Brazilian Journal of Pain
Brazilian Journal of Pain
Review Article

Phytocannabinoids and the individualization of treatment. Why is there no level of evidence?

Fitocanabinoides e a individualização do tratamento. Por que não há nível de evidências?

Ricardo Ferreira de Oliveira e Silva; André dos Santos Costa e Silva

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BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: The individualization of treatment has been recognized as essential in medical practice, especially due to the demand for different therapeutic approaches for similar situations. However, the complex and variable nature of the phytocannabinoids present in the cannabis plant presents challenges for the application of traditional models for testing the efficacy and safety of new drugs. The objective of the present study was to highlight the particularities of cannabis, including genetic variety, cultivation and production, which make it difficult to comply with traditional drug registration protocols, and the importance of individualizing treatment in the use of cannabis for the control of pain.
CONTENTS: Traditional models for testing the efficacy and safety of new drugs are based on a rigid methodology, divided into development and post-market phases. However, the complexity of the cannabis plant, with hundreds of actives that can vary according to the genetic variety, cultivation and production process, makes the application of these models difficult. In addition, international rules do not allow the registration of patents on cannabis products, due to the consideration that they are natural products and the extraction methods are already used in the industry for other plant actives. The individualization of treatment is fundamental in the use of cannabis for pain control, given the complexity of the plant and the limitations of traditional models of testing and drug registration.
CONCLUSION: The particularities of cannabis, such as genetic variability and the impossibility of registering patents, make compliance with current protocols difficult. However, the individualization of treatment allows adapting therapies to the needs of each patient, considering effectiveness and tolerance of side effects. Therefore, there is a need to rethink research and registry models to allow for a more flexible and personalized approach in the field of cannabis medicines.


Cannabinoids receptors, Cannabis, Evidence-based pharmaceutical practice, History, Medical marijuana, Pain


JUSTIFICATIVA E OBJETIVOS: A individualização do tratamento tem sido reconhecida como essencial na prática médica, especialmente devido à demanda por diferentes abordagens terapêuticas para situações semelhantes. No entanto, a natureza complexa e variável dos fitocanabinoides presentes na cannabis apresenta desafios para a aplicação dos modelos tradicionais de testes de eficácia e segurança de novos fármacos. O objetivo deste estudo foi destacar as particularidades da cannabis, incluindo a variedade genética, o cultivo e a produção, que dificultam a conformidade com os protocolos tradicionais de registro de medicamentos, e bem como a importância da individualização do tratamento na utilização da cannabis para o controle da dor. 
CONTEÚDO: Os modelos tradicionais de testes de eficácia e segurança de novos fármacos são baseados em uma metodologia rígida, dividida em fases de desenvolvimento e pós-mercado. No entanto, a complexidade da planta de cannabis, com centenas de ativos que podem variar de acordo com a variedade genética, o cultivo e o processo de produção, torna difícil a aplicação desses modelos. Além disso, as regras internacionais não permitem o registro de patentes de produtos canábicos, devido à consideração de que são produtos naturais e os métodos de extração já são utilizados na indústria para outros ativos vegetais. A individualização do tratamento é fundamental na utilização da cannabis para o controle da dor, dada a complexidade da planta e as limitações dos modelos tradicionais de testes e registro de fármacos. 
CONCLUSÃO: As particularidades da cannabis, como a variabilidade genética e a impossibilidade de registro de patentes, dificultam a conformidade com os protocolos atuais. No entanto, a individualização do tratamento permite adaptar as terapias às necessidades de cada paciente, considerando a efetividade e a tolerância aos efeitos colaterais. Portanto, é necessário repensar os modelos de pesquisa e registro para permitir uma abordagem mais flexível e personalizada no campo dos fármacos canábicos.


Cannabis, Dor, História, Maconha medicinal, Prática Farmacêutica baseada em evidências, Receptores de canabinoides


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