The medical use of cannabinoids dates back thousands of years and is well documented in many ancient civilizations. Recent policy changes have seen an increase in CBD and cannabis use throughout the United States, but restrictions and federal policies continue to limit the amount of clinical research conducted on this potentially beneficial product here in the US.
There is a rapidly growing body of research that validates years of anecdotal evidence that cannabis can provide benefits for a variety of patients. In the article Cannabinoids and Pain: New Insights From Old Molecules, the authors discuss the available clinical research of how cannabis has been used to treat a variety of types of pain.
The article includes an overview of pharmacodynamics or how cannabis, specifically cannabinoids, potentially act on multiple receptors and pain targets throughout the body. The authors go on to define and explain the three types of cannabinoids, which include phytocannabinoids or those found in plants, endocannabinoids or those found in the human body, and synthetic cannabinoids. The authors also cover the endocannabinoid system, including the receptors and endocannabinoids found in the body.
The effectiveness of cannabis on a variety of types of pain was further examined including animal pain, neuropathic pain, inflammation, cancer pain, and a variety of chronic pain. Positive findings included evidence for the use of medical cannabis for reducing chronic pain, and minimal side effects were reported with cannabis use. The need for larger, more detailed and long-term studies on cannabis use is needed to ensure customer and patient safety and to help guide healthcare professionals in making the best decisions for their patients.
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