Role of Cannabinoids in the Management of Neuropathic Pain

Abstract

The treatment of pain, particularly neuropathic pain, is one of the therapeutic applications of cannabis and cannabinoids that is currently under investigation and that stimulates interest among clinicians and basic researchers.

Animal pain models, including models of acute, antinociceptive, inflammatory and neuropathic pain, have demonstrated the antinociceptive efficacy of cannabinoids without causing serious alterations in animal behaviour. These data, together with the historic and current empiric use of cannabinoids, support the interest in the analysis of their effectiveness in treating neuropathic pain.

The evaluation of controlled trials that focus on the effect of cannabinoids on neuropathic pain reveals that this class of drugs is able to significantly reduce pain perception. Nevertheless, this effect is generally weak and clinical relevance remains under evaluation. Moreover, there is a lack of controlled trials and, in particular, comparisons with other drugs generally used in the treatment of neuropathic pain.

Despite the fact that further research is required to achieve a definitive assessment, current data obtained from basic research and from analysis of the available controlled trials indicate that cannabinoids can be accepted as a useful option in the treatment of neuropathic pain.

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No sources of funding were used to assist in the preparation of this review. The authors have no conflicts of interest that are directly relevant to the content of this review.

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Fontelles, M.I.M., García, C.G. Role of Cannabinoids in the Management of Neuropathic Pain. CNS Drugs 22, 645–653 (2008). https://doi.org/10.2165/00023210-200822080-00003

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Keywords

  • Neuropathic Pain
  • Anandamide
  • Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase
  • Cannabidiol
  • Chronic Neuropathic Pain