Published: 1 March 2018
Author(s): Matthew R.D. Brown, W. Paul Farquhar-Smith
Section: Narrative Review

The endocannabinoid system is involved in many areas of physiological function and homeostasis. Cannabinoid receptors are expressed in the peripheral and central nervous system and on immune cells, all areas ideally suited to modulation of pain processing. There are a wealth of preclinical data in a number of acute, chronic, neuropathic and cancer pain models that have demonstrated a potent analgesic potential for cannabinoids, especially in patients with cancer. However, although there are some positive results in pain of cancer patients, the clinical evidence for cannabinoids as analgesics has not been convincing and their use can only be weakly recommended.

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