Gainesville, FL: Natural and endogenous cannabinoids may offer therapeutic advantages over currently prescribed medications for the treatment of cancer pain, according to a scientific review published this month in the Journal of Pain & Palliative Care Pharmacotherapy.
"Cannabinoid agonists have been described as having efficacy in nociceptive, neuropathic, and inflammatory pain states, all of which can commonly occur in cancer patients," the review's author states. "There are currently no pharmacological agents consistently effective against all three pain types, potentially giving cannabinoids a unique therapeutic advantage."
An estimated 25 percent to 40 percent of cancer patients experience some type of neuropathic pain, for which commercially available analgesics are not consistently effective.
Health Canada recently granted regulatory approval for the prescription use of Sativex, an oral spray consisting of natural cannabis extracts, for the treatment of neuropathic pain associated with Multiple Sclerosis.
For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Senior Policy Analyst, at (202) 483-5500. Full text of the study, "Cannabinoids in cancer pain management," appears in the August issue of the Journal of Pain & Palliative Care Pharmacotherapy.