Vasoactive and Antifibrotic Properties of Cannabinoids and Applications to Vasospastic/Vaso-Occlusive Disorders: A Systematic Review


Ann Plast Surg. 2024 Jun 1;92(6S Suppl 4):S445-S452. doi: 10.1097/SAP.0000000000003985.


BACKGROUND: Management of vasospastic and vaso-occlusive disorders is a complex challenge, with current treatments showing varied success. Cannabinoids have demonstrated both vasodilatory and antifibrotic properties, which present potential mechanisms for therapeutic relief. No existing review examines these effects in peripheral circulation in relation to vasospastic and vaso-occlusive disorders. This study aims to investigate vasodilatory and antifibrotic properties of cannabinoids in peripheral vasculature for application in vasospastic and vaso-occlusive disorders affecting the hand.

METHODS: A systematic search was conducted by 2 independent reviewers across PubMed, Cochrane, Ovid MEDLINE, and CINAHL to identify studies in accordance with the determined inclusion/exclusion criteria. Information regarding study design, medication, dosage, and hemodynamic or antifibrotic effects were extracted. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize study findings as appropriate.

RESULTS: A total of 584 articles were identified, and 32 were selected for inclusion. Studies were grouped by effect type: hemodynamic (n = 17, 53%) and antifibrotic (n = 15, 47%). Vasodilatory effects including reduced perfusion pressure, increased functional capillary density, inhibition of vessel contraction, and increased blood flow were reported in 82% of studies. Antifibrotic effects including reduced dermal thickening, reduced collagen synthesis, and reduced fibroblast migration were reported in 100% of studies.

CONCLUSION: Overall, cannabinoids were found to have vasodilatory and antifibrotic effects on peripheral circulation via both endothelium-dependent and independent mechanisms. Our review suggests the applicability of cannabis-based medicines for vasospastic and vaso-occlusive disorders affecting the hand (eg, Raynaud disease, Buerger disease). Future research should aim to assess the effectiveness of cannabis-based medicines for these conditions.

PMID:38857012 | DOI:10.1097/SAP.0000000000003985