Objective: To compile and synthesize the available literature describing medical cannabis use across various disease states. Data Sources: PubMed, EBSCO, and Google Scholar searches were conducted using MeSH and/or keywords. Study Selection and Data Extraction: Studies were included if they described the use of cannabis-based products and medications in the treatment of a predefined list of disease states in humans and were published in English. The extraction period had no historical limit and spanned through April 2019. Data Synthesis: Evidence was compiled and summarized for the following medical conditions: Alzheimer disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, autism, cancer and cancer-associated adverse effects, seizure disorders, human immunodeficiency virus, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), nausea, pain, posttraumatic stress disorder, and hospice care. Relevance to Patient Care and Clinical Practice: Based on identified data, the most robust evidence suggests that medical cannabis may be effective in the treatment of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, seizure disorders, MS-related spasticity, and pain (excluding diabetic neuropathy). Overall, the evidence is inconsistent and generally limited by poor quality. The large variation in cannabis-based products evaluated in studies limits the ability to make direct comparisons. Regardless of the product, a gradual dose titration was utilized in most studies. Cannabis-based therapies were typically well tolerated, with the most common adverse effects being dizziness, somnolence, dry mouth, nausea, and euphoria. Conclusions: As more states authorize medical cannabis use, there is an increasing need for high-quality clinical evidence describing its efficacy and safety. This review is intended to serve as a reference for clinicians, so that the risks and realistic benefits of medical cannabis are better understood.
Keywords: CBD; Cesamet; EPIDIOLEX; Marinol; Sativex; Syndros; THC; cannabidiol; cannabis; dronabinol; marihuana; marijuana; medical cannabis; medical marijuana; nabilone; nabiximols; tetrahydrocannabinol.