Medical cannabis is used as a disease-modifying therapy that aims to relieve suffering while improving the patient’s functioning and overall quality of life. It can be helpful in controlling the primary and secondary symptoms of various medical conditions, and thus can be viewed as a disease-modifying therapy.
Common indications and uses for cannabis drug therapy include:
Chronic and neuropathic pain
Cannabinoids have been shown to be effective in relieving neuropathic pain associated with diabetes, chemotherapy, post-traumatic and HIV-related pain.
Cannabinoids have been shown to be effective in controlling central nervous pain and painful spasticity in patients with multiple sclerosis and may result in a reduction in the intensity and frequency of spasticity.
Patients for whom opioids are not working satisfactorily often benefit additionally from medical cannabis.
Results from several RCTs indicate that CBD in particular is able to significantly reduce seizure frequency in children with pharmacoresistant forms of epilepsy, such as Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome. This therapy has also been used successfully in Poland.
Anorexia and cachexia
Appetite-stimulating effects of cannabinoids have been demonstrated in both HIV and cancer patients. Patients experienced increased appetite and eating pleasure.
Cannabis medications and opioids develop synergy when taken concurrently, which may lead to a reduction in opioid doses used. In addition, a more favorable side effect profile can be expected with their combined use, which may positively impact adherence.