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Cannabinoids in the Management of Acute Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

PainSci » bibliography » Gazendam et al 2020

One article on PainSci cites Gazendam 2020: Marijuana for Pain

PainSci notes on Gazendam 2020:

original abstract Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.

Objective: To synthesize the best evidence surrounding the efficacy of cannabinoids for acute pain in the clinical setting based on subjective pain scores and observed adverse effects. Design: Systematic review with meta-analysis. Data Sources: PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Databases, and Google Scholar. Eligibility Criteria: English-language randomized-controlled clinical trials comparing cannabinoids with placebo in patients with acute pain. Data Extraction and Synthesis: Study quality was assessed using the Cochrane risk of bias tool. All stages were conducted independently by a team of three reviewers. Data were pooled through meta-analysis and stratified by route of administration. Primary Outcomes and Measures: Patient-reported pain and adverse events (AEs). Results: Six trials (678 participants) were included examining oral (5 trials) and intramuscular (1 trial) cannabinoids. Overall, there was a small but statistically significant treatment effect favoring the use of cannabinoids over placebo (-0.90, 95% confidence interval [CI] -1.69 to -0.1, i2=65%, p=0.03). When stratified by route of administration, intramuscular cannabinoids were found to have a significant reduction in pain relative to placebo (-2.98, 95% CI -4.09 to -1.87, i2=0%, p<0.0001). No difference in effect was observed between oral cannabinoids and placebo (-0.21, 95% CI -0.64 to 0.22, i2=3%, p=0.34). Serious AEs were rare, and similar across the cannabinoid (14/374, 3.7%) and placebo groups (8/304, 2.6%). Conclusions: There is low-quality evidence indicating that cannabinoids may be a safe alternative for a small but significant reduction in subjective pain score when treating acute pain, with intramuscular administration resulting in a greater reduction relative to oral. Higher quality, long-term randomized-controlled trials examining whether there may be a role for cannabinoids in treating acute pain are required.

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