Cannabinoids in the Management of Musculoskeletal or Rheumatic Diseases

  • Mary-Ann FitzcharlesEmail author
  • Winfried Häuser
Complementary and Alternative Medicine (S Kolasinski, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Complementary and Alternative Medicine


The endocannabinoid system impacts pain and inflammation with potential for therapeutic effect on patients with rheumatic diseases. The current treatment options include the herbal product derived from the plant Cannabis sativa, as well as pharmaceutical preparations. The legalization of medicinal cannabis (marijuana) in many jurisdictions and widespread public advocacy has propelled an interest in use either by prescription or self-medication. In this review, we examine current evidence for efficacy and adverse effects of any cannabinoid product in rheumatic conditions. The evidence to date is scant and precludes making recommendations for the use of cannabinoid preparations in rheumatology patients. In particular, the risks of herbal cannabis in patients are not well defined. Anecdote and advocacy cannot supersede sound evidence.


Cannabinoids Rheumatic disease Marijuana 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

All reported studies/experiments with human or animal subjects performed by the authors have been previously published and were in compliance with all applicable ethical standards (including the Helsinki declaration and its amendments, institutional/national research committee standards, and international/national/institutional guidelines).

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 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of RheumatologyMcGill University Health CentreMontréalCanada
  2. 2.Alan Edwards Pain Management UnitMcGill University Health CentreMontréalCanada
  3. 3.Montreal General HospitalMcGill University Health CentreMontrealCanada
  4. 4.Department Internal Medicine IKlinikum SaarbrückenSaarbrückenGermany
  5. 5.Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and PsychotherapyTechnische Universität MünchenMunichGermany

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