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Papers of the Week

Papers: 24 Dec 2022 - 30 Dec 2022

2022 Dec 19

Int J Mol Sci



Dysmenorrhoea: Can Medicinal Cannabis Bring New Hope for a Collective Group of Women Suffering in Pain, Globally?



Dysmenorrhoea effects up to 90% of women of reproductive age, with medical management options including over-the-counter analgesia or hormonal contraception. There has been a recent surge in medicinal cannabis research and its analgesic properties. This paper aims to critically investigate the current research of medicinal cannabis for pain relief and to discuss its potential application to treat dysmenorrhoea. Relevant keywords, including medicinal cannabis, pain, cannabinoids, tetrahydrocannabinol, dysmenorrhoea, and clinical trial, have been searched in the PubMed, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Google Scholar, Cochrane Library (Wiley) databases and a clinical trial website (clinicaltrials.gov). To identify the relevant studies for this paper, 84 papers were reviewed and 20 were discarded as irrelevant. This review critically evaluated cannabis-based medicines and their mechanism and properties in relation to pain relief. It also tabulated all clinical trials carried out investigating medicinal cannabis for pain relief and highlighted the side effects. In addition, the safety and toxicology of medicinal cannabis and barriers to use are highlighted. Two-thirds of the clinical trials summarised confirmed positive analgesic outcomes, with major side effects reported as nausea, drowsiness, and dry mouth. In conclusion, medicinal cannabis has promising applications in the management of dysmenorrhoea. The global medical cannabis market size was valued at USD 11.0 billion in 2021 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.06% from 2022 to 2030. This will encourage academic as well as the pharmaceutical and medical device industries to study the application of medical cannabis in unmet clinical disorders.