Medical Marijuana and Chronic Pain: a Review of Basic Science and Clinical Evidence

  • Bjorn Jensen
  • Jeffrey Chen
  • Tim Furnish
  • Mark WallaceEmail author
Anesthetic Techniques in Pain Management (D Wang, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Anesthetic Techniques in Pain Management


Cannabinoid compounds include phytocannabinoids, endocannabinoids, and synthetics. The two primary phytocannabinoids are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), with CB1 receptors in the brain and peripheral tissue and CB2 receptors in the immune and hematopoietic systems. The route of delivery of cannabis is important as the bioavailability and metabolism are very different for smoking versus oral/sublingual routes. Gold standard clinical trials are limited; however, some studies have thus far shown evidence to support the use of cannabinoids for some cancer, neuropathic, spasticity, acute pain, and chronic pain conditions.


Medical marijuana Chronic pain Cannabis Phytocannabinoids Endocannabinoids Neuropathic pain 


Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

Bjorn Jensen, Jeffrey Chen, Tim Furnish, and Mark Wallace each declare no potential conflicts of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bjorn Jensen
    • 1
  • Jeffrey Chen
    • 1
  • Tim Furnish
    • 1
  • Mark Wallace
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Center for Pain MedicineUniversity of California San DiegoLa JollaUSA

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