-to-CBD ratio, (high, comparable, or low) and source (synthetic, extract or purified, or whole plant). Among the trials included in the systematic review, 56% of enrolled patients experienced neuropathic pain.

According to the findings, synthetic products with high THC-to-CBD ratios were associated with moderate improvements in pain severity and response, along with an increased risk for sedation and a greater risk for dizziness.

Extracted products with high THC-to-CBD ratios were associated with greater risk for study withdrawal due to adverse events and dizziness.

Sublingual sprays with comparable THC-to-CBD ratios were associated with small improvements in pain severity and overall function but came with a large increased for dizziness and sedation, and moderate risk for nausea.

Substantial findings for other products, including long-term harms, were either not reported or came with insufficient data. The study concluded that additional research is necessary to understand long-term outcomes and further evaluate product formulation effects.

Healthesystems recently published an article looking at current data regarding marijuana use and workplace safety. You can read the article here in our RxInformer magazine.

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