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Papers of the Week

2022 Jul 19

Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol

Making a joint decision: Cannabis as a potential substitute for opioids in obstetrics and gynecology.


Eichorn NL, Shult HT, Kracht KD, Berlau DJ
Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol. 2022 Jul 19.
PMID: 35970747.


There is a growing body of evidence that cannabis may be effective as an analgesic with potential to reduce opioid usage in chronic pain. This review synthesizes the available literature to elucidate the possible role that cannabis might play in reducing opioid use in gynecological disorders that may potentially lead to a recommendation of substituting opioids with cannabis. With reports of a decrease in opioid use after cannabis initiation, an opioid-sparing effect has been seen in gynecologic malignancies such as ovarian, uterine, endometrial, and cervical cancers, in addition to chronic pelvic pain (CPP). Though many studies have found an association between cannabis and various adverse maternal and neonatal outcomes, there is a lack of randomized controlled trials making it difficult to claim a directly causal relationship between cannabis and these adverse outcomes. Additionally, with increased use of cannabis during pregnancy, the evidence of possible benefits and risks to mothers and fetuses is examined.