International forskning

Effectiveness of Cannabidiol to Manage Chronic Pain: A Systematic Review

Sherin Yasser Mostafa Mohammed 1, Kaizielyn Leis 1, Ria Eunice Mercado 1, Ma Monica Sheiane Castillo 1, Kevin Jace Miranda 1, Rogie Royce Carandang 2

  • 1College of Pharmacy, Adamson University, Ermita, Manila, Philippines.
  • 2College of Pharmacy, Adamson University, Ermita, Manila, Philippines; Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Farmington, CT. Electronic address:


Objectives: Cannabidiol (CBD), a component in Cannabis, is used to treat seizures, anxiety, and pain. Little is known about how effectively CBD works in managing chronic pain, a condition characterized by discomfort that persists beyond 3-6 months or beyond expected normal healing. Therefore, this systematic review aimed to synthesize evidence on the effectiveness of CBD in chronic pain management.

Design: A systematic review of literature utilizing PRISMA 2020 guidelines.

Data sources: PubMed/MEDLINE, Web of Science, CINAHL, Academic Search Complete, PsycArticles, PsycINFO, SocINDEX, and CENTRAL. The gray literature search was performed through the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

Review/analysis methods: We searched eight databases and gray literature for relevant studies until August 30, 2022. We gathered original research articles with various study designs published in English that looked at patients who used CBD to manage their chronic pain. Two authors assessed the risk of bias and certainty of evidence using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation approach. We used narrative synthesis to analyze the results.

Results: We included 15 studies among 1,516 identified articles. The majority of the studies indicated pain reduction ranging from 42% – 66% with CBD alone and CBD with Tetrahydrocannabinol. Three studies showed no significant improvement in reducing pain, and one had mixed findings in pain control. The included studies had various methods of measuring pain reduction, mostly through self-reporting and scales such as visual analog scales and verbal numerical scales, among others.

Conclusion: CBD may be useful in treating chronic pain. Findings should be interpreted with caution due to the small number of included studies and heterogeneity brought about by different study designs and outcome measures. More studies with robust study designs are warranted to evaluate CBD’s effectiveness in treating chronic pain.