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Papers of the Week

Papers: 2 Jan 2021 - 8 Jan 2021

Pharmacology/Drug Development


Cannabis Cannabinoid Res



Cannabis Use and Low-Back Pain: A Systematic Review.


First L, Douglas W, Habibi B, Singh J R, Sein MT
Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. 2020; 5(4):283-289.
PMID: 33381642.


The potential use of cannabis and cannabinoid products for the treatment of low-back pain is an important area for investigation. As one of the leading reasons to visit a primary care provider, low-back pain results in a significant burden of disease in both the United States' economic and health care systems. Given the current opioid epidemic, it is important to seek novel analgesics and understand their efficacy for myriad pain conditions, including low-back pain. A systematic review was performed using multiple online databases to assess the association of cannabis use and low-back pain in the literature. A total of 124 articles were produced via our search methods, 73 abstracts in total were screened, 16 articles underwent full-text review, and 6 articles were included in qualitative synthesis. This systematic literature review reveals a lack of primary research investigating cannabis as a potential treatment of low-back pain and highlights the need for further investigation with well-designed clinical trials. There remain substantial political and legal barriers to performing such research. Although there is a considerable body of work on the usage of cannabinoid products for many medical conditions, including the treatment of chronic pain, more directed clinical research into their utility as an analgesic for low-back pain and related symptoms needs to be addressed.