Although widely touted as a cure-all in the media and by our politicians, the scientific evidence suggests that medicinal cannabis helps between 1 in 12 to 1 in 24 patients as regards pain reduction, and harms via serious side effects between 1 in 6 to 1 in 12 patients . Therefore, it harms more patients than it helps in its current formats and is rarely indicated for prescription.
Research needs to be done to increase the help and reduce the harm related to novel formulations.
PEA (palmitoylethanolamide) is a natural fatty acid that stimulates the body's own cannabinoid production and may be the safest way to currently access the cannabinoid receptor [2-4]. PEA is an over the counter medication.
For further information, please click on the link to the Faculty of Pain Medicine (ANZCA) position statement on Medicinal Cannabis, which gives additional useful information:
- Mucke, M., et al., Cannabis-based medicines for chronic neuropathic pain in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev, 2018. 3: p. CD012182: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD012182.pub2
- Artukoglu, B.B., et al., Efficacy of Palmitoylethanolamide for Pain: A Meta-Analysis. Pain Physician, 2017. 20(5): p. 353-362: http://www.painphysicianjournal.com/linkout?issn=1533-3159&vol=20&page=353
- Gabrielsson, L., S. Mattsson, and C.J. Fowler, Palmitoylethanolamide for the treatment of pain: pharmacokinetics, safety and efficacy. Br J Clin Pharmacol, 2016. 82(4): p. 932-42: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5094513/
- Petrosino, S. and V. Di Marzo, The pharmacology of palmitoylethanolamide and first data on the therapeutic efficacy of some of its new formulations. Br J Pharmacol, 2017. 174(11): p. 1349-1365: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5429331/