Cannabinoids and Pain Management: an Insight into Recent Advancements

  • Amna ShaikhEmail author
  • Sarah Money
Pain Management (S Mace, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Pain Management


Purpose of Review

This review discusses the recent advancements in research on Cannabinoids’ role in pain, including its use in cancer pain, neuropathic pain, fibromyalgia, headache, visceral pain, postoperative and failed back pain management, and concurrent use with opioids.

Recent Findings

Current research suggests that a potential role exists for medical cannabis in pain management, although research shows varied effectiveness by the type of pain. Moreover, its coadministration with opioids may result in reduced opioid requirements.


Patients with neuropathic pain, cancer pain, and migraine headache may benefit from the analgesic effects of a cannabis-based medicine (CBM), but not necessarily patients with chronic abdominal pain. Equivocal results were shown in fibromyalgia and postoperative orthopedic pain. Interestingly, the opioid-sparing properties of CBM make it an attractive option for pain management. However, the scale and quality of studies conducted are limited. Further research is necessary to establish recommendation guidelines for medical cannabis in pain management.


Cannabinoids and pain THC and pain Tetrahydrocannabinol and pain Cannabis and pain Marijuana and pain 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Amna Shaikh and Sarah Money declare no conflict 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, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Anesthesiology, Pain Management and Perioperative MedicineHenry Ford HospitalDetroitUSA

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