Review: Cannabinoids as Medicinals

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Current addiction reports




CBD; Cannabidiol; Cannabinoids; Cannabis; Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol; Substance-related disorders; THC


Purpose of review: There have been many debates, discussions, and published writings about the therapeutic value of cannabis plant and the hundreds of cannabinoids it contains. Many states and countries have attempted, are attempting, or have already passed bills to allow legal use of cannabinoids, especially cannabidiol (CBD), as medicines to treat a wide range of clinical conditions without having been approved by a regulatory body. Therefore, by using PubMed and Google Scholar databases, we have reviewed published papers during the past 30 years on cannabinoids as medicines and comment on whether there is sufficient clinical evidence from well-designed clinical studies and trials to support the use of CBD or any other cannabinoids as medicines. Recent findings: Current research shows that CBD and other cannabinoids currently are not ready for formal indications as medicines to treat a wide range of clinical conditions as promoted except for several exceptions including limited use of CBD for treating two rare forms of epilepsy in young children and CBD in combination with THC for treating multiple-sclerosis-associated spasticity. Summary: Research indicates that CBD and several other cannabinoids have to treat multiple clinical conditions, but more preclinical, and clinical studies and clinical trials, which follow regulatory guidelines, are needed to formally recommend CBD and other cannabinoids as medicines.


Microbiology, Immunology, and Tropical Medicine