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Efficacy, Tolerability and Safety of a Cannabis-Based Medicine (Sativex) in the Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Preliminary Assessment of the Efficacy, Tolerability and Safety of a Cannabis-Based Medicine (Sativex) in the Treatment of Pain Caused by Rheumatoid Arthritis

Oxford Journals - Rheumatology:

Evidence from basic science and human trials suggests that
cannabis-based medicines (CBM) may have therapeutic potential
in a range of medical conditions, particularly in the treatment
of intractable pain [1, 2]. Cannabis has been used historically
in the treatment of pain due to rheumatoid arthritis (RA), but
this has never been formally evaluated in a clinical trial. -9-
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are recognized
as key therapeutic constituents that act synergistically
together and with other plant constituents [3]. THC has analgesic
activity in both nociceptive and neuropathic pain [1, 2]. Both
THC and CBD have anti-inflammatory effects [4], and CBD was
found to block progression of disease and produce clinical
improvement in a murine model of RA [5]. In a recent survey
[6] of 2969 people who agreed to fill in a questionnaire about
medicinal cannabis, 947 (32%) stated that they had obtained
the drug from the black market for symptom relief. Of these,
155 (16%) gave symptom relief for arthritis (type not specified) as
the reason for smoking cannabis. This was the fifth-commonest
indication after multiple sclerosis, neuropathy, chronic pain and

Source: Oxford Journals: Rheumatology

Blake DR, Robson P, Ho M, Jubb RW, McCabe CS: Preliminary assessment of the efficacy, tolerability and safety of a cannabis-based medicine (Sativex) in the treatment of pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatology (Oxford) 45:50-52, 2006


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