Phytother Res. 2021 Nov 29. doi: 10.1002/ptr.7263. Online ahead of print.
The debate on the use of cannabinoids for therapeutic purposes is constantly on the rise. This overview aimed to map the evidence on the therapeutic effects of cannabis derivatives and their synthetic analogs. Systematic reviews (SRs) of randomized trials were identified through a comprehensive search in several databases, and their methodological quality were evaluated with AMSTAR-2. The results for main outcomes are presented, prioritizing those from updated and better quality SRs. Finally, 68 SRs, addressing 37 different health conditions, were included. The methodological quality was high for eight SRs. The evidence certainty (GRADE) for the effects of cannabinoids is not high for any of the outcomes identified. Evidence certainty was moderate for the following: (a) cannabidiol appears to be beneficial for quality of life but increases the risk of adverse events in ulcerative colitis; (b) cannabinoids in general appear to have no clinically important benefit for chronic non-oncologic pain, spasticity-related pain in multiple sclerosis, or for acute post-operative pain; (c) cannabinoids in general appear to have a benefit in reducing chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting. For all other outcomes from remaining comparisons, the evidence certainty was low, very low, or not evaluated, which prevents recommendations for or against their routine use.