In recent years, the media and scientists have shown increased interest in cannabis-based drugs.
Background information about cannabis-based drugs and their mechanism of action as well as discussion of possible applications as supportive therapy or in palliative medicine, respectively, are presented.
Materials and methods
The recent literature was examined and evaluated.
In many medical fields, we do not have sufficient evidence for the efficacy of cannabinoids. In German pharmaceutical legislation, the use of nabiximols for the treatment of intermediate to severe, therapy-resistant spasticity in multiple sclerosis is the only approved indication for cannabis-based drugs. Furthermore, in view of the current evidence cannabinoids, combined with established treatments and as part of an individual therapeutic attempt, can be used for neuropathic pain, cancer-associated pain and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-related cachexia.
In most cases, today’s assessment of cannabinoids relies on studies that are classified as low evidence. Therefore, further studies which involve more participants and evaluate long-term effects are needed.