The growing body of evidence that marijuana (cannibis) may be effective as a
pain reliever has been expanded with publication of a new study in The
Journal of Pain reporting that patients with nerve pain showed reduced pain
intensity from smoking marijuana.

Newswise — The growing body of evidence that marijuana (cannibis) may be
effective as a pain reliever has been expanded with publication of a new
study in The Journal of Pain reporting that patients with nerve pain showed
reduced pain intensity from smoking marijuana.

Researchers at University of California Davis examined whether marijuana
produces analgesia for patients with neuropathic pain. Thirty-eight patients
were examined. They were given either high-dose (7%), low-dose (3.5%) or
placebo cannabis.

The authors reported that identical levels of analgesia were produced at
each cumulative dose level by both concentrations of the agent. As with
opioids, cannabis does not rely on a relaxing or tranquilizing effect, but
reduces the core component of nociception and the emotional aspect of the
pain experience to an equal degree. There were undesirable consequences
observed from cannabis smoking, such as feeing high or impaired, but they
did not inhibit tolerability or cause anyone to withdraw from the study. In
general, side effects and mood changes were inconsequential.

It was noted by the authors that since high and low dose cannabis produced
equal analgesic efficacy, a case could be made for testing lower
concentrations to determine if the analgesic profile can be maintained while
reducing potential cognitive decline.

In addition, the authors said further research could probe whether adding
the lowest effective dose of cannabis to another analgesic drug might lead
to more effective neuropathic pain treatment for patients who otherwise are
treatment-resistant.



News Hawk: PFlynn - http://www.420magazine.com/
Source: American Pain Society
Copyright: 2008 American Pain Society
Contact: Newswise
Website: Newswise