Brazilian Journal of Pain
https://brjp.org.br/article/doi/10.5935/2595-0118.20230057-en
Brazilian Journal of Pain
Review Article

Cannabis versus neuromodulators in chronic pain

Cannabis versus neuromoduladores na dor crônica

Soraya A. J. Cecilio; José Oswaldo de Oliveira Júnior

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Abstract

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: The change of paradigm in relation to the medical use of cannabis and its components in the treatment of pain is undeniable nowadays. Understanding the functioning of the endocannabinoid system and its interaction with drugs already available on the market is necessary for professionals who care for patients with chronic pain. The aim of this study was to show the mechanisms by which cannabinoids act, not only on CB1 and CB2 receptors, but also on various other receptors, modulating chronic pain, and encourage health professionals to recognize the need to expand the knowledge about its functioning and synergism with several medications so that the safe use of cannabis occurs in the treatment of multiple diseases, especially chronic pain.
CONTENTS: The action of cannabinoids on the endocannabinoid system has the ability to neuro and immunomodulate pain transmission in a multifactorial and extremely complex way, acting simultaneously on multiple targets, in the peripheral, spinal and supraspinal nervous system. The analgesia mechanisms determined by cannabinoids include the inhibition of the release of neurotransmitters and neuropeptides in presynaptic nerve terminals, modulation of postsynaptic neuronal excitability, activation of the descending inhibitory pathway and reduction of neural inflammation. There is also the possibility that the interaction of cannabinoids with opioid and serotonergic receptors has an amplifying effect on the analgesic effect of drugs belonging to the opioid class.
CONCLUSION: The endocannabinoid system plays a key role in pain control and its pathophysiology. It is expected that this system will continue to be studied for a better understanding of its signaling pathways and metabolism, and also that more clinical trials of greater size and duration will be carried out to understand to what extent this approach can be beneficial in the treatment of chronic pain.

Keywords

Cannabis sativa , Chronic pain, Endocannabinoids

Resumo

JUSTIFICATIVA E OBJETIVOS: A mudança de paradigma, em nível mundial, em relação ao uso medicinal de cannabis e seus respectivos componentes no tratamento da dor é indiscutível nos tempos atuais. Entender o funcionamento do sistema endocanabinoide e sua interação com fármacos já disponíveis no mercado se faz necessário aos profissionais que cuidam de pacientes com dor crônica. O objetivo deste estudo foi mostrar os mecanismos pelos quais os canabinoides atuam, não somente nos receptores CB1 e CB2, mas também em diversos outros receptores, agindo na modulação da dor crônica, bem como incentivar os profissionais da saúde a reconhecerem a necessidade de ampliar o conhecimento acerca desse funcionamento e sinergismo com diversos fármacos para que ocorra o uso seguro da cannabis no tratamento de múltiplas doenças, sobretudo dores crônicas.
CONTEÚDO: A ação dos canabinoides no sistema endocanabinoide tem a capacidade de neuro e imunomodulação da transmissão da dor de forma multifatorial e extremamente complexa, atuando simultaneamente em múltiplos alvos, no sistema nervoso periférico, espinhal e supraespinhal. Os mecanismos de analgesia determinados pelos canabinoides incluem a inibição de liberação de neurotransmissores e neuropeptídeos nos terminais nervosos pré-sinápticos, a modulação da excitabilidade neuronal pós-sináptica, a ativação da via inibitória descendente e a redução da inflamação neural. Existe ainda a possibilidade de que a interação dos canabinoides com receptores opioides e serotoninérgicos tenha uma ação amplificadora do efeito analgésico de fármacos pertencentes à classe opioide. 
CONCLUSÃO: O sistema endocanabinoide desempenha um papel fundamental no controle da dor e na sua fisiopatologia. Espera-se que esse sistema continue a ser estudado para uma melhor compreensão das suas vias de sinalização e metabolismo. É preciso também que se realizem mais ensaios clínicos, de maior dimensão e duração, para compreender até que ponto essa abordagem poderá ser benéfica no tratamento da dor crônica.

Palavras-chave

Cannabis sativa, Dor crônica, Endocanabinoides

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Submitted date:
06/10/2022

Accepted date:
08/11/2023

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