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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 35  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 97-104

Medical cannabis in chronic pain management – Where are we now?

1 Department of Pain Management, Colchester General Hospital, ESNEFT, Turner Road, Colchester CO4 5JL, UK
2 Department of Anaesthesiology and Surgical Intensive Care Singapore General Hospital, Singapore

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Shamim Haider
Department of Pain Management, Colchester General Hospital, ESNEFT, Turner Road, Colchester CO4 5JL
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijpn.ijpn_1_21

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Chronic pain is a debilitating condition that afflicts a significant number of people throughout the world. The mechanisms of chronic pain remain to be fully understood, and treatment for chronic pain has remained a challenge for pain practitioners. Cannabis and cannabis-based medicine (CBM) have emerged over the last two decades as potential treatment options for an array of medical issues, of which chronic pain is one of them. Clinical trials thus far seem to suggest that medical cannabis may have some clinical effect in reducing pain severity in chronic noncancer pain as an adjunct to standard treatment, but inherent weaknesses in the available evidence mean that the verdict for medical cannabis has yet to be set in stone. The issue of medical cannabis is further complicated by the connection of cannabis with neuropsychiatric side effects and substance misuse. Much work needs to be done by both clinicians and government bodies to translate the benefits of medical cannabis in the laboratory into positive patient outcomes at the bedside in a safe manner.

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