The Effectiveness of Cannabis and Cannabis Derivatives in Treating Lower Back Pain in the Aged Population: A Systematic Review
Background/aims: Cannabis is increasingly used in the management of pain, though minimal research exists to support its use since approval. Reduction in stigma has led to a growing interest in pharmaceutical cannabinoids as a possible treatment for lower back pain (LBP). The objective of this review was to assess the role and efficacy of cannabis and its derivatives in the management of LBP and compile global data related to the role of cannabis in the management of LBP in an aging population.
Methods: A systematic review was conducted using predetermined keywords by 3 independent researchers. Predetermined inclusion and exclusion criteria were applied, and 23 articles were selected for further analysis.
Results: Studies identified both significant and insignificant impacts of cannabis on LBP. Contradicting evidence was noted on the role of cannabis in the management of anxiety and insomnia, 2 common comorbidities with LBP. The existing literature suggests that cannabis may be used in the management of LBP and comorbid symptoms.
Conclusions: Further research is needed to consider cannabis as an independent management option. There is a lack of evidence pertaining to the benefits of cannabis in an aged population, and thus, additional research is warranted to support its use in the aged population.
Keywords: Aged population; Cannabidiol; Cannabis; Dronabinol; Lower back pain; Tetrahydrocannabinol.