Fighting pain with cannabis while avoiding side-effects

Rafael Maldonado


    Rafael Maldonado


    UPF, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain


    Chronic pain is a health problem that has a serious impact on the daily lives of people who suffer from it. It affects 20 % of the world’s population, with some 50 million patients in Europe, causing 500 million lost working hours and annual costs of at least €34 billion to the European economy.

    Cannabinoid compounds have enormous potential for the treatment of this condition due to the analgesic properties of delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). However, these compounds have important side effects that limit their therapeutic application, such as cognitive impairment, anxiety and other psychoactive effects. The Cannabis Fighting-Pain project aims to bring to market a new set of compounds capable of maintaining the analgesic effect of cannabinoids while avoiding the side effects associated with these types of compounds. To this end, peptides have been developed that achieve greater specificity, selectivity and efficacy, while at the same time avoiding the cognitive deterioration typically associated with the use of cannabinoids.