Medicinal cannabis for chronic pain: how does it fit into my medical practitioner tool kit?




Although there is a broadly held perception in the community that medicinal cannabis is effective for relief of chronic pain, clinical studies have yet to clearly show this. There is, however, some evidence supporting the use of cannabinoids in treating severe nausea from chemotherapy, in some forms of epilepsy and in patients with multiple sclerosis.

Key Points

  • The Faculty of Pain Medicine of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists does not currently endorse the use of cannabinoids for chronic noncancer pain.
  • Active engagement in a multimodal management program may or may not include medication use.
  • There are concerns regarding the risk profile of medicinal cannabis.
  • High quality clinical trials of cannabinoids for chronic pain are necessary.

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