2. Medical use of cannabis and cannabinoids: an overview of evidence

Wednesday, 23 November, 2022 - 10:50 to 12:20
Knowledge market 4 (K4)

Abstract

In recent years there has been a resurgence of interest in the medical use of preparations derived from the Cannabis Sativa plant. This presentation will summarise the evidence on the medicinal properties of cannabis and cannabinoids.

This presentation summarises the evidence on the medicinal properties of cannabis and cannabinoids from systematic reviews of randomised controlled clinical trials. The starting point is the EMCDDA technical paper 'A summary of reviews of evidence on the efficacy and safety of medical use of cannabis and cannabinoids'.

The findings of this paper are being updated and internally peer reviewed in the first half of 2022. At Lisbon Addictions 2022 the updated results will be presented.

The evidence from controlled clinical trials suggests that cannabinoids relieve the symptoms of some illnesses. An overview of diseases and symptoms will be presented together with the strength of evidence and limitations. Cannabis derived medicines are often used as adjunctive treatments rather than used on their own.

The evidence base is currently quite limited and fragmented, but evolving rapidly. There are important gaps in the evidence. This emphasises the need for additional research and clinical studies, including larger and better-designed trials, studies looking at dosage and interactions between medicines, and studies with longer-term follow-up of participants.

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