Clinical Practice Guidelines for Cannabinoid-Based Medications Published by Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research

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To help clinicians and patients navigate cannabinoid-based medications (CBM), Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research published guidelines based on reviews of studies on CBM and chronic pain.

In late March 2023, the academic journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research published guidelines covering cannabinoid-based medications for chronic pain and co-occurring conditions (1). The journal regularly publishes studies covering a wide range of topics in the scientific, medical, and psychosocial exploration of clinical cannabis, cannabinoids, and the endocannabinoid system (2).

“One in five individuals live with chronic pain globally, which often co-occurs with sleep problems, anxiety, depression, and substance use disorders,” the abstract stated (1). “Although these conditions are commonly managed with cannabinoid-based medicines (CBM), health care providers report lack of information on the risks, benefits, and appropriate use of CBM for therapeutic purposes. We present these clinical practice guidelines to help clinicians and patients navigate appropriate CBM use in the management of chronic pain and co-occurring conditions.”

To generate the guidelines, researchers conducted a review of 70 studies, including 19 systematic reviews and 51 original research studies. The authors also covered dosing, safety concerns, and strengths and limitations of CBM.


“Research typically demonstrates moderate benefit of CBM in chronic pain management,” the results stated (1). “There is also evidence for efficacy of CBM in the management of comorbidities, including sleep problems, anxiety, appetite suppression, and for managing symptoms in some chronic conditions associated with pain including HIV, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, and arthritis.”

“All patients considering CBM should be educated on risks and adverse events. Patients and clinicians should work collaboratively to identify appropriate dosing, titration, and administration routes for each individual,” the guidelines concluded (1).

See the full article and guidelines here.

For more cannabis and chronic pain coverage, see this issue from Cannabis Patient Care:


  1. Bell AD, MacCallum C, Margolese S, Walsh Z, Wright P, Daeninck PJ, Mandarino E, Lacasse G, Deol JK, Freitas L, St. Pierre M, Belle-Isle L, Gagnon M, Bevan S, Sanchez T, Arlt S, Monahan-Ellison M, O'Hara J, Boivin M, Costiniuk C; and External Review Panel (2023) Clinical practice guidelines for cannabis and cannabinoid-based medicines in the management of chronic pain and co-occurring conditions, Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research X:X, 1–19, DOI: 10.1089/can.2021.0156.