Cannabis and pain
Browse the latest research linking medical marijuana / medicinal cannabis and pain.
While not an ideal first-line treatment, cannabis and syntheic cannabinoids have been shown as effective anaglesics, especially against neuropathic pain.
See also: anti-inflamatory  neuropathy 
Click on a study title below to open a new tab with full article, or click on a compound to see it's full list of research.
Compounds Topics Title Date
cannabis pain,chronic pain in humans via review Cannabinoids, cannabis, and cannabis-based medicine for pain management Apr 2019
Cannabinoid, cannabis, and cannabis-based medicines (CBMs) are thought to reduce pain, but a proliferation of different products has led to variability in trials, creating a challenge when determining the assessment of efficacy in systematic reviews
cannabis pain,anxiety,sedative,migraine in humans via survey (n=1513) Substitution of medical cannabis for pharmaceutical agents for pain, anxiety, and sleep Apr 2019
Positive  In conclusion, a majority of patients reported using less opioids as well as fewer medications to treat anxiety, migraines, and sleep after initiating MC. A smaller portion used less antidepressants or alcohol.
cannabis migraine,headache,pain in humans via survey (n=316) Medical Cannabis for Chronic Migraine: A Retrospective Review May 2019
Positive  On NYS MC, 88.3% (279) patients reported improvement in their headache profile with an average MC exposure of 22.4?17.5 weeks. The average monthly migraine frequency change was significant with 42.1% decrease (24.9?7.16 to 16.1?10.7, p<0.0001)
cannabis neuropathy,pain,hiv in humans via placebo trial (n=28/34) Smoked Medicinal Cannabis for Neuropathic Pain in HIV: A Randomized, Crossover Clinical Trial Aug 2008
Ingestion Method: Titration was started at 4% THC or placebo and adjusted incrementally downwards (to 2 or 1%) if side effects were intolerable, or upwards (to 6 or 8%) if pain relief was incomplete
Positive  Pain reduction was significantly greater with cannabis compared to placebo (median difference in pain reduction = 3.3 DDS points; effect size = 0.60; p = 0.016, all completers included; Figure 4). The results were consistent for the ITT analysis (p = 0.020), and for the comparison based on the first week of treatment alone (median change in DDS pain = -4.1 and 0.1 for the cannabis and placebo arms, p = 0.029). There were no evident sequence effects: the degree of pain relief achieved with active cannabis did not differ significantly according to whether it was administered during the first or the second treatment week (mean reduction in DDS points, 4.1 vs 0.96; p = 0.13).
cannabis ms,spasticity,pain in humans via placebo trial (n=30/37) Smoked cannabis for spasticity in multiple sclerosis: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial Jul 2012
Ingestion Method: inhaled 0.8g cigarette, 4% THC
Positive  Using an objective measure, we saw a beneficial effect of inhaled cannabis on spasticity among patients receiving insufficient relief from traditional treatments. Although generally well-tolerated, smoking cannabis had acute cognitive effects.
THC pain,pharmacology in humans via placebo trial (n=15) Amygdala activity contributes to the dissociative effect of cannabis on pain perception. Jan 2013
Peripheral mechanisms alone cannot account for the dissociative effects of THC on the pain that was observed. Instead, the data reveal that amygdala activity contributes to interindividual response to cannabinoid analgesia, and suggest that dissociative effects of THC in the brain are relevant to pain relief in humans.
Linalool sedative,pain via review Lavender and the Nervous System Mar 2013
Several animal and human investigations suggest anxiolytic, mood stabilizer, sedative, analgesic, and anticonvulsive and neuroprotective properties for lavender.
Borneol anti-inflamatory,pain in mice via placebo trial (n=36) Borneol, a Bicyclic Monoterpene Alcohol, Reduces Nociceptive Behavior and Inflammatory Response in Mice Apr 2013
Ingestion Method: 5, 25, and 50 mg/kg
Together, our results suggest that borneol possess significant central and peripheral antinociceptive activity; it has also anti-inflammatory activity. In addition, borneol did not impair motor coordination.
cannabinoids pain,addiction,obesity via article Cannabinoids: Friend or Foe? Jun 2016
These are interesting time for cannabinoid research and clinical application; much more needs to be done to translate the potential of cannabinoid drugs to medicinal use and to identify the conditions that could benefit from this class of drugs. There is as yet untapped potential in the areas of pain and addiction, obesity, metabolic syndrome and epilepsy
cannabis pain in humans via survey (n=984) Chronic Pain Patients Perspectives of Medical Cannabis Jul 2017
Positive  The largest positive theme identified related to health benefits. Respondents described in great depth how medical cannabis improved their treatment of chronic-pain and enhanced their quality of life.
THC,cannabis,Myrcene,Caryophyllene pain,headache in humans via survey (n=2032) Patterns of medicinal cannabis use, strain analysis, and substitution effect among patients with migraine, headache, arthritis, and chronic pain in a medicinal cannabis cohort May 2018
Positive  Hybrid strains were preferred in ID Migraine(TM), headache, and most pain groups, with OG Shark, a high THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol)/THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid), low CBD (cannabidiol)/CBDA (cannabidiolic acid), strain with predominant terpenes beta--caryophyllene and beta--myrcene, most preferred in the headache and ID Migraine(TM) groups
cannabis,THC,CBD pain,anti-inflamatory via review Cannabinoid Delivery Systems for Pain and Inflammation Treatment Sept 2018
Neutral  The clinical evidence collated to date is confounded by a number of factors, including studies with mixed patient populations, use of different cannabinoid preparations and in various formulations, and wide dosing ranges. Cannabis-derivative-based medicines may be able to enrich the drug treatment arsenal for chronic pain and inflammation conditions, although this is very much open to debate at the moment.
cannabis anxiety,pain,depression in humans via survey (n=3341) The Association between Cannabis Product Characteristics and Symptom Relief Feb 2019
Patients showed an average symptom improvement of 3.5 (SD = 2.6) on an 11-point scale across the 27 measured symptom categories. Dried flower was the most commonly used product and generally associated with greater symptom relief than other types of products.
Limonene pain,anti-inflamatory in mice Biological effects of Myristica fragrans (nutmeg) extract. Jun 1999
The chloroform extract of nutmeg has been evaluated for antiinflammatory, analgesic and antithrombotic activities in rodents. The extract inhibited the carrageenan-induced rat paw oedema, produced a reduction in writhings induced by acetic acid in mice and offered protection against thrombosis induced by ADP/adrenaline mixture in mice.
THC,CBN pain in mice delta9-Tetrahydrocannabinol and Cannabinol Activate Capsaicin-Sensitive Sensory Nerves via a CB1 and CB2 Cannabinoid Receptor-Independent Mechanism June 2002
Action Pathway: extracellular calcium
Here, we show that THC and cannabinol induce a CB1/CB2 cannabinoid receptor-independent release of calcitonin gene-related peptide from capsaicin-sensitive perivascular sensory nerves. Other psychotropic cannabinoids cannot mimic this action.
Borneol pain in vitro Inhibition of acetylcholine-mediated effects by borneol. Jan 2003
The inhibitory effect by borneol is more potent than the effect by lidocaine, a commonly used local anesthetic. The data suggest that borneol specifically inhibits the nAChR-mediated effects in a noncompetitive way.
Linalool anti-inflamatory,pain in mice (-)-Linalool produces antinociception in two experimental models of pain. Jan 2003
Ingestion Method: 25, 50, 75 and 100 mg/kg
The more pronounced effect of (-)-linalool on the writhing test with respect to the hot plate test is consistent with the observation that (-)-linalool possesses anti-inflammatory activity.
cannabis hiv,pain,appetite boost in humans via survey (n=523) Cannabis Use in HIV for Pain and Other Medical Symptoms Apr 2005
Positive  Symptom control using cannabis is widespread in HIV outpatients. A large number of patients reported that cannabis improved symptom control.
AM404 pain in mice Conversion of acetaminophen to the bioactive N-acylphenolamine AM404 via fatty acid amide hydrolase-dependent arachidonic acid conjugation in the nervous system. Sep 2005
AM404 also inhibits purified cyclooxygenase (COX)-1 and COX-2 and prostaglandin synthesis in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated RAW264.7 macrophages. This novel metabolite of acetaminophen also acts on the endogenous cannabinoid system, which, together with TRPV1 and COX, is present in the pain and thermoregulatory pathways
cannabis pain,hiv in humans via placebo trial (n=50) Cannabis in painful HIV-associated sensory neuropathy: a randomized placebo-controlled trial. Feb 2007
Ingestion Method: 3.56% THC cigarettes
Positive  Smoked cannabis reduced daily pain by 34% (median reduction; IQR = -71, -16) vs 17% (IQR = -29, 8) with placebo (p = 0.03). Greater than 30% reduction in pain was reported by 52% in the cannabis group and by 24% in the placebo group (p = 0.04). The first cannabis cigarette reduced chronic pain by a median of 72% vs 15% with placebo (p < 0.001)
Myrcene pain in rats Myrcene mimics the peripheral analgesic activity of lemongrass tea Aug 1991
Oral administration of an infusion of lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) fresh leaves to rats produced a dose-dependent analgesia for the hyperalgesia induced by subplantar injections of either carrageenin or prostaglandin E2, but did not affect that induced by dibutyryl cyclic AMP
Linalool pain in humans via placebo trial (n=54) Treatment with lavender aromatherapy in the post-anesthesia care unit reduces opioid requirements of morbidly obese patients undergoing laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding. July 2007
Ingestion Method: inhaled lavender oil
Positive  Significantly more patients in the Placebo group (PL) required analgesics for postoperative pain (22/27, 82%) than patients in the Lavender group (LAV) (12/26, 46%) (P = .007). Moreover, the LAV patients required significantly less morphine postoperatively than PL patients: 2.38 mg vs 4.26 mg, respectively (P = .04)
Humulene anti-inflamatory,pain in mice Pharmacokinetics and tissue distribution of the sesquiterpene alpha-humulene in mice Nov 2008
Taken together, these findings further contribute to an explanation of the topical and systemic anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive properties previously reported for the essential oil and for alpha-humulene obtained from Cordia verbenacea, they also provide support for the clinical studies conducted with the phytomedicine Acheflan.
Myrcene pain in mice via experiment Effect of myrcene on nociception in mice. Dec 1990
Ingestion Method: 10 and 20 mg kg-1 (i.p.) or at 20 and 40 mg kg-1 (s.c.)
The results suggest that myrcene is capable of inducing antinociception in mice, probably mediated by alpha 2-adrenoceptor stimulated release of endogenous opioids.
THC pain in humans via placebo trial (n=177) Multicenter, Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Parallel-Group Study of the Efficacy, Safety, and Tolerability of THC:CBD Extract and THC Extract in Patients with Intractable Cancer-Related Pain Feb 2010
Ingestion Method: THC extract vs THC:CBD extract
The primary analysis of change from baseline in mean pain Numerical Rating Scale (NRS) score was statistically significantly in favor of THC:CBD compared with placebo (improvement of -1.37 vs. -0.69), whereas the THC group showed a nonsignificant change (-1.01 vs. -0.69)
Linalool pain in mice The antinociceptive effect of (-)-linalool in models of chronic inflammatory and neuropathic hypersensitivity in mice. Nov 2010
Ingestion Method: 50 or 200 mg/kg injection
The article adds information about antinociceptive properties of (-)-linalool in chronic inflammatory and neuropathic hypersensitivity. It also indicates that (-)-linalool might be potentially interesting in the development of new clinically relevant drugs for the management of persistent pain.
cannabis pain,neuropathy in humans via trial (n=21/23) Smoked cannabis for chronic neuropathic pain: a randomized controlled trial. Oct 2010
Ingestion Method: 25mg THC
Positive  A single inhalation of 25 mg of 9.4% tetrahydrocannabinol herbal cannabis three times daily for five days reduced the intensity of pain, improved sleep and was well tolerated.
Bisabolol anti-inflamatory,pain in mice via model Anti-nociceptive and anti-inflammatory activities of (-)-Alpha-bisabolol in rodents. Dec 2011
These findings suggest that the anti-nociceptive action of (-)-alpha--bisabolol is not linked to a central mechanism but instead is related to the inflammatory process.
Caryophyllene pain in mice via experiment Involvement of peripheral cannabinoid and opioid receptors in Beta-caryophyllene-induced antinociception May 2013
Action Pathway: CB2
The present results demonstrate that antinociception produced by BCP is mediated by activation of CB2 receptors, which stimulates the local release from keratinocytes of the endogenous opioid beta--endorphin. The combined injection of morphine and BCP may be an alternative in treating chemogenic pain.
cannabis pain,sedative,anxiety in humans via survey (n=628) Cannabis for therapeutic purposes: patient characteristics, access, and reasons for use. Nov 2013
Positive  Across medical conditions respondents reported using cannabis to effectively address diverse symptoms. Results indicate a substantial disconnect between the therapeutic use of cannabis and research on the risks and benefits of such use; particularly with regard to the anxiolytic and sedative use of cannabis.
Caryophyllene anti-inflamatory,pain in mice via model The cannabinoid CB2 receptor-selective phytocannabinoid beta-caryophyllene exerts analgesic effects in mouse models of inflammatory and neuropathic pain. Apr 2014
Action Pathway: CB2
In a neuropathic pain model the chronic oral administration of BCP attenuated thermal hyperalgesia and mechanical allodynia, and reduced spinal neuroinflammation. Importantly, we found no signs of tolerance to the anti-hyperalgesic effects of BCP after prolonged treatment.
JWH-133 pain,arthritis in rats via experiment Cannabinoid CB2 receptors regulate central sensitization and pain responses associated with osteoarthritis of the knee joint. Nov 2013
Action Pathway: CB2
These data provide new clinically relevant evidence that joint damage and spinal CB2 receptor expression are correlated combined with converging pre-clinical evidence that activation of CB2 receptors inhibits centralsensitization and its contribution to the manifestation of chronic OA pain. These findings suggest that targeting CB2 receptors may have therapeutic potential for treating OA pain.
cannabinoids pain,arthritis via review Involvement of the endocannabinoid system in osteoarthritis pain. Feb 2014
Increasing evidence from preclinical studies supports the interest of the endocannabinoid system as an emerging therapeutic target for osteoarthritis pain. Indeed, pharmacological studies have shown the anti-nociceptive effects of cannabinoids in different rodent models of osteoarthritis, and compelling evidence suggests an active participation of the endocannabinoid system in the pathophysiology of this disease.
Limonene,Phellandrene pain,depression in rats via experiment Antihyperalgesic and antidepressive actions of (R)-(+)-limonene, Alpha-phellandrene, and essential oil from Schinus terebinthifolius fruits in a neuropathic pain model. July 2015
Together, the results of the present work show that essential oil of S. terebinthifolius and compounds present in this oil, including (R)-(+)-limonene and alpha--phellandrene, exhibit antihyperalgesic effects against mechanical hyperalgesia, and are antidepressive,
cannabis pain,migraine via review Comprehensive Review of Medicinal Marijuana, Cannabinoids, and Therapeutic Implications in Medicine and Headache: What a Long Strange Trip It's Been .... May 2015
The literature suggests that the medicinal use of cannabis may have a therapeutic role for a multitude of diseases, particularly chronic pain disorders including headache. Supporting literature suggests a role for medicinal cannabis and cannabinoids in several types of headache disorders including migraine and cluster headache, although it is primarily limited to case based, anecdotal, or laboratory-based scientific research.
cannabinoids pain,spasticity,hiv,sedative in humans via review Cannabinoids for Medical Use: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Jun 2015
Positive  Most trials showed improvement in symptoms associated with cannabinoids but these associations did not reach statistical significance in all trials. Compared with placebo, cannabinoids were associated with a greater average number of patients showing a complete nausea and vomiting response (47% vs 20%; odds ratio [OR], 3.82 [95% CI, 1.55-9.42]; 3 trials), reduction in pain (37% vs 31%; OR, 1.41 [95% CI, 0.99-2.00]; 8 trials), a greater average reduction in numerical rating scale pain assessment
Nabilone pain via review Nabilone for the Management of Pain. Mar 2016
Eight randomized controlled trials, two prospective cohort trials, and one retrospective chart review were retrieved. Cancer pain, chronic noncancer pain, neuropathic pain, fibromyalgia, and pain associated with spasticity were the pain conditions evaluated. Nabilone was most commonly used as adjunctive therapy and led to small but significant reductions in pain.
Limonene pain in mice via experiment D-limonene exhibits superior antihyperalgesic effects in a Beta-cyclodextrin-complexed form in chronic musculoskeletal pain reducing Fos protein expression on spinal cord in mice. Sept 2007
After induction of hyperalgesia, the oral administration of LIM-beta-CD (50mg/kg) significantly increased the paw withdrawal threshold compared to uncomplexed limonene. Fos immunofluorescence showed that both compounds significantly decreased the number of Fos-positive cells in the dorsal horn. In nociceptive tests, FLU was able to reverse the antinociceptive effect of LIM-beta-CD
THC,CBD,cannabis migraine,headache,pain in humans via review Medicinal Properties of Cannabinoids, Terpenes, and Flavonoids in Cannabis, and Benefits in Migraine, Headache, and Pain: An Update on Current Evidence and Cannabis Science. Jul 2018
Positive  There is accumulating evidence for various therapeutic benefits of cannabis/cannabinoids, especially in the treatment of pain, which may also apply to the treatment of migraine and headache.
Caryophyllene diabetes,pain,depression in mice via experiment Beta-Caryophyllene, a Natural Sesquiterpene, Attenuates Neuropathic Pain and Depressive-Like Behavior in Experimental Diabetic Mice Mar 2019
Ingestion Method: oral 10 mg/kg/60 mL
Our data using an orally chronic BCP administration in the STZ challenged mice to suggest that glycemia, diabetes-related NP, and depressive-like behavior could be prevented/reduced by dietary BCP.
cannabis pain in humans via review (n=1534) Efficacy, tolerability and safety of cannabis-based medicines for cancer pain : A systematic review with meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. May 2019
Neutral  Very low quality evidence suggests that oromucosal nabiximols and THC have no effect on pain, sleep problems and opioid consumption in patients with cancer pain with insufficient pain relief from opioids.
cannabinoids pain via review Effects of cannabinoid administration for pain: A meta-analysis and meta-regression. May 2019
Meta-regression revealed that cannabinoids, beta- = -0.43, 95% CI [-0.62, -0.24], p < .05, synthetic cannabinoids, beta- = -0.39, 95% CI [-0.65, -0.14], p < .05, and sample size, beta- = 0.01, 95% CI [0.00, 0.01], p < .05, were associated with marked pain reduction.
cannabis pain,opioid in humans via survey (n=77) Medical Cannabis: Effects on Opioid and Benzodiazepine Requirements for Pain Control. May 2019
Positive  Over the course of this 6-month retrospective study, patients using medical cannabis for intractable pain experienced a significant reduction in the number of MMEs available to use for pain control.
CBD,CBN,CBC pain in rats Cannabidiol, cannabinol and their combinations act as peripheral analgesics in a rat model of myofascial pain May 2019
These results suggest that peripheral application of these non-psychoactive cannabinoids may provide analgesic relief for chronic muscle pain disorders such as temporomandibular disorders and fibromyalgia without central side effects.
cannabis pain,sleep in humans via survey (n=1000) Use of Cannabis to Relieve Pain and Promote Sleep by Customers at an Adult Use Dispensary. Jul 2019
Among respondents taking cannabis for pain, 80% reported that it was very or extremely helpful, and most of those taking over-the-counter pain medications (82%) or opioid analgesics (88%) reported reducing or stopping use of those medications. Among respondents taking cannabis for sleep, 84% found it very or extremely helpful, and most of those taking over-the-counter (87%) or prescription sleep aids (83%) reported reducing or stopping use of those medications.
CBC,THC pain in mice Neurobehavioral actions of cannabichromene and interactions with delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol. 1983
CBC had a weak analgetic action in mice; THC had a moderate and lengthy effect, which was potentiated at 2 hr by concurrent CBC. Both CBC (10-75 mg/kg, i.p.) and THC (20 mg/kg) reduced motility of mice, the THC equalling the highest dose of CBC.
2AG pain,sedative in mice Identification of an endogenous 2-monoglyceride, present in canine gut, that binds to cannabinoid receptors. Jun 1995
Upon intravenous administration to mice, 2-Ara-Gl caused the typical tetrad of effects produced by THC: antinociception, immobility, reduction of spontaneous activity, and lowering of the rectal temperature. 2-Ara-Gl also shares the ability of delta 9-THC to inhibit electrically evoked contractions of mouse isolated vasa deferentia; however, it was less potent than delta 9-THC.
cannabis pain,anxiety,depression in humans via review Patient-reported use of medical cannabis for pain, anxiety, and depression symptoms: Systematic review and meta-analysis Jun 2019
Positive  Meta-analytic results indicated that pain (64%), anxiety (50%), and depression/mood (34%) were common reasons for medical cannabis use. No evidence for publication bias was detected, despite heterogeneity in prevalence rates.
cannabis,THC pain in humans via study (n=2987) The effectiveness of self-directed medical cannabis treatment for pain Jul 2019
The average cannabis user experiences a momentary pain intensity reduction of roughly 3 points on a 0-10 pain scale following cannabis consumption. The results suggest that Cannabis flower with moderate to high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol is an effective mid-level analgesic.
cannabis pain in humans via interview (n=1260/1514) Effect of cannabis use in people with chronic non-cancer pain prescribed opioids: findings from a 4-year prospective cohort study July 2018
Negative  We found no evidence of a temporal relationship between cannabis use and pain severity or pain interference, and no evidence that cannabis use reduced prescribed opioid use or increased rates of opioid discontinuation.