Analyzing the Impact of Cannabinoids on the Treatment of Spinal Disorders

Rohan M. Shah, Anjay Saklecha, Alpesh A. Patel, Srikanth N. Divi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: Cannabis is among the most used illicit substances globally, with medical applications, increased legalization, and shifting social attitudes leading to increased use in recent years. Cannabinoids are a group of psychoactive substances found within the cannabis plant, with the most common being Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol. Due to the high prevalence of use, it is increasingly important to evaluate the effects of cannabis and cannabinoids on spine patients, in both operative and nonoperative settings. Recent Findings: Cannabis and cannabinoids may be effective in treating patients with chronic conditions such as back pain and spinal cord injuries. Longitudinal effects and implications on surgical outcomes and complications are poorly understood. High-quality, outcomes-focused research can inform approaches for clinicians to approach cannabis and cannabinoid use. Studies to elucidate the standardization of cannabis regimens can help develop guidelines for potential therapeutic applications. Cannabis and cannabinoids may be useful alternatives or additions for many spine patients, but future research is needed for recommendations to be determined. Summary: Our manuscript reviews the available literature regarding cannabis use and various spinal conditions, organizing our findings into the following narrative themes: (1) the management of chronic lower back pain, (2) perioperative outcomes, (3) cannabis use in general orthopaedic procedures, and (4) spinal cord injuries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-142
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Reviews in Musculoskeletal Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2022


  • Cannabinoids
  • Cannabis
  • Spine
  • Spine outcomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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