A Systematic Review of Therapeutic Potential of Illicit Drugs: A Narrative Overview of How Cannabinoids and Psychedelics Can be Used in Medicine

Document Type : Review Article


1 School of Medicine, Iran University of Medical Science, Tehran, I.R. IRAN

2 Medical Laboratory Science Department, College of Health Science, University of Human Development, Sulaimanyiah, Kurdistan Region of Iraq, IRAQ

3 Department of Agriculture, Jouybar Branch, Islamic Azad University, Jouybar, I.R. IRAN

4 Department of Chemical Engineering, Mahshahr Branch, Islamic Azad University, Mahshahr, I.R. IRAN

5 Department of Chemistry, Payame Noor University, Tehran, I.R. IRAN

6 Al-Ameen College of Pharmacy, Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Science (RGUHS), Bangalore, INDIA


To aid the therapeutic process, illicit chemical substances and drugs are used in drug therapy. Various cultures have used illegal substances for thousands of years in medicine and various practices. The present study is a general approach to pharmaceutical science and attempts to contextualize drug-assisted therapy through an integrative literature review. All related articles were found through the electronic databases Medical Publications (Pubmed) and Scopus. The research question was related to articles written in English within the last 20 years. The database research found 77 articles on psychedelics between Jan 2000 and Oct 2021. Twenty-two articles were selected for analysis according to the inclusion criteria. In analyzing the texts, we have been able to correlate several aspects. We conclude that psychedelic therapy has great potential and that its rebirth occurs in the context of social transformations and demands in psychotherapy that are unmissable. Database searches between Jan 2000 and Oct 2021 found 1164 articles about cannabinoids. According to the inclusion criteria, only 235 articles were selected for analysis. The United States produced the most publications, followed by Canada and Australia; evidence has steadily increased between 2000 and 2021. The contents of the publications deal with beneficial and adverse health effects, the consequences of cannabis legislation, and its association with various variables. There is a lack of research on cannabis' medicinal use regarding treatments and diseases, its standardization, routes of administration, and doses, recognizing the need for more research.


Main Subjects

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