Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Complex regional pain syndrome medical cannabis treatment

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a type of chronic pain that typically develops after an injury, or following a serious medical event like a stroke, heart attack, or surgery. CRPS pain can be extremely debilitating, and difficult to treat, but recently, patients with treatment-resistant CPRS have started to find relief with medical cannabis and cannabis-based treatments, which have been legal in the UK since 2018.

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People in the UK are believed to be suffering from Complex Regional Pain Syndrome


CRPS scores 42 out of 50 on the McGill pain scale, making it more painful than childbirth (40 out of 50)


In the UK, the most common condition treated with cannabis-based treatments is chronic pain.


Of those who took part in a US medical cannabis patient survey said cannabis was effective in managing pain.

“Having a medical cannabis card makes me feel better - and that counts“

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Daisy, Releaf Patient

October 2023

Am I eligible?

Articles on Complex regional pain syndrome

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06. 09. 2023

Is medical cannabis effective in managing pain?

If you are looking for a complementary pain management solution to add to your existing treatment plan, you are anything but alone. Right here in the UK, around 34% of the population (that's close to 15.5 million people) are affected by chronic pain. Chronic pain is an unwelcome passenger on the journey for many patients living with long-term medical conditions, and is a common symptom of countless diseases and illnesses.

22. 09. 2023

Can you get a medical cannabis card for chronic back pain in the UK? 

Medical cannabis is an increasingly popular treatment option for people suffering from chronic back pain. But to legally access it in the United Kingdom (UK), you need a physician registered to the General Medical Council Specialist Register to prescribe you cannabis. That means that, more than likely, your current GP won’t be able to help you get a medical cannabis prescription. NHS medical cannabis patients are not provided with a medical cannabis card, as unlike some other countries, it is not a legal requirement to carry a card. Again, if you are looking for the added protection that holding a medical cannabis card offers, then a private clinic is the best way to go.

13. 09. 2023

The Medical Benefits of THC explained

THC, or delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, is the most prominent cannabinoid in most cannabis sativa L. strains, and the compound that produces the psychoactive, intoxicating effects associated with cannabis. But, along with the recreational effects of THC, research is showing that it offers a range of potential therapeutic, wellness, and medicinal benefits for those suffering from a surprisingly wide extent of conditions.


Severe, debilitating pain that feels continuous

Burning, stabbing or stinging pain



Tremors or muscle spasms

Joint stiffness/swelling

Difficulty moving


Changes to skin, hair, and nail health/appearance

If you are suffering from any of these symptoms. Please speak with your GP to find out more.

Treatment options:

Typically, when treating complex regional pain syndrome, patients are recommended to try managing their symptoms or triggers with over the counter painkillers like paracetamol, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen. In some cases, GPs may prescribe anticonvulsants or tricyclic antidepressants to treat nerve pain, and opioids may be considered for those with severe CRPS.







Psychological support (CBT)

Find out if you may be eligible for medical cannabis complex regional pain syndrome treatments here
Am I eligible?

A word from our specialist

“Many conditions that lead to chronic pain often respond poorly to conventional pharmaceutical medications. More and more is being understood about how the endocannabinoid system interacts with the more well-known pain pathways to work synergistically with these conventional medications. Chronic pain comes with a variety of associated symptoms such as poor sleep, fatigue, brain fog and reduced appetite – all of which treatment with medical cannabis can improve.“
Dr David Tang

Clinic Director

Are medical cannabis treatments suitable for complex regional pain syndrome patients?

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is a severe, and persistent condition that is known to be challenging to manage or treat, but medical cannabis may be able to offer relief to patients who have been unable to meet their needs with conventional pharmaceuticals. 

This is because medical cannabis is regulated by our endocannabinoid systems, which are also responsible for regulating, or modulating, pain, inflammation, and immune responses - amongst other things. When cannabis compounds like THC and CBD enter this system, they are able to influence the responses the endocannabinoid system usually initiates. 

CRPS causes severe pain, typically in one limb, but always at an intensity that is out of proportion to the severity of the initial or original injury or event. For those with complex regional pain syndrome, cannabis-based treatments may reduce their pain perception, giving analgesic effects, and reduce inflammation - which can be extremely useful considering CRPS’s inflammatory aspects. 

Currently, in the UK, the medications and treatments prescribed to those with CRPS have not been licensed to treat the condition. This is because they have not undergone clinical testing to ensure their safety and efficacy in treating Complex Regional Pain Syndrome specifically. Medical cannabis treatments are in the same category, they can be prescribed by specialist doctors to treat or manage CRPS, but they have not undergone clinical trials involving CRPS patients.

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