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Cannabis and orofacial pain: a systematic review

      Abstract

      The naturally occurring cannabis plant has played an established role in pain management throughout recorded history. However, in recent years, both natural and synthetic cannabis-based products for medicinal use (CBPM) have gained increasing worldwide attention due to growing evidence supporting their use in alleviating chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain associated with an array of conditions. In view of these products’ growing popularity in both the medical and commercial fields, we carried out a systematic review to ascertain the effects of cannabis and its synthetically derived products on orofacial pain and inflammation. The application of topical dermal cannabidiol formulation has shown positive findings such as reducing pain and improving muscle function in patients suffering from myofascial pain. Conversely, two orally-administered synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists (AZD1940 and GW842166) failed to demonstrate significant analgesic effects following surgical third molar removal. There is a paucity of literature pertaining to the effects of cannabis-based products in the orofacial region; however, there is a wealth of high-quality evidence supporting their use for treating chronic nociceptive and neuropathic pain conditions in other areas. Further research is warranted to explore and substantiate the therapeutic role of CBPMs in the context of orofacial pain and inflammation. As evidence supporting their use expands, healthcare professionals should pay close attention to outcomes and changes to legislation that may impact and potentially benefit their patients.

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