Living Systematic Review on Cannabis and Other Plant-Based Treatments for Chronic Pain

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Systematic Review

Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Last Reviewed: January 2024

In this living systematic review that the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) will update quarterly, AHRQ looked at current evidence on benefits and harms of cannabinoids and similar plant-based compounds to treat chronic pain. "Living systematic review" describes a research approach that continually incorporates new evidence as it becomes available.

Present findings show that some people experienced small improvements in pain (mostly neuropathic), and moderate to large increases in common adverse events (dizziness, sedation, nausea), when using cannabis products with a high and comparable THC to CBD ratio as a short-term treatment.

These findings are based on low to moderate strength evidence. More high-quality studies are needed to identify non-opioid treatments with equal or better benefits for pain, while avoiding potential unintended consequences that could result in harms.

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Suggested Citation

1.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. (2024). Living Systematic Review on Cannabis and Other Plant-Based Treatments for Chronic Pain. Retrieved from https://effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov/products/plant-based-chronic-pain-treatment/living-review.