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Papers of the Week

Papers: 15 Jun 2024 - 21 Jun 2024

2024 Jun 06

Int J Mol Sci




Cannabinoid Analgesia in Postoperative Pain Management: From Molecular Mechanisms to Clinical Reality.


Carrascosa AJ, Navarrete F, Saldaña R, García-Gutiérrez MS, Montalbán B, Navarro D, Gómez-Guijarro FM, Gasparyan A, Murcia-Sánchez E, Torregrosa AB, Pérez-Doblado P, Gutiérrez L, Manzanares J


Postoperative pain (POP) is a challenging clinical phenomenon that affects the majority of surgical patients and demands effective management to mitigate adverse outcomes such as persistent pain. The primary goal of POP management is to alleviate suffering and facilitate a seamless return to normal function for the patient. Despite compelling evidence of its drawbacks, opioid analgesia remains the basis of POP treatment. Novel therapeutic approaches rely on multimodal analgesia, integrating different pharmacological strategies to optimize efficacy while minimizing adverse effects. The recognition of the imperative role of the endocannabinoid system in pain regulation has prompted the investigation of cannabinoid compounds as a new therapeutic avenue. Cannabinoids may serve as adjuvants, enhancing the analgesic effects of other drugs and potentially replacing or at least reducing the dependence on other long-term analgesics in pain management. This narrative review succinctly summarizes pertinent information on the molecular mechanisms, clinical therapeutic benefits, and considerations associated with the plausible use of various cannabinoid compounds in treating POP. According to the available evidence, cannabinoid compounds modulate specific molecular mechanisms intimately involved in POP. However, only two of the eleven clinical trials that evaluated the efficacy of different cannabinoid interventions showed positive results.