Cannabinoids have long been a part of human culture and medicine, and more recently have been rediscovered for their potential use in the management of rheumatic disease pain. The objective of this review was to evaluate the known clinical effectiveness of cannabidiol treatment for rheumatic disease related pain. The legality and current regulation of these products was also reviewed to establish the current status of federal and state rules regarding their clinical use. Basic definitions of the terms used to differentiate cannabidiol from other cannabinoid products was also outlined. A systematic literature search was then conducted to explore the current pool of evidence pertaining to the defined phenomena of interest and clinical question. Five electronic databases were selected to generate a comprehensive selection of evidence. Twenty-one articles were identified and evaluated for appropriateness of fit within the defined inclusion and exclusion criteria. Articles relating to the use of cannabidiol in any form for the treatment of rheumatic disease pain in adults were included. Research articles pertaining to non-rheumatic diseases, psychiatry, children, adolescents, medical cannabis, or tetrahydrocannabinol alone were excluded. A total of nine studies met inclusion criteria. Findings from those studies concluded that current evidence is lacking in quality, quantity, and in key factors regarding the efficacy, tolerability, and safety of cannabidiol for rheumatic disease relief pain. Furthermore, due to the lack of evidence evaluating cannabidiol use for rheumatic disease pain, additional clinical studies are needed to evaluate their usefulness. Best practice and research recommendations were also proposed based of the systematic review and current body of evidence.


Rhonda Cornell

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


School of Nursing


Allied Health and Nursing



Rights Statement

In Copyright