Changing attitudes about marijuana have led to an increase in use of medicinal marijuana, especially for painful chronic conditions. Patients ask rheumatologists for guidance on this topic. This review provides up-to-date information on the safety and efficacy of medicinal cannabis for rheumatic disease pain.
The number of publications related to rheumatic disease and cannabis has increased, but recent literature skews heavily toward reviews vs primary research. Data supporting a role for cannabinoids in rheumatic disease continue to grow. Observational and survey studies show increased use of medicinal cannabis, both by people with rheumatic disease and the general population, and suggest that patients find these treatments beneficial. Prospective studies, however, including randomized controlled clinical trials, are rare and sorely needed. As medicinal cannabis use for rheumatic diseases rises, despite lack of evidence, we review the sparse data available and provide tips for conversations about medicinal cannabis for rheumatologists.

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